Power Pack: 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible – $75,000

by | Apr 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Topless Thursday

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Throughout automotive history, car enthusiasts recognize that most automakers experienced milestone years.  These were model years where either innovation and/or styling really stood out. Milestone year cars have proven to maintain their value as classic cars.  Chevrolet experienced many milestone years in its history, however 1955 stand out as one of the most significant.  Not only was Chevrolet’s new-for-1955 Bel Air a styling success, but the car featured Chevrolet’s new small block V8, a motor that would become an icon of American ingenuity.

For 1955, Chevrolet’s first version of its iconic small block V8 displaced 265 cubic inches and could be ordered in one of two versions.  The first was the 162 horsepower “Turbo-Fire” version topped with a two-barrel carburetor and a mild 8.0:1 compression ratio.  The second was the 180 horsepower “Super Turbo Fire” version made possible through the use of a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust. Chevy enthusiasts often refer to the Super Turbo Fire engine as the “Power Pack” option.

In addition to great styling and the new V8 engine, the 1955 Chevrolet line featured an all-new chassis with improved handling compared to its contemporaries.  This combination helped the entire Chevrolet full-size line of 150, 210, and Bel Air models win Motortrend’s coveted Car of the Year® award that year. From that period forward, the 1955 Chevrolet continued to be a favorite among preservationists and hot rodders alike.  Not surprisingly, the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air remains a “Blue Chip” collectible car that appears to be holding its value even as many other 1950s cars show signs of price softness as their most ardent enthusiasts age out of the hobby.

A prime example is this Regal Turquoise over India Ivory 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible For Sale, first spotted on Craigslist in Los Angeles, California in April 2024. Like many “Tri-Five” (1955-1957) Chevrolets, this example received a frame-off professional restoration in 1991.  Despite having a restoration that’s now 33 years old, this 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air for sale remains well preserved. as a result, its market value remains constant as well. The seller notes they have an appraisal of the car from 2012 that valued it at $75,000.

$75,000 happens to be what the seller’s current asking price.  Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is at the low end of guide’s six-month results for all Tri-Five Bel Airs in all body styles. Unfortunately Classic.com insists on lumping both stock restored and highly modified Tri-Five examples in the same data pool.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $64,000 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $90,000 before making adjustments for powertrain and other options.

The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible with the Power Pak option stands as an iconic symbol of automotive design and engineering prowess from the mid-20th century. At its heart lies a robust powertrain system that epitomized performance and innovation for its time.

Under the sleek hood of the Bel Air Convertible, enthusiasts would find a potent V8 engine meticulously crafted for power and efficiency. The Power Pak option typically featured Chevrolet’s renowned small-block V8 engine, boasting a displacement of 265 cubic inches (4.3 liters). This engine was a marvel of engineering, featuring overhead valves and a high compression ratio, delivering a healthy output of around 162 horsepower and 257 lb-ft of torque. Such figures endowed the Bel Air with spirited acceleration and ample low-end grunt, making it a joy to drive both leisurely through city streets and aggressively on the open road.

Complementing the robust engine was a choice of transmission options, including the smooth-shifting 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission or the engaging 3-speed manual gearbox. This flexibility allowed drivers to tailor their driving experience to their preferences, whether it be relaxed cruising or spirited performance driving.

The Bel Air Convertible’s chassis was engineered for a harmonious balance of comfort and handling prowess. Its sturdy body-on-frame construction provided a solid foundation, while the independent front suspension and leaf-spring rear setup delivered a smooth ride and confident handling characteristics. Steering was responsive and precise, aided by the optional power steering system available with the Power Pak package, enhancing maneuverability and ease of driving, especially at lower speeds and during parking maneuvers.

Visually, the Bel Air Convertible was a striking sight to behold, with its iconic chrome accents, sweeping lines, and distinctive two-tone paint schemes. The convertible top added a touch of elegance and offered open-air motoring at the push of a button, further enhancing the driving experience.

In essence, the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible equipped with the Power Pak option epitomized the golden era of American automotive design, blending style, performance, and innovation into a timeless classic that continues to captivate enthusiasts to this day.

The Adclassix YouTube Channel features this 1955 Chevrolet TV commercial featuring the then-new Bel Air Sports Coupe (Hardtop) and convertible:

Based on the pictures and with only three thousand miles since the completion of its frame-off restoration in 1991, this Aqua 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible for sale appears to be holding up very well. we say that in terms of both the car’s condition and it’s value as the Tri-Five Chevys continue to hold their value well. Not only does this Bel Air convertible feature a desirable Aqua and white two-tone color combination, but it also features the desirable Power Pak on the car’s small block V8.

If you are serious about buying this Bel Air convertible, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their restored Tri-Five Chevy featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1955 Chevrolet bel air Convertible full frame off restoration in 1991 by AMUNSON AUTO RESTORATION with full documentation. Book on the full restoration with photos, of the body, frame, drivetrain, interior original colors blue and white…. less than 3000 miles on restoration, new tires, brakes. Power pack , power steering, power brakes, fender skirts … car in excellent condition comprehensive appraisal in 2012 for 75,000 in writing… must see in person too much to list …land line so no text no email call if interested

Show or go: What would you do with this restored aqua 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible for sale? Please comment below and let us know!

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