1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe LHD

Highlights


  • Stunning condition
  • Freshly imported from Florida
  • Recently subject of comprehensive restoration


The Appeal


The 1955-1957 Chevrolets are amongst the most sought-after cars of the period, and most enthusiasts have their favourite model year.  

From the plainer and less chromed ’55, to the full on rock n’ roll glitzy ’57 there is one thing they all have in common; they sum up the optimistic, carefree US 1950s lifestyle as depicted by Hollywood.  

Finding one as good as this in the US would be quite tricky, so this is a rare opportunity to buy a stunning example in the UK. 

Imported just last year it has had one UK owner who owned the Bel Air in Florida for a few months, using it for trips to the beach with his family. He then made the decision to bring it back to the UK to join a small collection. 

It passed an MoT and was registered on arrival, but unfortunately any further US history didn’t make the trip across the pond. 

Apart from a US title from the previous owner, an MoT and the V5c in the Owner’s name we have little in the way of paper history.

History and Paperwork


  • Built 1956 at Chevrolet’s Kansas City, Missouri plant
  • US Title on file
  • Comprehensive restoration in the US
  • Last US owner from Walker, Louisiana
  • Registered in the UK in December 2021
  • MoT valid to August 2022
  • V5c in the seller's name

The Interior


  • Matching two tone interior
  • Excellent “jukebox” dashboard
  • Superb condition throughout

Looking at the interior Trim Code (584) for the Bel Air tells us the car was originally ordered with a Lite Turquoise/Medium Beige patterned cloth interior.  

This doesn’t really do it justice as the turquoise vinyl matches the exterior paint, and the Beige cloth is more of a brocade finish with a slight gold metallic weave. 

The panels are edged with chrome silver piping with matching chrome finish buttons on each seat; quite spectacular! The seats are all in immaculate condition, without any wear or damage. 

The same can be said for the light blue carpets which are equally new and unmarked. They are protected in the front by large fitted mats that have the Chevrolet logo.

Moving to the dash we are faced with one of the best of the “jukebox era” dashboards. With twin binnacles (the passenger gets one too!) the large steel dash is has a full width chrome grill which has the switches for the lights, heater and the radio with front/rear fader control. 

The driver’s side binnacle contains the speedometer, and gauges for the temperature and fuel, plus warning lights for the electrical system and oil pressure. The passenger has the clock and Bel Air script. The binnacles are V shaped that echo the V on the hood and trunk to denote the car is equipped with V8 power.

The driver is faced by a large, turquoise steering wheel with chrome horn ring and a Chevrolet badge in the centre. The shifter for the automatic gearbox projects from the steering column with the gear indicator located at the bottom of the binnacle.

Look up and you can see the pale blue roof lining which has been expertly fitted with no wrinkles.

Upon opening the trunk we find a large rubber mat covering a freshly painted floor, and a correctly mounted spare wheel, jack and tools. No dirt or damp to be found. 

Overall the interior can be best described immaculate (and very turquoise!) and not far from Concours condition. 

The Exterior 


  • Superb two tone paint
  • Excellent chrome
  • Correct wheels with vintage style tyres

On the outside the Bel Air is very impressive. 

With plenty of shining chrome and special two tone paintwork (745D) in Tropical Turquoise and India Ivory it is a veritable feast for the eyes. The panel fit is good and the shut lines are consistent, and the doors open and close easily with no droop. 

The large chrome bumpers front and rear have a good shine and are in fabulous condition. The long side trims that divide the two paint colours are straight and undented. 

The final front pointed section on the driver’s side appears to be mounted pointing slightly downwards, but perhaps that’s being over critical. The paint itself is well applied without flat areas or any peel or runs. 

The wheels are turquoise painted 15 inch steels with full size Chevrolet hubcaps. The hubcaps are excellent, with no dents, and the wheels have only the odd small chip to the paint on the rim. The tyres (including the spare) are US brand Denman full whitewalls, with period “pie crust” sidewalls and tread pattern. All look to be nearly new.

Equipped from new with E-Z-Eye tinted glass the windows all operate correctly, winding down front and rear making the Bel Air fully pillarless. The lockable front quarter lights also wind in and out with their own winder mounted on the interior door panel.

Having studied the exterior closely we can report that it’s hard to find fault, and on such a large body that is an impressive achievement!

The Mechanics 


  • Correct 265 cubic inch Turbo-Fire V8
  • Factory stock engine bay
  • Smart and clean underside

Pop the hood on the Bel Air and it’s immediately obvious that this it has been restored to factory stock specifications using correct parts.  

The engine bay itself is tidy with just a little easily cleaned grime. The 265 cubic inch Turbo-Fire V8 looks small in the space, but it has all the correct bits attached including the air cleaner and cast iron exhaust manifolds which are usually the first things missing on a non original car. 

Nothing looks out of place and there is no flaky paint or corrosion, just light road dirt. If cleaned and detailed it would look like it just rolled out of the Kansas City plant.

Underneath the Bel Air is again very tidy with a little road dirt. The chassis looks to be completely solid and newly painted, with evidence of some newer parts and a fresh dual exhaust system.

The Bel Air was running smoothly when we visited, and moved around effortlessly with no noises from the gearbox or steering as we moved it around during the photography.

Summary


If you have read this far then you’ve probably had a good look at the photographs too. We are sure you’ll agree that the Bel Air is in exceptional condition, and there is no reason that it can’t be enjoyed straight away. 

Guaranteed to bring a smile to all those who see it and the envy of every car show attended there isn’t much more to add! 

If you are looking for the best, - it’s right here! 


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Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.



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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1956
  • Make Chevrolet
  • Model Bel Air Sport Coupe LHD
  • Colour Blue and White
  • Odometer 651 Miles
  • Engine size 4300
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Sussex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
22 bids
  • oscar.h•••• £35,500 18/08/22
  • parker.•••• £35,000 18/08/22
  • oscar.h•••• £34,500 18/08/22
  • ratrod £34,000 18/08/22
  • oscar.h•••• £33,500 18/08/22
  • parker.•••• £33,000 18/08/22
  • ratrod £32,000 18/08/22
  • parker.•••• £31,000 18/08/22
  • ratrod £30,000 18/08/22
  • parker.•••• £29,000 18/08/22

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