1955 Chevy Bel Air “Hot One” Is Orange Up Front, Black in the Rear, And Amazing in Between

There are some cars out there we will never have enough of. Some of them are recent, stock machines that will go down in history for this or that reason, while others are vehicles that have already entered history books and will never leave them. The Chevrolet Bel Air is part of this latter group.
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 26 photos
Photo: RK Motors
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
If you really think about it, this moniker was not around for all that long. In the over a century-long history of the automotive industry, the Bel Air was only produced for three decades. Lucky it, they were perhaps the most important three decades of the American auto industry: the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

It is from those years that most of today’s collectibles come, the cars that make custom shops across America go nuts with ideas and collectors all over the nation jump at the chance to own a well-made American classic. And the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air we have here certainly looks very well made.

1955 was the first year of the nameplate’s second generation. It was a time when the bow tie full-size car was the recipient of new styling cues, more in-tune with the nascent Space Age. Quite successful back in their day, many of the cars from that generation can presently be found in the wild, abandoned to rot in God-forsaken places. But the most important thing is they do get saved from time to time and turned into amazing pieces of automotive engineering.

We have a simple fact to thank for that. Bel Airs from that year were also the first to be included in the group of old Chevrolet vehicles modern-day collectors simply worship – a group we now refer to as the mighty Tri-Five. And it is this undying love some people have for Tri-Fives that keeps the moniker alive and helps it sell for more money than one would pay for a brand-new, premium German car. But they have to look at least like the one we have here to be able to achieve that.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
Photo: RK Motors
This is one of the freshest Bel Airs we were able to dig up, and it comes to your screens all the way from over in North Carolina. It’s described as the result of a “detailed, ground-up restoration” that didn’t limit itself to restoring the car, but moved to better it as much as possible.

Like all Bel Airs, this one too is a two-color affair on the outside. The car’s seemingly perfect front end, hood, fenders, and doors come in one of the coolest shades of orange we’ve seen in a long time – something almost red and called Sunset Orange Metallic. The upper rear panels, the trunk, and, of course, the roof are in beautifully contrasting black, making for a powerful visual impact.

Shiny metal detailing works great with both orange and black, and this Bel Air is ample proof of that. The front and rear fenders, the window trims, the front grille, the mirrors, and even the Jet Bird hood ornament are in either chrome or stainless steel, and they all shine beautifully on the bicolor backdrop that is the car’s body.

The interior, although a tad less glamorous than the exterior, does not disappoint. The front seats and rear bench come in black and parchment cloth and vinyl (so, not leather), and they’re faced by the traditional Bel Air dashboard, now holding Classic Instruments gauges. One of them, the odometer, reads just 2,335 miles (3,753 km) since the build was completed.

1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
Photo: RK Motors
The Bel Air is propped on 16-inch wheels of American Racing make, shod in Falken Ziex rubber. They spin under the power supplied by a Chevrolet crate engine 350ci in size, much larger than what the biggest engine in the Bel Air lineup had to offer back in the day when they rolled off the assembly lines (283ci).

The power levels for the new engine in this application have not been provided, but just to give you an idea, Chevy’s current engines with such a displacement deliver 333 hp (HO turn-key variant). In the Bel Air, with the unit topped by an Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor, the troop is controlled by means of a 4-speed automatic transmission and sent to a GM dropout rear axle. Breathing is done through a large-diameter exhaust.

The engine is not the only piece of new equipment fitted onto the car. The way it handles on the road has been enhanced with Fat Man Fabrications front suspension and stopping power is ensured by means of power discs at the front and drum brakes at the rear.

Because of the way it looks, we chose to name this 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air the Hot One, a moniker GM itself used back in the 1950s to describe the car in its advertising efforts. You can find it in the metal on the lot of a dealer called RK Motors, who is also selling it for $88,900.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories