Blown 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Is Crazy Fast, Pulls Wheelies and 9s

When it comes to Tri-Five Chevy Bel Airs, some say nothing compares to a mint-condition, original-spec example. But that's not true. Do you know what's even better? A concours-condition Bel Air with a supercharged big-block V8 and drag wheels.
1956 Chevrolet Bel Air blown dragster 8 photos
Photo: Race Your Ride/YouTube
1956 Chevrolet Bel Air blown dragster1956 Chevrolet Bel Air blown dragster1956 Chevrolet Bel Air blown dragster1956 Chevrolet Bel Air blown dragster1956 Chevrolet Bel Air blown dragster1956 Chevrolet Bel Air blown dragster1956 Chevrolet Bel Air blown dragster
This white-over-yellow 1956 Bel Air looks like it could win a concours d'elegance on a Saturday and then hit the drag strip to pull fast and noisy quarter-mile runs on Sunday. Because while it features skinny front wheels, meaty rear tires, a rear spoiler, and a parachute, it still retains most of the original trim on its mostly unaltered body.

And don't let that massive blower that pops through the engine hood fool you; this classic dragster can be easily converted into a perfectly road-legal rig with a different set of rear tires and a muffler. And just look at that perfect paint job.

When it's not shaking public roads, this Bel Air is flexing its supercharged V8 in spectacular ways at the drag strip. Thanks to a massive 8.8-liter big-block that generates more power than any factory Bel Air from any era, this coupe charges off the line on its rear wheels, nose up in the air.

Yes, you don't need a whole lot of power to do a wheelie, but this 1956 classic isn't an all-show and no-go car. As soon as the skinny front wheels hit the strip, the candy yellow Tri-Five charges furiously toward the finish line, crossing it in fewer than 10 seconds.

You'll see it pull a couple of nine-second quarter-mile runs in the video below. The first one sees the clock freeze at 9.15 seconds and 147.92 mph (238.05 kph). Things become a lot more interesting the second time around, with the Bel Air hitting the line in nine seconds flat. You know what this means, right? This Bel Air can dip into the eights and hit at least 150 mph (241 kph).

Ah yes, and make sure you check out the interior, which is mostly stock save for a few extra gauges, the roll cage, and the steering wheel. This thing is classy and fast, a combination that's hard to achieve on a dragster. Crank it up and hit play!

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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