Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1950 Chevrolet Styleline Bel Air
The new 1950 Chevrolet Bel Air was Chevrolet's first hardtop and the pioneer pillarless coupe in the low-priced market. Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile turned out sumptuous "hardtop convertibles" in 1949, but neither Chrysler nor Ford had one on the market. A Bel Air, advised the sales brochure, was "open to the summer breeze" yet "snug against the wintry wind," with "the coziness and permanence of an all-steel top." In short, you got both sportiness and all-weather comfort.
As advertised, "open to the summer breeze, yet snug against the wintry wind", this pillar less coupe was a new concept for its time, and now graces our hallowed halls here at Classic Auto Mall. A nicely appointed example with all the extras attached such as fender skirts, spotlights a roof visor and two-tone paint, she presents nicely with just a few faults that can easily be buttoned up to make her just right.
Straight rust-free steel panels minding their gaps fairly nicely are bathed in medium gray that is showing in good shiny shape. Just slight areas of orange peel overspray are noted near all that stainless trimming. Speaking of which is all in nicely plated condition, where only at one point do we note some slight rust on one of the horizontal bars on the front grille section passengers side. Nice clean headlight bezels make a good start to a trim spear that streaks rearward and dies in mid door. Below is a wheel well to wheel well stainless trim, looking shiny and adding highlight to the bottom of this car. A trimmed metal visor adds a little protection to the sun and hangs off the front of the roof, both covered in black. The rear "B" pillar is nicely thinned framing the rear roll down window, and the curved rear window, hence the hardtop convertible namesake. Additionally, dual side spotlights are optioned on, as well as body matching fender skirts completing the bump out rear quarters. Tri pointed star wheel covers are bordered by red painted steel wheels and wrapped in wide whites all around.
Simply wild, a virtual visual orgasm with the black and white vertical striped door panels, and seat inserts. Black vinyl covers the bolsters on the front split bench, and rear bench. There's definitely a party from early 1950 going on in here! Door sills and surrounds still sport the original turquoise color, and the inside of the door jambs and lower door panels that meet with the rockers show heavy surface rust and water damage. Fronting the original dash is a white bakelite steering wheel with a dual winged chrome band for the horn, and snazzy center badge. Behind is an unrestored dash, that presents with surface rust, and in dark green dash top, and gray dash front. A singular circular gauge cluster centers itself in front of the steering column and has a pitted surrounding bezel. In the center of the dash is a large vertical ribbed chromed rectangle which houses a vertically oriented radio, speaker openings, a clock, and the obligatory ashtray and lighter. Black carpet covers the floors and is in good condition, and the short shaved mohair headliner is original and shows some aging with brown fading, and a few small tears in a slight sag. Nice stainless arches hold this headliner up.
A hopped up 216ci Inline 6-cylinder is mounted in the middle of the previously restored engine bay. This sports a trio of 1-barrel carburetors on the Offenhauser intake side. Fenton headers are attached, as is a 2-speed automatic power glide transmission which pushes power rearward to a 3.55 rear axle. Mostly clean and definitely an earlier restoration.
Starting at the rear underneath we see a shiny new fuel tank which is in a field of surface rust, and some invasive rust on the spare tire bump, and areas of the inside rockers. Frame is solid with a smattering of surface rust. Floorpans are clean and rust free, and a newer exhaust snakes its way rearward blowing through dual Cherry Bomb mufflers. Independent coil springs are up front on the suspension side, and leaf springs are on the rear. Drum brakes are the standard for the time and are on all 4 corners.
This car we got to crank, but never start, condition unknown.
I suspect a painted exterior on the panels seems to offset a multitude of sins in the door jambs, rockers underneath, and rear suspension. This car is literally 90 percent complete, and with just a bit of sweat equity could be really nice on all fronts. Just a little TLC on areas not seen but certainly important to the overall health of this automobile. All here for the taking, right out of 1950.
Please note, this vehicle does not come with a battery.
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