– Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible from celebrity owner
– sought after “tri-five” Chevy
– pre-owned by Georgios Papandreou, former Greek prime minister
– subjected to a thorough overhaul in 2004, using original spare parts from the US
– since then, only driven in fair weather
– two-tone red/white paintjob and colour-keyed leather interior displaying favourably
– well-kept black convertible top
– runs on white sidewall tyres with chromed hubcaps
– straight 6-cylinder unit with 3.9 litres of capacity, said to run very smooth
– comes with historic plates and technical approval until 01/2018.
When Chevrolet started using “Bel Air” as name for a trim level in 1953, it was applied to the premium end of their lineup of full-sized cars. Over the years, this changed, and by the time the name was withdrawn in 1976, it had come to identify the entry-level model. It is the glamorous cars of the 1950s for which the Bel Air is best remembered. The second generation (“tri-five”) comprises the model years from 1955 to 1957. V8 engines became an option for the first time in a post-war Chevrolet, though in-line six-cylinder engines remained on offer for price-conscious customers across all generations of the Bel Air.
The yearly model changes had already become customary among the “Big Three” – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – so for each year, the Bel Air looked a little different: 1955 models are identifiable by their Ferrari-inspired grille. For 1956, the restyling is said to have cost the company $ 40,000,000! Among other changes, two-tone paint – with colour-keyed interior – was introduced. The model year 1957 with its bumper bullets and pointed tailfins has become iconic, so much so it is arguably the most popular, the ultimate Classic Chevy, and well-maintained cars have long become collectors’ items.