MOVIE PALACES, TRAINS, CLASSIC CARS, SPORTS, DEPARTMENT STORES
1955 Chevrolet (1,803,038 cars sold in 1955, a division of General Motors)
William Durant and Louis Chevrolet founded the Chevrolet Motor Company in 1911 and it entered the General Motors fold in 1917.
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, 2-Door Hardtop ‘Making’55 Famous for Fun’
2011 Photo from the Daniel & Emily Niemeyer Collection
The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air was all-new- from-the-ground-up, with bright, youthful, crisp, Motoramic style, improved handling, and a sizzling new muscular V-8 engine. Following GM styling chief Harley Earl’s instructions, they produced an uncommonly clean, eye-catching package. It looked longer and wider because of the way the rear fenders were made and the fact that the hood was almost level with the front fenders. Hooded head lamps were also blended into the new flat top front fenders and the functional tail lamps extended out slightly from the rear fenders. Narrow white-painted inserts high-lighted the rear fender moldings. It was a spectacular achievement for General Motors—nearly 750,000 Bel Airs were sold.
Seldom had a mass produced vehicle been so completely transformed in one year. From the Ferrari-like egg crate rectangular grille to the stylish wrap around windshield, America went wild for the 1955 Chevy.
Two-toning was popular in the 50s and Chevy had two dozen combinations: including Shadow Gray & Coral, Ivory & Turquoise, and Beige & Bronze. Roof, rear deck and upper rear fenders were painted one shade and the hood and body side was painted another with chrome moldings separating the two.