1960 Chevrolet Bel Air Wants a Second Chance to Make Impala Fans Jealous

Chevrolet took the wraps off the Impala in 1958, launching the car as the top version of the Bel Air. Not even the GM brand expected the Impala to sell so well, so it took the company only one year to understand that the new nameplate should be sold as a separate series.
1960 Chevy Bel Air 11 photos
Photo: Craigslist
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The 1959 model year was the right moment for Chevrolet to begin selling the Impala and the Bel Air as different series. The latter was the top-of-the-range offering, with the Bel Air somehow becoming a second-class citizen of its full-size lineup.

While the Bel Air and the Impala still shared many parts and styling, only the latter came with the more exquisite options. Eventually, Chevrolet also tweaked the engine lineup, making the Impala the go-to model for customers interested in the best the company could offer.

A 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air landed on Craigslist not long ago with a single goal in mind: to get a complete restoration despite its horrible condition.

The car hasn't run in several years, with the owner admitting that the floors are rusted out. The shared photos suggest the Bel Air has been sleeping under the clear sky for years, and we all know what this means from a metal perspective. The Bel Air still exhibits a decent body, but I wouldn't expect flawless panels. Your best options are a third-party inspection or an in-person verification, as the owner doesn't share all specifics regarding the Bel Air's condition.

Open the hood, and you'll find mixed news. The car still has an engine, though it's not the best mill you could get for this model year. The Bel Air comes with the laziest engine available on the 1960 generation – a six-cylinder unit whose main role was to put the wheels in motion without providing a thrilling experience behind the wheel. The same straight-six was also available on the Impala, and while many customers loved it, most collectors are particularly interested in V8 engines today.

The engine still cranks over, so it could still be used on a restored version of the car despite the years of sitting. However, you'll need a good mechanic to decrypt the engine's full condition and determine its chances of returning to a tip-top shape.

The owner says they could also part out the car, though I really hope someone sees this Bel Air and decides to take it home for a complete restoration. It could become a fancy daily driver with a little work, especially if you already have a donor vehicle to help with the missing or damaged parts. The owner believes that $2,700 is a fair price tag, but other offers would also be considered if you're interested in the car.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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