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By 1953, Chevrolet had actually redesigned its lineup entirely, and streamlined its sedans to three designs: a base-level 150; mid-trim 210; and the high-grade 240 Bel Air. The Bel Air was a four-model line and was hugely effective given that it cost only a little bit more than the base and mid-level trims.

From 1950 through 1954, all Chevrolets, including the Bel Air, boasted a straight six under the hood. But it was the intro of the famed small-block V-8 in addition to the classically styled 1955 Chevys that made the next three years classics. Offered as 2- and four-door sedans, coupe and convertible, wagon and even a two-door wagon called the Nomad, these "shoebox Chevys" were extremely successful.

That '57 Chevy boasted bigger and uniquely styled tailfins, a distinct grille, and an available fuel-injected V-8 engine. The lightweight and fairly compact size of the mid-50s Chevys made them favorites among lovers, and are amongst the most desired models by collectors. The 1958 design year boasted big changes for the Chevy lineup, literally, as the vehicles acquired size and weight.

Chevy likewise dropped the mathematical classifications, with the Del Ray at the bottom, Biscayne in the center and Bel Air slotted right listed below the Impala. A substantial restyle in 1959 cast the Bel Air a little further down as the Impala acquired in stature and body styles. This was the pattern for the next several years, with the only standout Bel Air the 1962 Sport Coupe, which included a 409 cu.-in.

By the third generation introduced in 1966, the Biscayne was at the bottom and the Bel Air in the middle, and in 1969 it became sedan and wagon only when the two-door was dropped. When Chevy upgraded its huge sedans in 1971 the Bel Air was at the bottom called, and the name was dropped altogether when Chevy decided to call all of its huge sedans Impala in 1976.

Metal Glass (Material) Chromium Vinyl Fabric Rubber (Material) Salmon (Color) Gray (Color) Black (Color) 3 in (Stroke) 3.75 in (Bore) 60.5 in 74 in 115 in 195.6 in 3165 pounds Rear side panels: Bel Air On front dash, passenger side: Bel Air Make & Model: 1955 Chevrolet hardtop Maker: General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Michigan Engine: V-8, overhead valves, 265 cubic inches Transmission: 3-speed manual Height: 60.5 inches Wheelbase: 115 inches Width: 74 inches Overall length: 195.5 inches Weight: 3165 pounds Horsepower: 162 at 4400 revolutions per minute Pounds per horse power: 19.5 Cost: $2,166 Typical 1955 wage: $4,128 annually Time you 'd work to buy this vehicle: about 6 months.

I have a sensation that this will be one of the more controversial Meh Vehicle Mondays I've done, but I think it's one that needs to take place. Unusually for Meh Car Monday, I'm going to be concentrating on a car with not simply a significant following, however one that is probably a real vehicle icon.

It's the 1955-1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. Everyone, everyone, calm down! I can hear you. You're mad. You're certain that all of those posters with Bel Airs in front of 1950s restaurants just can't be lying to uswe have laws to prevent that sort of thing, do not we?Is it even legal to make shirts covered in meh cars and trucks? It can't be right? All those old automobile collectors can't be wrong? Can they?Of course they can.

It's bad. It's just sort of ... there. And I preserve, in the context of mid-to-late 1950s American cars, the Chevrolet Bel Air was actually just a meh car. Sure, the Bel Air managed to do something unheard of in mehcardom, which's to in some way defy its fundamental mehness to end up being something more.

All of its primary style characteristics were things other vehicles had too, and were middle-of-the-road examples of them. It had a huge, eggcrate grille (complete width by 1956), huge chrome bumpers, two-tone paint, modest tailfins, and all the heavy chrome fashion jewelry of the period. There's nothing actually striking or standout about its style, and as such it's often near to the unclear picture of what individuals envision when they hear "1950s vehicle," usually in turquoise-and-white.

Sure, a small number got engines with an early fuel-injection system, and the power numbers on some of the V8 options were respectable, everything was played very, really safe and no engineering dangers or innovations were taken. It was, really, simply fine. Commercials of the age were hyperbolic as all '50s ads were, like this one where a guy's ghost is shouted at about the "sassy" efficiency and the "traditional beauty" of the '57 Chevy, together with the pledge of "genuine chrome:" These Chevys from the era were definitely on par with the lower-end offerings from the other huge American carmakers, Ford or Chrysler or Nash or any of them, but it's perplexing regarding why and how these Chevys in some way got their iconic status and not, say, a 1955-1957 Ford or Nash.

The availability and ubiquity of Bel Airs made them simple to bring back and keep going, and communities of owners grew, and on and on, which just produced a self-reliant feedback loop. These Bel Airs were decent, if typically unremarkable American cars and trucks of the 1950s, however they were a great worth and did their task well.

Bel Airs at a car show today have become clichs; can anyone remember the last time they were really delighted to see a brought back Bel Air? Sure, the two-door wagons are cool, and any well-preserved vehicle from that long ago has some interest, however it states a lot when a classic automobile generates a yawn.

Perhaps this truly isn't the vehicle's fault itself, it's due to the fact that of a particular laziness of human nature. Something works, it's unchallenging but enticing, so, what's the damage in doing it once again? And again, and once again, and again. There's other renowned automobiles with huge followings that appear over and over again, obviously, like Mustangs or Corvettes, or air-cooled Volkswagens, but I think those cars and trucks, and even other cars with considerable followings, all have a little more happening with them to justify their escaping the meh trap due to large exposure that the Bel Air simply never ever had, ever.

But the Bel Air has actually in some way managed to go even beyond something that's just a terrific starter timeless and has fallen off into an abyss of loaded with self-important custom, obviousness, those, and, let's face it, dullness. The Bel Air was good cars and truck, traditional and perhaps relatively unimaginative, but driven down the dull meh blandway to the car park of Meh's Restaurant, appearing like a shining chrome suppository sprinkled with neon, by the proficient however incurious hands of so lots of Bel Air-smitten people, each doing the very same thing to the exact same vehicles, and revealing them in the very same way, frequently at the very same time, in the exact same location.