Over the years GM's Chevrolet division has implemented a pretty methodical tactic of building a nameplate up, creating fierce loyalty within a certain set of buyers, and eventually phasing the model out. While that's proven to be a very beneficial practice for folks who want to build equity with classics like this incredible drop-top, it seems a bit counterintuitive. Introduced in 1950 as a youthful alternative to the well-known Styleline, the revolutionary Bel Air was decidedly cool. And, not as ostentatious as an Oldsmobile or as boorish as a Pontiac, the car spent most of its life as the poster child for quintessential Americana. This world class tri-five is an infinitely impressive classic that's primed, polished and ready to show. And if you're a discerning gearhead who's looking for a bit of premium Detroit metal, it's your ticket to good times and great thrills!
THE QUINTESSENTIAL CHEVY
Beginning Chevrolet's march up the market, the Bel Air sought a more stylish and sophisticated buyer. And when you take one look at this impressive convertible, you'll understand exactly why the marque was a colossal sales success. Mixing a tailored profile with a killer stance, this classic definitely conveys genteel aesthetics in an era of elaborate design. During an extensive rotisserie restoration that's rolled mere test miles, the car's shapely sheetmetal was meticulously worked into a tight profile that serves as a solid foundation for unbroken reflections. Those reflections are provided by a brilliant coat of red 2-stage, which was augmented with smoked glass, flashy "Fuel Injection" emblems, a custom top and a truckload of polished Bel Air trim. And today, this legendary Chevy rolls as one razor-sharp tri-five that's poised to show and raring to go!
BEL AIR Z06
Given this drop-top's aspirations of world-class performance, throwing a chrome dress-up kit on a vintage 283 simply wasn't an option. While old school small blocks are awesomely raw beasts, they tend to be more machete than scalpel. That's why the restorer decided to drop in seven liters of magnificent Corvette firepower that Chevrolet reverently branded "LS7". Twisting 501 rear-wheel horsepower into 478 lb./ft. of rear-wheel torque, the lightweight 427 rumbling between this classic's sinuous fenders is a 21st century testament to the bowtie division's enduring small block! Founded in GM's very successful C6 racing program, the brutal mill utilizes a forged crank, titanium rods and hypereutectic pistons to flat out whip pretty much anything with four wheels. At the front of the block, a polished Spectre air tube funnels a perfect amount of oxygen between a left-mount filter element and a GM-supplied throttle body. That wind mixes with fuel in a composite intake, on its way to CNC-ported cylinder heads that are finished with lightweight titanium valves. Those valves get bumped by a GM hydraulic roller cam that, thanks to quality AC Delco plug wires, helps create stout 11 to 1 compression. Immediately following combustion, spent gases roar through coated, long-tube headers. Charge comes courtesy of a polished alternator that, along with a polished AC compressor, spins a billet accessory drive. A polished PRC radiator fronts electric SPAL pullers and corrugated water tubes. And items like polished hood supports, a polished latch, a polished radiator support and a familiar Wilwood master cylinder enhance the car's custom engine bay.
ART MORRISON, HERE
At the bottom of this slick Chevy, the pro-touring theme continues with fully finished floors that are bolted to a powder-coated Art Morrison chassis. That chassis trades GM's traditional 'glide ride' suspension for a whole new setup that plants adjustable coil-over-shocks inside tubular control arms and a 4-link rear-clip. That hardware is led by power rack-and-pinion steering. The quick-spinning small block sends power to a reliable Tremec 6-speed, which twists torque to a Ford 9-inch axle. Braking is provided by bright Wilwood calipers, which clamp four and six pistons around a quartet of drilled and slotted rotors. Exhaust is handled by a series of large-diameter tubes, which center throaty Magnaflow mufflers in front of polished stainless tips. Torque meets the tarmac through custom Billet Specialties wheels, which turn 245/40ZR18 Nitto Invos in front of 295/35ZR20 Nitto Invos. And everything, from this Bel Air's braided brake lines to its stainless fuel tank, is solid, sorted and ready to roll.
THE RIGHT KIND OF CUSTOM
There's certainly no shortage of tri-fives with custom interiors, but this Chevy's cockpit is definitely a standout! It all begins with custom bucket seats that feature full power adjustment for both the driver and front passenger. In front of those seats, a body-matched dash stretches polished billet trim around direct-fit audio, Vintage Air conditioning and clean Classic Instruments telemetry. Beneath that dash, a custom, full-length console centers a billet shifter between stainless cupholders and hidden switches for the car's power windows. In front of the driver, a half-wrapped steering wheel laps a polished, tilting column. And the whole kit is trimmed in niceties like billet handles, sculpted side panels, billet foot pedals, clean Daytona carpet and bright red window frames.
You really can't ask for a cooler classic than this classy Chevy, especially when it comes to performance! Wrapping great looks and exceptional power in top notch restoration, it's the perfect car for any enthusiast who wants some world class metal that'll turn heads for years to come. So, what are you waiting for? Call your friends at RK Motors Charlotte and enjoy a heavy dose of storied Americana!