The Professionals And Cons Of Chevrolet Bel Air
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By 1953, Chevrolet had actually upgraded its lineup entirely, and simplified its sedans to 3 designs: a base-level 150; mid-trim 210; and the high-grade 240 Bel Air. The Bel Air was a four-model line and was extremely successful because it cost just a little more than the base and mid-level trims.
From 1950 through 1954, all Chevrolets, consisting of the Bel Air, boasted a straight six under the hood. But it was the introduction of the famed small-block V-8 along with the classically styled 1955 Chevys that made the next three years classics. Available as 2- and four-door sedans, coupe and convertible, wagon and even a two-door wagon called the Wanderer, these "shoebox Chevys" were extremely effective.
That '57 Chevy boasted bigger and uniquely styled tailfins, a distinct grille, and a readily available fuel-injected V-8 engine. The light weight and reasonably compact size of the mid-50s Chevys made them favorites amongst enthusiasts, and are among the most desired models by collectors. The 1958 design year boasted big modifications for the Chevy lineup, literally, as the vehicles gained size and weight.
Chevy also dropped the numerical classifications, with the Del Ray at the bottom, Biscayne in the middle and Bel Air slotted right below the Impala. An extensive restyle in 1959 cast the Bel Air a little additional down as the Impala acquired in stature and body styles. This was the pattern for the next several years, with the only standout Bel Air the 1962 Sport Coupe, which featured a 409 cu.-in.
By the 3rd generation introduced in 1966, the Biscayne was at the bottom and the Bel Air in the middle, and in 1969 it ended up being sedan and wagon just when the two-door was dropped. When Chevy upgraded its big sedans in 1971 the Bel Air was at the bottom sounded, and the name was dropped completely when Chevy chose to call all of its huge sedans Impala in 1976.
Metal Glass (Product) Chromium Vinyl Cloth Rubber (Material) Salmon (Color) Gray (Color) Black (Color) 3 in (Stroke) 3.75 in (Bore) 60.5 in 74 in 115 in 195.6 in 3165 lbs Rear side panels: Bel Air On front dash, guest side: Bel Air Make & Model: 1955 Chevrolet hardtop Maker: General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Michigan Engine: V-8, overhead valves, 265 cubic inches Transmission: 3-speed manual Height: 60.5 inches Wheelbase: 115 inches Width: 74 inches Total length: 195.5 inches Weight: 3165 pounds Horse power: 162 at 4400 revolutions per minute Pounds per horse power: 19.5 Rate: $2,166 Average 1955 wage: $4,128 per year Time you 'd work to buy this cars and truck: about 6 months.
I have a sensation that this will be one of the more questionable Meh Vehicle Mondays I've done, but I think it's one that needs to occur. Abnormally for Meh Cars And Truck Monday, I'm going to be focusing on a cars and truck with not just a significant following, however one that is arguably an actual automobile icon.
It's the 1955-1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. Everybody, everybody, calm down! I can hear you. You're angry. You're particular that all of those posters with Bel Airs in front of 1950s restaurants just can't be lying to uswe have laws to prevent that sort of thing, do not we?Is it even legal to make shirts covered in meh cars and trucks? It can't be ideal? All those old vehicle collectors can't be incorrect? Can they?Of course they can.
It's bad. It's just sort of ... there. And I maintain, in the context of mid-to-late 1950s American automobiles, the Chevrolet Bel Air was really simply a meh automobile. Sure, the Bel Air handled to do something unusual in mehcardom, and that's to in some way defy its inherent mehness to become something more.
All of its primary design qualities were things other automobiles had too, and were middle-of-the-road examples of them. It had a big, eggcrate grille (complete width by 1956), big chrome bumpers, two-tone paint, modest tailfins, and all the heavy chrome precious jewelry of the period. There's nothing really striking or standout about its design, and as such it's frequently close to the vague image of what people picture when they hear "1950s cars and truck," typically in turquoise-and-white.
Sure, a little number got engines with an early fuel-injection system, and the power numbers on a few of the V8 choices were decent, whatever was played really, extremely safe and no engineering threats or developments were taken. It was, actually, just fine. Commercials of the period were hyperbolic as all '50s ads were, like this one where a man's ghost is chewed out about the "sassy" efficiency and the "traditional charm" of the '57 Chevy, along with the promise of "genuine chrome:" These Chevys from the period were definitely on par with the lower-end offerings from the other big American carmakers, Ford or Chrysler or Nash or any of them, however it's perplexing regarding why and how these Chevys somehow got their renowned status and not, say, a 1955-1957 Ford or Nash.
The accessibility and universality of Bel Airs made them easy to bring back and keep going, and neighborhoods of owners grew, and on and on, which just produced a self-reliant feedback loop. These Bel Airs were decent, if generally average American vehicles of the 1950s, but they were a good worth and did their job well.
Bel Airs at a vehicle show today have become clichs; can anybody remember the last time they were actually delighted to see a brought back Bel Air? Sure, the two-door wagons are clever, and any unspoiled automobile from that long earlier has some interest, but it says a lot when a vintage car elicits a yawn.
Possibly this truly isn't the car's fault itself, it's because of a particular laziness of human nature. Something works, it's unchallenging but attractive, so, what's the damage in doing it once again? And once again, and again, and once again. There's other iconic cars and trucks with huge followings that reveal up over and over again, of course, like Mustangs or Corvettes, or air-cooled Volkswagens, but I think those automobiles, and even other automobiles with significant followings, all have a little more happening with them to justify their leaving the meh trap due to sheer exposure that the Bel Air just never had, ever.
But the Bel Air has actually somehow handled to go even beyond something that's just a terrific starter classic and has fallen off into a void of loaded with overbearing custom, obviousness, those, and, let's face it, boredom. The Bel Air was good car, conventional and possibly fairly uninspired, but driven down the dull meh blandway to the parking area of Meh's Diner, looking like a shining chrome suppository sprinkled with neon, by the skilled but incurious hands of so lots of Bel Air-smitten people, each doing the exact same thing to the same automobiles, and showing them in the exact same method, typically at the same time, in the very same place.