427 Tri-Power: 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Street Machine

August 10, 2022 Update – The high bid did not meet the seller’s reserve price, so we’ve moved this auction to our “Rides Still Available” Page. If you are serious about buying this ride, you can click the blue “Buy Now” button below to navigate to the bidding page where you can agree to pay the “Buy Now” price, OR you can make a realistic offer in the Bid Now Box.

Guys With Rides is proud to offer Lot 142, a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop featuring a Tri-Power Topped ’69 Corvette 427 cubic inch Big Block, in an online, reserve-style auction format on behalf of the private seller.

Bidding opened Wednesday, July 27, 2022, and will continue for fourteen (14) consecutive days ending at 3:00 PM Eastern on Wednesday, August 10, 2022.

This 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air street machine is currently part of a collection located near Woodbridge, New Jersey, less than one hour’s drive from Newark International Airport.

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Current Bid: $25,100

Chevrolet launched the redesigned full-size car line-up for the 1955 model year. The top trim model was the Bel Air on both two- and four-door hardtop models.  Labeled the “Hot One” in GM’s advertising campaign, Bel Airs came with features found on cars in the lower models ranges, plus interior carpet, chrome headliner bands on hardtops, chrome spears on front fenders, stainless steel window moldings, full wheel covers, and a Ferrari-inspired front grille. For 1955 Chevrolets gained the new 265 cubic inch overhead valve V8.

The 1955 Bel Air Hardtop featured here started life as a V8-equipped California car before receiving a thorough frame-off restoration. However, rather than keep it stock, the restorer elected to go the street machine route by stuffing a Tri-Power-Topped, 435 horsepower, 427 cubic inch big block V8 sourced from a 1969 Corvette.  The engine reportedly was rebuilt and balanced during the restoration. Features include an L-88 Corvette cam, Eagle rods, forged pistons, and a roller timing chain. The block was honed, surfaced, and bored to 433 cubic inches. The Edelbrock aluminum heads were completely reworked, ported, and polished.  The triple carburetors are all dialed in and functional and feature a choke and a triangular Corvette-style air cleaner. The engine receives spark from an MSD ignition system. A polished, oversized BeCool aluminum radiator with an overflow bottle and twin electric fans ensures this big block stays cool.  Long tube headers connect to a Flowmaster exhaust system equipped with a crossover pipe.

Handling the big block’s power is a TPI 700R-4 overdrive automatic transmission featuring a 2,500 RPM stall speed torque convertor.  A nice touch is the transmission cooler equipped with an electric fan that is mounted underneath the driver’s side floor.  A custom Denny’s driveshaft with solid universal u-joints leads back to a Moser Posi-equipped 4.11 rear end featuring 35 spline axles and a Detroit Locker unit.  The rear suspension features two-inch dropped springs and tubular control arms. There is also a remote battery shut-off switch.

The exterior appears very straight with a beautifully applied shade called “Hot Red.” which features a recent ceramic coating application that really makes the paint pop in the sunlight.  Exterior features include one piece California bumpers, rocker trim, fender shields, door handle guards, blue dot taillights, and a 3rd brake light incorporated into the trunk emblem. Setting off the look is a set of classic 15″ Cragar SS chrome rims shod with B.F. Goodrich radial T/As.

Inside, the builder/restorer fitted custom molded door panels in a gray tweed fabric that matches the seats and headliner supported by Bel Air chrome ribs. The dash is painted a mirror finish black with all-new Billet trim that also benefits from a recent ceramic coating. Modern white background gauges and a column-mounted tachometer keep the driver well informed. There’s a retro stereo with kick panel speakers, rear deck speakers, and a CD changer in the trunk.  While the interior is very comfortable, the seller is quick to point out that his Bel Air currently does not offer either heat or air conditioning.

The inside of the trunk has upholstered side panels. The floor is custom carpeted and insulated. There is a full-size spare, aluminum battery, and a very soft custom-fit car cover will be included as part of the sale.

