In 1952, engineer Edward Cole was told by the head of Chevrolet to "Design us a car from scratch". The rest is history. With a completely new chassis and suspension, new body design, the new V-8 engine, and 12 volt electrical system, the 1955 Chevrolet appealed to the masses with over 1,700,000 being sold, of which the Bel-Air Sport Coupe was the most popular with sales of over 770,000 units.
The light weight V-8 engine introduced in 1955, which came in 162 bhp or 180 bhp versions, has weathered the test of time as it is still the basic format for today's Chevrolet V-8 engines some 55 yers after its introduction. Much like the Flathead Ford V-8 which was introduced some 23 years earlier, the small block Chevrolet V-8 soon became of favorite for street rodders and racers alike.
However, most people believe that 1955 was the first year that Chevrolet offered an engine other than their tried and true 6 cylinder. This is not true. Chevrolet first introduced a 288 cubic inch V-8 in 1917 which developed a then very strong 55 bhp. The problem was the cost to manufacture and it was discontinued in 1919.
The fresh 1955 body design was followed up in 1956 and 1957 with minor changes/improvements. These models have almost a cult following and are still among the favorites of street rodders and restorers alike. When the Chevrolet Division of General Motors produced it's 50 millionth automobile, it was a 1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air Sport Coupe.
This Vehicle is Currently Not on Display. Some vehicles are temporarily rotated out to make room for other vehicles.
1955 Chevy Belair
- Year Built: 1955
- Vehicle Type: Belair
- Built By: Chevrolet
- Suspension: Independent Front with Coil Springs, Solid Rear with Leaf Springs
- Engine: "Turbo Fire" V-8, 265 cubic inch, 4 barrel carburetor, 180 bhp
- Owner: Woodland Family Collection