Offered for sale is a highly original, one family owned 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air 4 door sedan with a mere 49k original miles and finished factory correct and wonderfully era-specific Tropical Turquoise over a Turquoise interior. Built in Baltimore, MD the Bel Air was purchased new in Washington D.C. where it spent the first two years of its life. In the summer of 1958, the Bel Air headed west on the famed Route 66 to Santa Monica, CA, traveling up and down California on the family’s extended vacation before settling into its new home of Santa Barbara, CA. Always well maintained and regularly (albeit sparingly) used, the car has been a weekend cruiser for 50 plus years, first with the original owner and then with his son. Garaged in Santa Barbara for the past nearly 60 years, the car has never been subjected to the elements and is entirely dry and rust-free, an extremely original survivor that’s ready for its next caring owner.
Powered by its original Blue Flame 140hp straight six engine, the Bel Air is as mechanically strong as it is cosmetically clean. The 235ci engine starts effortlessly, idling consistently and pulling strongly and smoothly with sewing machine precision through each of the original 3-speed column shift transmission’s gears, as well as the fully functional overdrive. Properly maintained over the course of its life, the Bel Air has received tasteful upgrades including a alternator charging system (as opposed to the original generator), electronic ignition, electric wiper motors, and a modern sound system, mounted underneath the dash (no cuts in the metal), in no way interfering with the original radio setup or speakers (a couple of additional speakers rest in the rear passenger foot wells).
Refinished once in enamel in the 1980’s, the finish and body does have it share of small imperfections (paint chips here and there, a couple of soft dents, etc.), however they only tell the story of a well-loved original example, providing a charming patina that in some ways only enhances the car’s considerable overall appeal. Never in any accidents, the body remains extremely straight, with consistent panel fits and gaps throughout and no evidence of any filler. There’s a chip in the windshield (which was filled two decades ago and hasn’t spread any further), however all of the other glass is in excellent original condition, and while the original chrome shows some typical pitting, it remains very presentable. The original wheels are wrapped in beefy Uniroyal tires with plenty of remaining tread and the car retains its original Black California license plates. The car’s interior is equally clean, the original seats, carpets and interior panels showing very little wear, the dash and steering wheel in excellent original condition.
This is an excellent opportunity to own a true American classic, a no excuses survivor with a great history. If you have been is search of a clean, low mileage, turn-key, highly original Bel Air, don’t let this charming, one family owned sedan pass you by.