Chevy Bel Air

The Chevrolet Bel Air had a nice long run from 1953 until 1975. This auto was produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. The Bel Air name has actually just been applied to a previous model in production that was rebadged in 1953. The name then belonged to cars in the premium model range. Chevrolet's full-size model received new styling in 1955 and they earned the title, "Hot One," which was designated by enthusiasts. Chevrolet's styling was considered crisp and clean, drastically different than that of Ford and Plymouth. Drivers could indulge in the features offered with the Bel Air such as interior carpet, chrome window moldings, chrome headliner bands on hardtops, chrome spears on front fenders and full wheel covers. It was super classy to have a Bel Air, and the name script in gold lettering proved it. Bel Air was knocked down a peg or two in 1959 when Chevrolet elevated the Impala to top-line status. The Bel Air continued to lose status with drivers and by the late 1960s, thanks to the introduction of the Caprice, the Bel Air and the Biscayne were mostly marketed to automotive fleet customers. There were the few drivers who still sought out a basic, no-frills full-sized car that was slightly better trimmed than the low-line Biscayne. These customers could still obtain the Bel Air through the appropriate dealers. Oddly, at the North American International Auto Show in 2002, a concept Bel Air convertible was on display. It contained many styling and design features of the legendary 1955'57 models and it even had taillights very similar to the Ford Thunderbird. However, General Motors has been reluctant to offer such a model for public purchase. But, with General Motors one really never knows. Perhaps a commemorative model is in the works and perhaps it is not.