Skip to main content

1954 Chevrolet Bel Air news, pictures, specifications, and information
Sport Coupe
Chevrolet's Bel Air series featured extras such as the newly designed disc wheel covers, full carpeting, an electric clock and special trim door panels. The coupe had 'fashion fiesta' two-tone upholstery and unique interior trim molding and roof bows - plus rear pillar courtesy lights. Power was supplied by Chevrolet's famous inline, six-cylinder engine, which obtained 118 horsepower from its 235.5 cubic-inches.

This car, which was sold new in the Carolinas, is original with the exception of a repaint in the original color and a 'freshening up' of the engine bay. Only 30,000 miles are showing on the odometer.
In 1953 Chevrolet re-applied the Bel Air name to their premium A-body models only, no longer was it a model in its own right. But no matter, they were still special cars. Advertised as 'Entirely new through and through,' the 1953/1954 range paved the way to the now iconic and 'thoroughly' new cars beginning in 1955 that bore little resemblance, finally, to anything pre-WWII. For example, the one-piece, curved windshield and the over-the-top use of chrome in the interior. In 1954 for the first time, Chevrolet's 6-cylinder engines had babbitt insert bearings on the crankshaft, and aluminum pistons. All hugely significant improvements with the future in mind.
From 1950 through 1952 Chevrolet hardtops in the Deluxe model line were dubbed the 'Bel Air'. It took a few more years before it would become its own distinct series. In 1953, the Bel Air became its own model and was applied to Chevrolet's top-of-the-line model range. By 1955, the cars were offered with an optional V8 engine which greatly improved the cars performance.

In 1953 Chevrolet had three new models and 17 body styles to select from. This was the company's widest range of offerings in its history. The introduction of the Chevrolet was stirring press for the company, but so was the Bel Air, considered the company's Crown Jewel.

The Bel Air Series consisted of a two and four-door sedan, sport coupe, and a convertible coupe. Everything that was standard on the lower priced series was standard on the Bel Air, plus so much more including comfort, convenience and styling options. There was a one-piece curved windshield which added superb visibility. The luggage compartment was massive and the 115-inch wheelbase provided plenty of interior room for its occupants. The 115-horsepower Blue-Flame six-cylinder engine was new and the most powerful engine in Chevrolet's history.

In 1954, the Bel Air was launched as a 1955 model and brought with it a fresh new, elegant look for Chevrolet. With bold features that included hooded headlights, tailfins, wrap-around windshield, and rear fender skirts, the Bel Air was able to out-style the competition. The base engine was a six-cylinder, 115 horsepower power-plant. At a base price of $1095, it was a bargain. It is considered America's first low-priced 'hardtop coupe'. The most famous of the Bel Air engine options was the 283 cubic-inch V-8 small-block, with Ramjet Fuel injection. It delivered one horsepower per cubic inch, a first for production cars. Along with style, the Bel Air was a fast machine. Chevrolet quickly ascertained a reputation for building performance vehicles.

A full-width grill, redesigned front and rear fenders, gas cap behind the left taillight, larger rectangular parking lights, and sweeping side trim were just a few of the changes that set the 1956 Chevrolet apart from the 1955, which had taken the country by storm with its all new body re-design.

For the performance-minded public, the 1956 Chevrolet offered three 265 cubic-inch Turbo-Fire V-8 engine options: base 170 hp, 205 hp 4 bbl and the 225 hp dual 4 bbl.

Chevrolet produced 1,574,740 cars in the 1956 model year, of which 41,268 were Belair Convertibles. The 3,320 pound car cost $2,443 with the base V-8. You could literally load your new Chevy with factory options and accessories and stay under $3,000.

In 1957, the Bel Air grew in length by 2-1/2 inches and received a wider and taller grille. Additional options became available including two-tone interior, power convertible top, shoulder harnesses, tinted glass, seat belts, tissue dispenser, and ventilated seat pads.

In total, there were seven body styles to select from. In 1957, a two-page Chevrolet magazine ad proclaimed that 'Chevy puts the purr in performance'. This Bel Air Convertible, with the optional 245 HP 283 CID small block V-8 equipped with two four barrel carburetors, would certainly deliver on the promise made by the ad copy noted above, delivering a hearty purr from its dual exhausts.

