- 5.7 liter LS1 Corvette V8 which produces 375 horsepower
- Modified suspension which features custom hardware and a five inch drop
- Wilwood power four wheel disc brakes
- Vintage Air climate control system
- Borg Warner T56 6-speed manual transmission
- 17 inch front and 18 inch rear Billet Specialties Fast Lane wheels
- Penske Racing Ford nine inch rear end that’s complete with 3.45 gears
- Power rack and pinion steering
- Completely custom leather interior
If you’ve been following our email blasts, you know all about the killer ’55 Bel Air we just sold for $125K. And you’ve probably seen the awesome ’55 custom we recently shipped for $99K. In fact, you might even remember the striking ’55 210 which left late last year for $112K. The market seems to have an insatiable appetite for super nice tri-five pro-tourers. And those Chevys were not only some of the nicest cars to ever roll through our Charlotte showroom, but also some of the fastest cars to ever transition from “featured” to “sold” on our RK Motors website. In keeping with the tradition of offering enthusiasts the best of exactly what they want when they want it, we’ve found another red hot ’55 custom that’s sure to be our next quick sale. Sporting a stellar combination of classic style and modern performance this awesome coupe wraps a 375 horsepower LS1 Corvette motor, a rock solid T56 6-speed transmission and a track-ready Penske Racing rear end in a custom leather interior and a clean black exterior. If you’re one of the many enthusiasts who missed out on our last ’55 pro-tourer, here’s your chance for redemption!
The timeless look of the tri-five Chevys will never go out of style, and the most successful show cars are those which build on the universal appeal of their original design. The goal is to create a custom that’s as nice as possible without altering Chevrolet’s basic goodness. And in the case of this awesome ’55 coupe, that translated to a two year professional frame-off restoration which features superb bodywork and 100% stock sheetmetal. That sheetmetal was topped with a slick coat of black basecoat/clearcoat paint which adds a sinister twist to the car’s traditional 50s class; and as hot rodders tend to do, that paint’s finish work was carried well beyond anything the factory could have imagined. At first glance, this old-school bowtie looks like a simple black collector car that’s been well-preserved and fitted with a new set of wheels. But upon closer inspection, excellent gaps and panel fit combine with paint that is MUCH more robust than any rain beaten survivor to provide a modern dynamic which original 50s luster simply can’t touch.
In a victorious attempt to appeal to a younger audience, Chevrolet gave the ’55 Bel Air Ferrari-inspired detailing which has become some of the most beloved ‘car art’ of the past 60 years. Up front, a trademark body-width Bel Air bumper rides below a pristine stainless grille, clear parking lights and modern tri-bar headlights that are lined in traditional chrome trim. At the top of that grille, a factory fresh Chevrolet crest is centered below a new ‘jetbird’ hood ornament which looks fantastic against the car’s shiny black paint. At the back of that hood, smoked glass sits inside of new stainless windshield trim, bright stainless wipers and a trick driver’s side mirror. On the sides of the car, factory optioned front fender trim accents sharp fender lines, and straight stainless quarter spears are highlighted by bright white paint and pristine chrome “Bel Air” scripts. Behind that trim, crystal clear LED tail lights hang over small chrome Chevrolet emblems. And at the back of the car, a second body-width bumper hangs between a second pristine Chevrolet crest and great looking stainless exhaust tips.
Take a peek under this car’s smooth, rolled hood and you’ll find a stout 5.7 liter LS1 Corvette V8 which produces a solid 375 horsepower. Straight from GM, this fully-sorted package combines a sturdy aluminum block with lightweight aluminum heads, coil-near-plug ignition and aluminum flat top pistons to create razor sharp throttle response and a torque band that’s as wide as Texas. At the front of the engine a modern serpentine system, which is complete with a full set of chrome pulleys and polished brackets, spins a chrome alternator and a chrome AC compressor at the sides of a chrome air cleaner that’s equipped with a fresh re-usable filter element. Once air enters that filter, it flows through a factory LS1 throttle body into a factory LS1 intake which is bolted down over completely stock internals. High octane fossils are provided by a GM electronic fuel injection system. Sparks are sequenced through high performance MSD plug wires. Spent gases are whisked away by a slick pair of ceramic coated shorty headers. And cooling comes courtesy of a polished Griffin cross-flow radiator that’s complete with corrugated hoses, a polished overflow tank, a chrome bowtie branded cap and a large electric puller fan. Not a detail has been missed under this Bel Air’s fully finished hood. Niceties such as a chrome brake booster and master cylinder, polished hood hardware, braided hoses and trick braided dipsticks add just the right amount of flash and detail to make people stop and take notice. And the car’s glossy engine compartment combines with the LS1’s clean silver casting to provide a natural contrast which oozes performance appeal.
