Chevrolets of the 1950s

Chevrolets of the 1950s - Tony Beedle

Chevrolets of the 1950s

A tribute book to the Chevrolets of the 1950s. Over 16 million new Chevy cars and trucks entered American streets during the 1950s. The Corvette which became legend was announced in 1953 while the 1957 Chevrolet has turned into the classic 1950s symbol. 19 noteworthy cars and trucks are examined in detail including; 1953 the Corvette, the 1957 convertible Bel Air, the 1958 Impala hardtop, and the 1959 Chevy El Camino pickup which are all presented in full color.

Starting in 1950 Chevrolet pioneered a unique style that set a blueprint for the next several decades. It was called the Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop and available only with the DeLuxe line only which was styled like a convertible although it had non-removable solid roof. Models such as this had been produced since the 1920s, which included early Chevrolets, gaining no measure of success.

However the newly reworked idea, swept the GM models from Chevrolet through Cadillac, finally discovered its era. First year production was only 76,662 while purchasers cautiously eyed the revised concept. The Bel Air cost $1,741 weighing in at 3,225 lbs. It had an independent front suspension which was called "knee-action". In 1953 Chevy renamed its entire line and the name Bel Air was given to its premium model line up. Two lower models, the 150 along with the 210, also began.

The 1953 Chevy was promoted as being "Entirely new through and through," because of the restyled front and rear body panels. However, these Chevrolets had essentially the same mechanicals and frame as the previous 1949-52 models. The Bel Air line featured a widened chrome molding from the bulge at the rear fender to the back bumper. The interior of this stripe subsequently was painted a color coordinating with the exterior color of the body color, while a "Bel Air" script was added inside the coordinated strip. Less significant models featured no model designation on the car what so ever, only having a Chevrolet crest upon the hood and rear deck. The 1953 Chevy was the first model year with a one-piece curved windshield.

Bel Air interiors featured an optional massive chrome expanse across the lower portion of the dash (most came painted), and also featured a Bel Air de luxe steering wheel complete with a chrome horn ring. Full wheel covers and carpeting rounded out the standard equipment on the Bel Air. ✓

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