Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
As many hobbyists have discovered, one of the best ways to get the cool old car of your dreams is to buy someone else's finished project. This 1952 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop, for example, was completed just a few years ago (12,184 miles ago, to be exact) and includes upgrades like a Goodwrench 350 V8 Crate engine, A/C, a killer bright red paint job, and an updated interior without losing any of its vintage charm. So, why waste months or years building yours when this turn-key hardtop is available for a reasonable price? Get out there and start having fun!
You're in luck with this Chevy, because the work was well done, which means very clean sheetmetal that has a classic early '50s look that still hadn't joined the jet age. For the most part, they left the original look alone, so you still have those gorgeous factory lines running end-to-end, swooping fenders and roofline, and even fender skirts covering the rear wheels. But the builders didn't stop there, instead choosing to add a few Old School hot rod tricks to add to the car's appeal including a simplified front grille with deleted 'tooth' inserts, a louvered hood, shaved door handles, dual spotlights attached to either side of the windshield, and that traditional faux side exhaust that runs in between the tires. Awesome additions that any hot-rodder will appreciate, but nothing so overbearing that it distracts from the original Bel Air design. The finish still looks very fresh throughout, with a top-driver quality luster and shine that really looks great on the shoebox-style livery, and any minor imperfections that might be found (and seriously, not many can be) are quickly forgotten by the sheer radiance of this bright Red paint. Attention-grabbing colors work well on any car from the early '50s, and this one has a killer look that will impress collectors/fans from just about any age group, which was probably the builder's intention all along. Adding to the good news is all the shiny chrome and brightwork that remains in excellent shape, from the horizontal grille and matching bumper up front, to the bright housings around the blue-dot taillights and the exhaust tip jutting out from under the bumper out back.
The red-and-white vinyl interior really turns up the 'wow' factor started by the bodywork, and there's not a candy striper, barbershop patron, or fan of Captain Kangaroo alive that won't absolutely love it. Okay, so it's maybe a bit heavy on the candy cane and Dr. Suess themes at first glance, but once you actually sit inside this car and see the quality of the upholstery, feel the comfort of the bench seats, and appreciate how it simply 'works' with a hotrod of this vintage, then you'll love it too. Matching two-tone door panels continue the theme, the period-correct red carpet on the floor is outlined in white piping and looks barely used, and the taut red headliner above was finished to factory standards and proves that nothing was overlooked in the transformation of this cabin. The steel dash was painted red to match the exterior, and thankfully they left the awesome original shape of it alone (including the spectacular chrome speaker cover in the center), although adding a full set of Dakota Digital gauges in the factory round pods was an excellent choice. An aftermarket A/C panel was discreetly added below the dash, as was the Pioneer AM/FM/Cd/AUX head unit that manages the upgraded stereo inside. Other options include power windows, remote door poppers, and a leather-rimmed Grant steering wheel mounted atop a tilt column where it's joined by a billet shifter that manages the TH350 3-speed automatic transmission below. The back seat is big and comfortable, making this a cruiser for the whole family and they've cleverly carpeted the original trunk that still houses a bias-ply spare tire and jack set.
Plenty of power is on tap under the louvered hood, courtesy of a 350 cubic inch V8 crate motor from Goodwrench, and that's horsepower that'll never go out of style. The engine bay has been beautifully finished with lots of bright red and chrome, from the flashy Chevrolet valve covers and matching air cleaner, to the polished Holley 4-barrel carburetor atop a brightly polished Edelbrock aluminum intake, and the body-colored inner fenders and firewall. It was clearly built for reliability, with modern accessories including a chromed alternator, modern A/C compressor, steel braided hoses, and a giant aluminum radiator up front that keeps the whole show nice and cool. Upgraded power steering and power front disc brakes come with the package, an HEI ignition fires it all up, and long-tube header feed into a dual exhaust system below that sounds great. The undercarriage is very solid and tidy (although not overly detailed), anchored by a TH350 3-speed automatic transmission and a 10-bolt rear end, while the upgraded front suspension greatly transforms how this Bel Air op
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