1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop - $59,900
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If you want a car to cruise and show that asks for every little in return, this Chevy deserves a closer look.

This beautiful 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop is one of those cars that was built for all the right reasons. It was the culmination of a lifelong dream, a 4-year labor of love by a guy who had a similar car when he was younger and wanted to re-create it now that he had the time and resources to do it right. Detailed restoration photo show a solid, complete ’56 Chevy being torn down to a bare shell and rebuilt from there, with the results being the gorgeous black-on-turquoise hardtop that truly stands out among all the Tri-Fives out there. There’s a smooth 350 cubic inch V8, a fun shift-it-yourself 4-speed gearbox, 4-wheel disc brakes, and the perfect stance that doesn’t erase history but gives this Bel Air a nasty attitude. If you want a car to cruise and show that asks for every little in return, this Chevy deserves a closer look.

Aside from the body and frame, there are almost zero used parts on this car. He started with a slightly scruffy but complete and solid 1956 Chevy in red and white, which was stripped to bare metal and refinished from there. The photos show no significant panel work required aside from two little patches on the quarters in the usual spots—just ahead of the wheel wells where they each received a small 6-by-6 metal patch that was welded into place and metal finished properly. The bodywork was straightened and smoothed, which is critical on any black car and especially on a ‘50s car with sweeping side trim, and they did a few small custom touches like the shaved nose, deck, and door handles. Two-stage urethane gives is a spectacular shine and the bright Twilight Turquoise accent running along the sides really makes this car pop. New chrome was used throughout, the stainless was polished to shine like new, and even the beautiful taillights—which look like custom pieces all by themselves—were fully restored. There’s no doubt this is a ’56 Chevy, but the tasteful tweaks really do more with less.

The stunning two-tone turquoise interior makes the car. The combination is just spectacular and while it follows factory patterns and colors, it transforms this car into something special. The bench seat is OEM, the dashboard is factory-issue, and even the hardware used is vintage 1956 Chevrolet. But note the little details like the stock steering wheel with a slightly smaller and fatter rim—nice! There are snug-fitting Auto Meter gauges in the original instrument panel and they look like they were born there. The same goes for the radio, which is a digital AM/FM unit that uses original knobs and buttons for a factory look. Correct carpets were installed with matching floor mats to keep everything looking its best and yes, that’s a 4-speed Hurst shifter sticking out of the transmission tunnel, a modification that completely transforms the Bel Air’s personality. Demerits are few: there’s some bubbling on the hub of the steering wheel, probably from a prep issue when it was painted, and the digital odometer’s segments are wonky so it doesn’t show up clearly (the speedometer is fully operational, no worries there). Original knobs and switches control the proper functions and everything works like it should. In back, there’s also a beautifully finished trunk with a filled tire well and custom side panels to hide the battery and wiring for a very clean look.

The hardware doesn’t break any new ground, but then again, what’s more authentic under the hood of a Bel Air than a small block Chevy V8? This is a ZZ4 crate engine with aluminum heads, a roller cam, and about 350 horsepower. It’s smooth, reliable, and plenty potent ahead of that 4-speed gearbox. Finished in Chevy Orange, it really stands out in the black engine bay, and it certainly looks right. There’s an Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor with electric choke on top, a giant aluminum radiator with electric fan to keep it cool, and a modern serpentine drive belt system for the accessories, including power steering. A few pieces of chrome and polished aluminum give it a dressed up look, and you can see that they took the time to make the wiring look neat so it doesn’t distract from the overall look. Shorty headers feed a great-sounding Flowmaster dual exhaust system with tips that fit neatly under the center of the rear bumper for a trick look.

The aforementioned Muncie 4-speed makes this Bel Air a lot of fun to drive, and it has been selectively upgraded to enhance the on-road experience. You’ll note a bulletproof Ford 9-inch rear end out back, filled with 3.55 gears on a limited slip, a custom driveshaft, and cross-drilled power disc brakes at all four corners. The floors and rockers are in excellent condition, and with careful examination you can see that the transmission tunnel was carefully modified to accommodate the Muncie’s side-mounted shifter. Everything was painted gloss black with a textured undercoating to help offer some protection, and you can see that it has never seen inclement weather. Out back there’s a new gas tank and the stance is just about perfect on those polished Billet Specialties wheels and staggered 245/40/18 front and 275/35/20 rear performance rubber.

This car has been driven very little since it was completed due to a change in circumstances. What I can tell you is that this was a labor of love that took years to complete and was built to be a forever car. That’s always the best kind of car to own, because the guy that builds a car for himself tends to take his time and get it right. The way it drives, there’s no question this car is right and even though car shows are awash with Tri-Five Chevys, we’ve quickly learned that this one seems to stand out in a big way. Call today!

Vehicle: 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop
Price: $59,900
Stock Number: 116050
Mileage: N/A
VIN: 6S013638
Engine: 350 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.55
Wheelbase: 115 inches
Wheels: Front: 18x8, Rear: 20x10
Tires: Front: 245/40/18, Rear: 275/35/20 radials
Exterior Color: Onyx Black and Twilight Turquoise
Interior Color: Turquoise Vinyl
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