Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1954 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
The 1953-1954 Chevrolet Bel Air provides an excellent example of a popular practice in the Detroit of the 1950s called reskinning - making an old car look new without changing its basic structure by applying different outer panels. Nobody did this better at the time than General Motors, and the 1953-1954 Chevrolet Bel Air proved it. Singer Dinah Shore, Chevrolet spokesperson at the time remarked: "It's a glamorous new star," pausing, while the camera cut to a close up, then gushingly asked: "Isn't that about the prettiest thing you ever saw?"
Looking both modern and classy at the same time, this slick '54 convertible, (the most expensive offering of the line), is proof that Chevrolet's decision to take a curvaceous fuselage, and decorate it with an ample amount of chrome was an excellent idea. Unlike most exaggerated 50s designs the car's proportions are spot-on, there's appropriate use of trim, and the subtle rear fins that would eventually grow to controversial wings are fully integrated into attractive, sculpted arcs. This car has plenty of convenience options like spotlights, dual mirrors, and even a tissue dispenser.
Paint number 552 translates to Turquoise Blue, and it is here in its full glory. Very nice and high-quality paint job with very smooth paint and a nice glass like look. Chrome is in good condition with no pitting. A toothy grill, reminiscent of the 54 Corvette, presents very good, as does most brite work, and badging. An early "jet bird" hood ornament with its chrome trail divides the rounded hood. Traditional bumpers have an added extra bar for just a bit more bling in front and back. Dual spotlights, some wrap-around bezels for the signal lights, rounded fender accenting as well as some stainless-steel trimming for the rockers, and the lines of this car are now fully accentuated. Even the fuel filler door has trimming around it! A white convertible canvas top is on and is nearly perfect with a like new rear plastic window. This top glides up and down electrically and has a white tonneau covering for hiding it when it's down. Wide whitewall tires have dog dish wheel coverings which are all polished and nicely preserved.
Matching the exterior with two tone Turquoise Blue inserts with Cream bolsters the front and rear benches, (front split), create the feel of a 1950's drive in. Door panels carry the colors and patterns to either side and make their way up to a Turquoise Blue metal dash. Inserted in front of the steering wheel, there is an elongated white field oval with a simple cluster of a round speedometer, horizontal temperature, gas, battery, and oil pressure gauges, flanked by a second smaller round clock. Moving over to the passenger side, a large area of vertical chromed ribs form the fronting for the radio speaker, as well as the door for the glovebox. A white bar hangs below the dash, and contains the knobs for the lights, wipers, heater and airflow levers, and a retro style radio. A white column reaches for the driver from the gauge area and has an original turquoise blue steering wheel. Black carpet and turquoise rubber protector mats cover the floor below the dash and seats. Also seen are a high beam sentinel to drivers left on the dash, a compass in the center, and the shiny tissue dispenser under the dash. Also, a windshield washer system is from the factory and of course on this car.
The original "Blue Flame" 235ci Inline 6-cylinder engine can be viewed within the restored and clean engine bay. A 2-speed automatic Powerglide transmission is attached to the back of the engine, and on top is a 1-barrel carburetor with an oil bath air cleaning system. The rear axle weighs in at 3.55 ratio.
The X frame is strong and devoid of any rust. Suspension appears well maintained and shows 4-wheel drum brakes. Body mounts are sturdy and stable, also with no rust. Some faded blue paint appearing original covers the steel floor pans and rockers, spare tire holder and trunk liner.
She fires right up and is a smooth runner and great cruiser. Good handling for a large car and all functions are working very nicely. The consignor has included lots of manuals, color chip card, dealer brochure and some wiring diagrams
Cars like this awesome first-generation Bel Air are very special, and they represent incredible value to buyers. With a high-quality restoration that's beyond reproach, and a color combination that makes it a complete knockout at shows, THIS is the kind of build you simply can't touch for our asking price. Just imagine heading out in this Turquoise Blue and Cream cruiser on a warm summer evening; the burble of the Blue Flame behind you, the smooth open road in front of you, and nothing between you and miles of happiness. Oh, and don't forget all that chrome blindi
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