One of the advantages of the Tri-Five Chevys like this drop-dead gorgeous 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Restomod hardtop is that the engine bay is big enough to handle pretty much anything you can imagine. This beauty, for example, carries a hulking 427 LS7 V8 big block, a 4L70E 6-speed automatic transmission, and an upgraded Art Morrison chassis and performance suspension – making it more of a modern muscle car than just your usual good-looking Tri-5 cruiser. Finished just under 7,000 miles ago and built to the 9's, this upgraded hardtop is a bargain even at this price once you consider the entire scope of the top-end build, meaning you better read quickly or risk missing your shot at an absolute stunner.
But before we get into the big block and all the matching hardcore hardware, let's talk about the gorgeous PPG Black paint job. Finished a mere 6,914 miles ago, this top-of-the-line 2-door hardtop was restored to be an attention-grabber first and foremost, and the builders (the pros at Thunder Valley in White, GA built this beauty) have succeeded brilliantly across the board. Starting with a hardtop was the right choice of course, and by the looks of the laser-straight metal underneath, this Bel Air has always been an impeccably cared-for car. The colors aren't original to this particular vehicle but certainly period-correct and use modern urethane PPG paints that provide a shine unmatched by original enamels, with a deep, lustrous shine that simply pops under our studio lights. Despite the upgraded materials used on the paint job, the finish still looks quite appropriate on the vintage sheetmetal, and with hardly any imperfections to speak of, short of a couple very minor ones that you almost have to strain to notice, this top driver-quality presentation would likely be considered 'show' by most contemporary standards. Great gaps, sharp, laser-straight panel alignment, and a miles deep luster – the curb appeal is simply through the roof and it's difficult to argue with the final result. There's considerable chrome and trim on any '50s car, but none better than the shiny livery found on the Bel Air, and it's all been professionally restored/refinished to match the quality of the paint. The shiny stuff includes all that iconic Bel Air profile trim, the stainless around the crystal-clear glass, and the bold chrome bumpers fore and aft, all of which are matched by the near-blinding bling from the front grille, hood ornament, and correct badging found throughout the body.
Given the extensive upgrade to the entire car, the interior is also remarkably well-integrated and restored using modern materials with an aim toward maintaining the overall stock Tri-5 look albeit with a contemporary flair. Fresh red leather upholstery on the aftermarket front buckets and rear bench perfectly complements the exterior and is in fantastic condition, as are the matching red carpets below, the ornate door panels at the flanks, and a taut headliner with chrome slats above that all work together to give the cabin an upgraded yet factory look. On the other hand, the polished Ididit tilt column, red leather-wrapped Classic Industries steering wheel, and bespoke center console are all strictly modern pieces that have been integrated seamlessly into the design of the interior. There's also a modern shifter inside the console that manages the 4L70E automatic below, Vintage Air A/C, cup holders, and a Kenwood multi-media that handles the entertainment. A complete set of Classic Industries gauges were swapped inside the original cluster ahead of the driver, and they keep a close eye on the upgraded block without the need for extra auxiliary units carved into the dash. With so few miles on the build, it's as nice as you'd expect inside, with nary a sign of use on all the high-traffic areas, including the custom finished trunk.
Thanks to a smoothed and finished firewall, the LS7 427 V8 under the hood fits just fine in the original '55 engine bay. Reportedly a crate motor, the massive 7.0L engine powers this Bel Air with great ease, aided by electronic fuel injection, a dry-sump oil system, and a Corvette oil pan that all feed it. The list of upgrades is extensive, including an Autorad aluminum radiator with dual electric fans, chrome accessories with a serpentine belt drive, and braided stainless hoses for the HVAC and fuel systems. There's Chevy Red on the block itself, but it too has been punctuated with custom valve covers, a matching engine cover, and a big chrome cold-air intake system with a cone filter, and it all pops out from the shiny black inner fenders and firewall. Looks super-clean, doesn't it? Underneath the upgrades continue with Strange Engineering coilovers all around, tubular control arms up front, sway bars fore and aft, an Art Morrison Mustang II front end with DSE power rack-and-pinion steering, a 4-link set-up out back, and CPP power 4-wheel power disc brakes. Ceramic-coated long-tube headers are like modern sculptures all by themselves, and they feed into the killer-sounding, throaty MagnaFlow dual exhaust system below. The undercarriage was finished to show off, with an Art Morrison GT-55 square tube chassis and painted components throughout, so if you're showing this beauty be sure to bring the mirrors. The 4L70E 6-speed automatic transmission with a 2500 stall convertor means that the rather stout 4.11 gears in the Moser Truetrac rear end can do their thing without the engine getting too busy on the highway. Staggered American Racing Torque Thrust wheels complete the vintage hot rod look and wear off-set 245/40/18 front and 295/45/18 rear Nitto radials.
Big power, a pro-touring suspension, a slick-shifting modern transmission, and agile handling all sound like modern muscle car, but the look still says "1955" all over again. Truly the best of both worlds, this Bel Air is a no-compromises stunner. Call today!