About a year ago, a good friend of mine acquired a 1953 Chevy Bel Air in a trade deal that involved a few vehicles. He flips cars for a living, so it wasn’t around for long, but that car made a major impact on me. Up until that point, I had not paid a whole lot of attention to the early ’50s Chevrolet’s, but something about that car really grabbed my attention. I love the smaller body (compared to the more popular late 50’s models), and the subtle, yet somehow pronounced, fender bubbles add to the appeal for me. Throw in an art deco dashboard and it adds up to one bad little car in my book.
I’ve done a little research since then and this is what I have discovered. The body style I’m referring to was produced from 1950 to 1954. First year production numbers only reached a dismal 76,662 (despite a low $1700 selling price) as American auto buyers were still cautiously evaluating the new-look Chevy. By 1954, that number had jumped to over 450,000 across the model lineup. 1954 engine options included a 92hp 216.5ci or 105hp 235.5ci with a 4-barrel.
The 2 photos you see in this post were taken this weekend at a local cruise-in. Two beautiful specimens for sure! I’ll continue to be an admirer and student of the first generation Bel Air… and who knows, one day there may be one parked in my garage!