Glorious 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Deserves the Title of Beauty Queen Among American Customs

There’s a good chance any Chevrolet Bel Air ever made can win a beauty pageant. The old beauty of the American motoring scene has always held the bar high when it comes to looks, and that hasn’t changed in our age either, despite the decades we’ve had at our disposal to come up with something better since the Bel Air left the scene.

You can see how highly appreciated the appearance of this family of cars is when looking at the many custom projects that come to light. Almost all of them, while relying on heavily upgraded mechanical bits, tend to keep the original lines of the base cars, with few to no modifications. Why, many garages even try to exaggerate the beauty of these vehicles through paint jobs, fine touches, and subtle finishes.

The nature of my job often places me face to face with such incredible gems, but the Bel Air I’ve come across this week certainly has all it takes to be called the beauty queen of all American custom cars. Do you think I’m exaggerating? Just look at the attached gallery and see for yourself.

I stumbled upon the Bel Air as I was going through the list of cars that will go under the hammer at the end of the month in Scottsdale, Arizona. Since I like Bel Airs, I would have probably noticed it anyway, but the colors on its body were the ones that immediately convinced me to dive right in and learn more about it.

The visual effect of this wheeled beauty is owed to the Teal Blue Metallic color, enriched by Sikkens-sourced Champagne Silver. The blue beautifully spreads everywhere, playing a delightful hide-and-seek game with the silver on the upper rear panels and the roof, and the chrome on the sides, window trim, mirrors, handles, and, of course, wheels.

Hat off to whoever captured the Bel Air on camera, too, as that mattered a lot in making the car appear so shiny and delightful. Then again, that’s how all beauty queens appear in front of their admirers as well, as the result of a careful balance between light and shadow, achieved at the hands of a skilled photographer.

The Chevy is not just an empty, beautiful shell. Its body hides an Art Morrison GT Sport chassis rocking multilink rear suspension and Wilwood braking hardware.

It touches the ground by means of billet alloy wheels sourced from Budnik and shod in Michelin Pilot SS tires. They spin under the power supplied by a fuel-injected LS3 engine, tweaked by Wegner Motorsports into unknown levels of power. The engine works together with an automatic transmission.

The interior of the Bel Air is equally as alluring, although you could argue it could have been a bit more, considering how the thing looks like on the outside. The bucket seats, lower part of the dashboard, door panels, and center console are wrapped in leather, offset here and there by aluminum trim.

Whereas most of the time custom garages do not modify the general lines of Bel Airs, they do upgrade their interiors to offer more modern technologies. In the case of this exact car, that translates into an electronic parking brake, an Alpine stereo system with a large central display, and a digital dashboard by Dakota Digital.

The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air is listed for sale at the hands of Barret-Jackson, who will try to find a new owner for it during a no-reserve sale later in January. 

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