1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
Style number: 55-10370
Body Number: VN 5476
Trim number: 519- Light Blue Vinyl with Straw Pattern Cloth
Paint number: 602S- Two tone, India ivory over Skyline blue
Over $55,000 worth of hot rod upgrades
GM ZZ 383 with 435hp and 445lb/ft of torque
Currie 9" rear differential
Tremec 5- speed manual transmission
Vintage Air A/C Kit
Introduced in 1955, the Chevrolet Bel Air, or what GM marketing called the "Hot One", was considered a huge turning point for Chevrolet and a major success. With critical acclaim from automotive magazines to styling that defines an era of car design, the '55 Bel Air is a car that cemented itself and Chevrolet in Americana car culture.
Originally built at the Los Angeles plant, this '55 Bel Air was treated to a full restoration by Jim Councilman of Phoenix, Arizona. The interior work stayed true to the original specification with Light Blue vinyl with straw pattern cloth. The exterior two-tone paint of India Ivory over Skyline Blue is single stage, and the interior is lacquer. The Blue Flame 235 6-cylinder engine was fully rebuilt, with power now brought up into V8 territory.
Canepa acquired the car in February of 2012 and noted that the restoration was done exceptionally well, only 100 miles were added since the completion and was very period correct. Shortly afterwards, the car would find a new owner in John Dimopolis, who decided to take the car in a different direction.
John would take the Bel Air down to Hollywood Hot Rods in Burbank, California, where the conservative '55 Chevy would begin its journey into becoming a hot rod. Replacing the old engine was a GM ZZ 383 crate engine, with 435 horsepower and 445 lb/ft of torque. Pushing the power back to the 9" Currie differential is a Tremec 5-speed manual transmission. A front disc brake upgrade makes sure you can stop with the newfound power, power steering and the Vintage Air A/C system will keep you cool while cruising down the highway. The suspension was rebuilt and the car was lowered, giving it an aggressive hot rod stance. All in, John would spend over $55,000 in upgrades to make the Bel Air his "hot rod".
Upon arriving at Canepa, the car was thoroughly inspected and with only 500 miles on the car since its restoration, it presents excellently. The engine compartment, chassis, interior and trunk were cleaned by hand, and the paint looks like the car just recently finished its restoration. Not one to leave anything untouched if it can be improved, Bruce added some finishing touches that created a one-of-a-kind Bel Air. New bumpers without overriders were added, simplifying the look of the front and rear end. The white wall tires were replaced, with the rear receiving a larger and wider tire to fill the fender well, and the wheels were painted with Canepa's signature matte wheel color to create a 50s-esque color look. Now with upgrades that truly make this '55 Chevrolet Bel Air the "Hot One", it's the perfect car for cruising down the avenue or a little bit of street-light competition.
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