Although there are collectors of many vintage cars, from the earliest models onwards, the 1950s stands out as the most popular car era. Many cars from that era remain popular with collectors more than fifty years later, but perhaps none as much as the 1955 Chevy Bel Air, one of the most iconic cars of an era. In fact, many collectors – and even others who grew up during this era – consider the '55 Chevy to be the car that defines the era.
When the 1955 Chevy was made, people were fixing up cars from a generation ago, such as the Model T, as a hot rod or track car. To compete with these improved retro cars, the major car companies had to come up with equally impressive automobiles. Thus, the 1955 Chevy was born.
Though technically the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, today this iconic vehicle is often referred to simply as the '55 Chevy. The most popular vehicle by Chevrolet at that time, today it is still the most sought after Chevy car for car collectors. While many of the Chevy Bel Air model years remain popular with collectors, the 1955 model was by far the most popular of this line.
The 1955 version was, perhaps surprisingly, not the first model year of the Bel Air. Often, it is the first year's model that becomes remembered by a generation, but this is not the case with this vehicle. In fact, the Bel Air was first produced by Chevrolet in 1950. This earlier version has a much smaller following today, and did not sell as many models even when it was new.
The 1955 Chevy Bel Air represents the first model year of a redesigned second generation of the line. It introduced many features that would become popular in cars from the 1950’s. One of the things that the 1955 Chevy Bel Air is known for is introducing fins to cars.
Such design innovations would continue in the Bel Air line well into the third and fourth generation models. In fact, this car was so popular that it was still sold in the United States until 1975, and in Canada through the beginning of the 1980s. There is no doubt that its longstanding popularity is thanks in great part to the second generation, 1955 Chevy.
Today, the 1955 Chevy is favored among many who grew up in this era and are looking for a sense of nostalgia. Many people also think that cars were made better back in the day, and in some ways, this is true. Many old cars, including the '55 Chevy, were bigger and had bigger engines, which is one reason people like them. Aesthetically, cars from the 1950s are visually distinctive, making them favored by collectors looking for something that stands out. The 1955 Chevy Bel Air certainly fits that bill.