The ’55 Chevrolet is an extremely solid platform that is still being enjoyed to this day; and one look underneath this Bel Air shows a fully restored, 57 year old chassis that has stood the test of time exceptionally well. During the restoration, the car’s straight frame was covered in a slick coat of Charcoal Gray urethane and fitted with new stainless hardware. Above that frame, solid floors have been coated in thick black undercoating for added durability; and in the middle of that frame, a proven Borg Warner T56 6-speed transmission easily handles anything the stout small block V8 throws its way. Behind that transmission, pocketed leaf springs, Caltracs style traction bars and wide mini-tubs frame a new Penske Racing Ford nine inch nodular rear end that’s equipped with both a Penske stamp and 3.45 gears. And in front of that transmission, Charcoal Gray double A-arms frame a modern power rack and pinion steering system. The car’s handling is enhanced by a five inch drop that eschews a rough ride thanks to four fresh Monroe Sensa Trac shocks. Stops are provided by a power four wheel disc system which utilizes big Wilwood calipers to squeeze equally large rotors. Exhaust is handled by an aluminized true dual system which features two fresh turbo mufflers and two rear mounted stainless tips. Grip comes courtesy of sticky 225/45ZR17 front and 275/35ZR18 rear BF Goodrich G-Force Sport radials which rotate around slick Billet Specialties Fast Lane wheels. And everything from this double nickel’s new stainless brake lines to its Rockport stainless fuel tank is fully-sorted and exceptionally well-done.
Inside the car, traditional Bel Air style has been augmented by a high level of customization and a close attention to detail. Front and center you’ll find custom power front bucket and rear bench seats which wear a striking combination of gray leather, red accents and polished trim. Overhead there’s a pliable suede headliner that’s propped up by a traditional courtesy lamp and a chrome rearview mirror; and at the floor, upscale gray carpet rides beneath a combination of color-keyed carpet and heavy duty rubber floor mats. In front of the seats, a painted silver dash hangs pristine billet trim, a re-imagined Bel Air clock and speaker combo and satin-faced Classic Instruments gauges above controls for the car’s Vintage Air climate system and a custom, leather wrapped vent panel. At the sides of the seats, custom leather door panels look great behind custom leather armrests, bright silver toppers and a full set of Billet Specialties door hardware. And between the seats, a custom, leather wrapped console anchors a remote controlled Pioneer Premier CD player between a custom booted shifter, a padded storage compartment and stylish courtesy lights. In front of the driver, a polished and leather rimmed steering wheel spins around a chrome tilt steering column that’s complete with a full set of billet stalks. And behind the cockpit, a custom leather package tray hangs two large Alpine speakers above a hidden Alpine amplifier and a custom upholstered trunk.
Included with the sale of this cool tri-five Chevy is a California black plate and component manuals for the car’s first rate Pioneer/Alpine sound system.
If you add up all the ingredients which make this 1955 Bel Air such a unique car, the final tally is much larger than our asking price. And when you look at the quality of the work and detail of the car’s build, it becomes very apparent that someone really spent a lot of time and money making sure everything is right. There are no shortcuts, no marginal parts, and nothing that looks out of place on what is a uniformly high-quality car; and thanks to the modern small block under its hood and modern drivetrain under its floor, this Chevy is as reliable as it is handsome. Good quality and good taste never go out of style and this ’55 Bel Air is all the proof you’ll ever need!