To help you make informed bids, we’re providing you with access to Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the Classic Car market, that provides an interactive graph of recent comparable sales year-to-date. By clicking on the green dots, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you make an educated bid on the car we are featuring for auction here:

Exterior Gallery

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Interior Gallery

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Underhood And Undercarriage Gallery

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Tires And Wheels Gallery

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Windows And Mirrors Gallery

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If you have any questions about this vintage 1955 Bel Air Street Machine, please leave a comment below or feel free to call Rudy directly at 877-468-6497.

13 Comments
  1. D.G.

    Do you have pictures of the under carriage? Please provide pictures of inner fenders, rear quarter panels, inner front structure, and inner trunk section to validate for crash damage, rust, patch panels, or poor quality metal work.

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      In addition to the walk-around video, we just added about one dozen more pictures of the undercarriage and suspension build.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Can you describe and explain the damage to the the rocker panel near the tranny cooler? Surprised it was not fixed based on rest of build as well as pinch weld damage (easy to repair/weld prior to paint) ?

    Why weren’t the body mounts replaced during restoration (cracked, compressed, and failing) ? Cheap part and easy to do, makes me wonder if there were other short cuts taken???

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      For someone who does not appear to plan to bid on this car, you sure seem to be on a path to want to insinuate the car is not of great quality. We agree the spot welds on the driver’s side rocker panel perhaps could be better, but the fact there is no Bondo in that area speaks to the quality of this build. As far as the rubber body mounts, you clearly are unaware that when compressed and exposed to dry climates, even new bushings can crack when severely compressed after a few years. The bushings on this car are at least five years old. The fact that the lower part of the body mount (the less compressed section) is still solid indicates that the body mounts were likely replaced during the restoration. I think we’ve done a thorough job documenting the quality of this frame-off restored street machine through our pictures and video, so if you think “other shortcuts were taken,” that’s your opinion and not evidence-based.

      Reply
      • Anon

        Hi there, although unfortunately, I cannot afford this car. I completely agree here with the original statement. This is a beautiful vehicle. Why the need to completely act like this car is some rust bucket? As for any car on this site or others, why come if you’re not planning to purchase, bid or just enjoy looking like me?

        Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Any exterior pictures prior to paint?

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Sorry, no pictures during the build are available.

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I have replaced body mounts myself before and completed restoration and they DO not and WILL not look like that after 5 years. All should bid based on market value and picture proof. Anyone of quality doing a “frame off” restoration would have replaced the body mounts and fixed the rocker panel damage that is present in the pictures. Agreed the pinch welds could be looked over. The comment section, as molded off another online auction house, is designed to allow fellow experts to provide insight to buyers.

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      The comment section on GuysWithRides is designed specifically for potential bidders to ask fact-based questions we will try to answer as transparently as possible, as well as for enthusiasts who may have actual first-hand, in-person knowledge of the car. While you are within your right to point out flaws in the pictures and videos provided, making the leap to say, “I wonder what other shortcuts were taken.” is not fact-based; it’s simply hearsay. Unlike the other websites you mention, if I cannot inspect the car myself, I send out a service to validate the quality of a ride and it’s potential flaws. My reputation is on the line with every ride we post, so I make it my business to be as transparent as possible about each car. This is one of the finest Tri-Five Street Machine builds I’ve come across, and was equally impressed when I cruised with the owner in it.

      Reply
  5. DG

    ‘No bondo’ was stated, how was this verified?

    Is it a single stage paint, two stage, or two stage and color sanded (to remove ‘orange peel’ in clear coat)?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      To clarify, the statement “No Bondo” refers to the earlier question about the rocker panels only. As for the rest of the car, based on our inspection, the use of Bondo elsewhere on the car appears to be very sparse as the panels are very straight. This car spent much of its life in California before its build. We believe the paint is two-stage, color sanded. The seller recently had the exterior and the dashboard ceramic coated.

      Reply
  6. Danny

    Can I talk to the owner about the history of the car? I am the high bidder

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      I will reach out to the seller to have him call you.

      Reply

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