Over the years these popular cars became an icon for the entire generation and they have gone on to become one of the most desirable and collectable post war cars of all. 47,000 Bel Air convertibles were produced in the 1957 model year.

The Chevrolet models grew in length in 1958 and increased in size. The Chevrolet Impala became their top-of-the-line model, followed by the middle-range Bel Air. The front end featured a broad grill with quad headlights.

By the later part of the 1960s, the Chevrolet Bel Air moved into the territory of a fleet vehicle. It was a basic machine built on Chevrolet's large platform and outfitted with few thrills or options. It was a good car though it lacked the prestige of times gone by.

The 1964 Chevrolet Be Air (Series 1600) was Chevrolet's mid-priced line between the basic Biscayne and the Impala.

The Biscayne was discontinued after 1972 and the Bel Air was moved into its place, becoming Chevrolet's low-level model. Production in the United States continued until 1975 though production continued in Canada until 1981.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
Recent Vehicle Additions

2017 Ford Focus RS

1958 Autobianchi Bianchina

2016 Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

2017 Hyundai Elantra GT

2018 Chevrolet Equinox

2017 Smart fortwo electric drive
• Auctions America's Auburn Fall Collector Car Weekend returns September 2-6 • Held during the famous Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival, the Labor Day tradition brings the collector car community home to Auburn, Indiana • Sale to feature approximately 1,000 collector vehicles • Early entries led by diverse Steve Ramsey Collection, featuring a 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat • Auction also features a concours-quality 1929 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Coupe • Frequently updated list of...[Read more...]
• Mecum Auction to Feature 700 American Muscle Cars, Classics, Hot Rods and More
Walworth, Wis. – June 04, 2015 – Mecum Auctions, the world's largest collector car auction company, will stage its premiere event in Denver June 26-27 at the Colorado Convention Center with 700 American muscle cars, classics, Corvettes, hot rods, Resto Mods and more expected to cross the auction block from an estimated 15 surrounding states. Among the main attractions consigned for the Mecum ...[Read more...]
Mecum Auctions To Offer Coveted Museum Collection At No Reserve
Verde Classics' Large Selection of Cars and Memorabilia Crossing the Block Feb. 23 Mecum Auctions will return to Florida to offer an attractive collection of nearly 80 cars including a wide variety of high-performance convertibles and other eye-catching and unique vehicles along with more than 1,000 pieces of Road Art and memorabilia all at no-reserve this Feb. 22-23. Presented from the private collection of Fran and Ron Green, the desirable assortment available at the Verde Classics M...[Read more...]
Bonhams to offer the renowned Oldenburg family collection of classic automobiles at Scottsdale
More than 30 American, British and Italian cars of various vintages head to Scottsdale, Arizona Bonhams is honored to have been chosen to represent the highly esteemed Oldenburg Family Automobile Collection at its second annual Scottsdale Auction in January. The extensive collection of more than 30 cars from the prominent horse breeding family includes multiple models of the same marque, including Ferrari and Jaguar. The Italians Leading the impressive assembly are ...[Read more...]
RM Auctions Concludes Record 2012 Calendar with $11.5 Million John Staluppi 'Cars of Dreams' Museum Sale
• RM's John Staluppi 'Cars of Dreams' Museum sale generates more than $11.5 million with 100 percent of all lots sold • The result of a decade of dedicated collecting by John Staluppi, the single-day sale presented 113 vehicles and 63 lots of memorabilia 'without reserve' • Top automotive lots included a 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible for $299,750 and a 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500-KR Convertible for $264,000 • Memorabilia offering highlighted by a historic 1918 Herschell-Spillman 32' Caro...[Read more...]

Bel Air
C10 / K10
Corvette GTP
DB Master
Deluxe Series
El Camino
El Morocco
Model 3100
Model H
Monte Carlo
RPO B2K Twin Turbo
Series 490
Series C
Series L
Special Series
Task Force (Apache)

Image Left 1953 Bel Air Series 2400C1955 Bel Air Image Right1955 E-ROD Bel Air Image Right
© 1998-2016. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.