1956 Chevrolet Bel Air
|Model History||Auction sales research||Specifications||Body styles and Chassis Data|
Considered a convertible with a fixed top, the hardtop had been tried throughout the years, but with little success. Added to the very appealing Bel Air design, the hardtop became sought after like it never had before.
A good deal of the interest in the Bel Air, obviously, had to do with the Bel Air design. The hard top just seemed to go with the car better than it had with any other. The model that truly became iconic in the minds of the public was the second generation of the Bel Air, made between 1955 and 1957.
Heading into 1955, the Bel Air received new styling. Each production year of the Bel Air was like a progression. The 1955 model's styling was subtle, but clean. The '57 model was much more flamboyant. Those looking for a balance would lean toward the 1956 model. The '56 constituted the middle-of-the-road between the simple styling of the '55 and the more flamboyant lines of the '57.
One of those middle-of-the-road 1956 models was offered at the RM Auction in 2011. Basically just having undergone a face-lift, the '56 model had a wider grille on the nose. The chrome front bumper came with more artistic designs and the headlight's eye-lids protruded a little further forward.
When compared to Ford's models during the same period, the Bel Air seemed lighter and more attractive. This was no more true than with the '56 model. The car was lighter due to the small-block V-8 engine. This provided the '56 with a high power-to-weight ratio. A Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission and an independent front suspension and live rear axle provided the '56 with increased top-end speed and improved handling.
The model offered this year had been through a restoration and was presented in nice condition. Externally finished in a two-tone paint scheme, the car came accented by highly-polished chrome throughout. The car came complete with color matching Continental spare wheel kit, rear-wheel skirt and white-walled tires.
Its interior was finished in red, complete with the signature 1956-model round, analog clock in the passenger-side dash. This model included safety-belts, an AM radio, traffic-light viewer and even a tissue dispenser.
The car's engine bay was clean and housed a 170 hp 265 cubic inch V-8 engine with a single, two-barrel carburetor. The car even featured dual exhaust outlets with chrome deflectors and a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission.
Finished off with a matching hardtop, this lovely two-tone color finished '56 proudly represented its model year. With its many desirable period features, this '56 more than adequately reflects the beauty and elegance of the hardtop and Bel Air design.
The '56 goes a long way to prove that Chevy's Bel Air of the mid-1950s offered something for everybody. And it proved that 'good things come to those who wait'.
'Buy: View Lots (Lot 303: 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop)', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r142&fc=0). RM Auction Arizona. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r142&fc=0. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Chevrolet Bel Air', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 January 2011, 22:57 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chevrolet_Bel_Air&oldid=406956925 accessed 13 January 2011By Jeremy McMullen
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|Automobiles of Arizona by RM Auctions||1956-1962|