Grandma didn’t drive her new 1955 Sport Coupe Bel Air to church on Sundays, because the church was only 2 blocks away. She walked.
38146 is all the miles on this car. (Driven a few miles since the odometer photo.)
Grandma didn’t allow us to have sodas or other drinks in the car, even when she drove us to McDonald’s.
Grandma said she bought the 1955 Sport Coupe Bel Air because she weighed only 110lbs and wanted power steering and power brakes. She also said she liked the unique paint (Shoreline Beige in the front and Gypsy Red in the rear, instead of the other way around), which she said the dealer special-ordered for his wife (who also wanted power steering and power brakes). The dealer’s wife drove it with a dealer plate for a few hundred miles before Grandma bought the Sport Coupe.
Authentic defines my Grandma’s (mine since 2001) 1955 Sport Coupe Bel Air. Authentically restored (not a resto-mod, see photos of 2020 restoration invoices) following continuous non-driving and garaging from 1983 until 2002. (In 1983 my brother stole the battery from it for his car, and I convinced mom to park the Sport Coupe, save insurance payments and protect it.)
The Sport Coupe stayed parked and garaged until 2002, when I had some basic work done (including new exhaust and brakes). I got authentic Texas 1955 antique plates (not visible in photos) and drove it for a few hundred miles until the transmission seal leaked in late 2003. Then I parked it until 2019 when I took it to Jerry Dixon Auto, the Tri-5 Chevy specialist since 1974 in Austin.
In early 2020 they did the necessary (and extensive) mechanical restoration.
That restoration summary in 2020 is the:
--265 v-8 engine was rebuilt.
--Powerglide transmission was rebuilt. (Even though the transmission worked when parked in 2003, I was told transmissions in all makes and models used to be rebuilt at about 40,000 miles, so I agreed to the work.)
--power steering cylinder rebuilt.
--power brake cylinder rebuilt.
--brakes and lines rebuilt.
--bushings and shocks replaced.
--gas tank replaced.
--points and condenser were replaced with an electronic ignition inside of a distributor housing that looks like 1955. (I was told I really needed to do this.)
--1956 GM introduction of an oil filter assembly was added at the top passenger side of the engine. (I was told this cost – in 1956 - $400! Which is why Grandma never added it. This part was acquired used by Jerry Dixon Auto to preserve authenticity.)
--new white-wall, bias-ply tires installed.
--rims-only repainted Shoreline Beige.
What wasn’t done was to get behind/inside the dash to check the electrical of the clock, AM radio (the dial still moves by knob and buttons) or heater/blower. These don’t work.
Authentic also defines the predictable imperfections of a 1955-era automobile:
--door and windows seals showing their age
--carpet with pre-1983 (non-soda) marks and driver-side wear
--upholstery that has dulled in places (but remains un-torn)
--some rust on the rear side of the rear-wheel wells
--chrome gleaming and sparkling in great swathes, yet with a couple of true blemishes
Why this price listing?
Other lower-priced 1955 Bel Airs either are resto-mods, junkyard complete rebuilds, non-Sport Coupes, pieced/parted-together from multiple vehicles, or just don’t have this authenticity.
A higher-price would require:
--keeping the frame ON, sanding/scraping/grinding to bare metal and re-painting ($10-$15K)
--re-wiring the clock, AM radio and heater/blower
--cleaning the pre-1983, non-soda carpet blemishes
The highest price (think Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas) would require frame OFF. But why when it’s so AUTHENTIC?
Of course I love talking about this car, so contact me by email. BTW, in June, 2023 I paid for a thorough inspection and test-drive by LemonSquad, so you don’t have pay for that pre-purchase.
|Listed Price||$58,000|| |
Excluding price changes of less than $100.