1955 Chevrolet – Chevrolet was utterly transformed in 1955 with a ground up redesign that replaced dull dependability with stylish sizzle. About the only thing carried over from 1954 was the dependable stovebolt Six cylinder engine, the wheelbase and the series names, 150, 210 and Bel Air. Not surprisingly the $2067.00 1955 Chevy Bel Airs were among the hottest selling 1955 automobiles. Chevy built over 1.7 million cars in 1955 beating arch rival Ford by 250,000 units.
Stylists led by Clare Mackichan turned out a low , contemporary beauty. Big improvements on the ’55 Chevy included brakes, handling, steering and interior room. Also new for 1955 was the 265 cubic inch V-8 and the Bel Air Nomad. Chevrolet had gone from producing a dull family car to building a young man’s car with sportier, more distinctive styling.
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe
1955 Chevrolet’s were hailed as the “Motoramic Chevrolet” after General Motors annual Motorama shows. But the ’55 Chevy also carried another name that was guaranteed to appeal to the youth market. “The Hot One” was fitting given its powerful new 265 cubic inch V8 engines. The new engines were probably the most important feature in the motoring public’s eye for the 1955 model year. In fact it was the most changed Chevy and the most exciting car to ever wear the bowtie badge since World War II.
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
The low cost 150 1955 Chevrolet’s models included the two door sedans, four door sedans, two door station wagons and two door utility sedans. 210 1955 Chevrolet models included the two door sedans, four door sedans, two door Townsman station wagons, four door station wagons. It also included the very rare 210 Sport Coupe, two door hard top and Delray Club Coupe two door sedan.
Fourteen different solid colors and twenty three two tone colors were available for the 1955 Chevy. Some of the best looking two tone colors were painted on the 210’s and Bel Air’s. The upper fenders, roof and rear deck were painted one shade. The body side color was then painted another with chrome strip moldings separating the two colors. The 55 Chevy 150’s had no trim so their contrasting colors were limited to the roof.
The Bel Air and the Nomad had plusher more expensive looking interiors. The 150 and 210 had plain looking interiors usually a gabardine cloth and pattern cloth combination. Speedometer, oil pressure and engine temperature gauges were arranged directly ahead of the steering wheel. A radio speaking housing was mounted on the right side of the dash. The instrument panel and radio housing were shaped in a fan. Outside air controls and heater controls were mounted on the dash next to the instrument panel. An optional radio was mounted between the instrument panel and the radio speaker housing.
Chevrolet produced a record 2,223,000 cars and trucks in 1955 and that accounted for one quarter of all car and truck sales in the United States. The ’55 Chevy had a classic simplicity of design that received much acclaim when it appeared in November of 1954. The “egg crate” grille was not always welcomed because it was difficult to keep clean. However, we couldn’t imagine what else would have looked right.