East Coaster Today

🌴 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air 🌴


We keep spotting this one around town and at local show-and-shines in past years. The Chevy Bel Air, the mid-trim model between the Biscayne and the Impala, was all-new for 1959, the first year that Chevrolet started sharing body shells with lower-end Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac cars as part of a General Motors move to economize and streamline their portfolio.

Although this around-town cruiser is powered by an inline six-cylinder Blue Flame engine, the ’59 Chevrolet was available with seven V8 engine options. Seven! Ranging from a 170-horsepower 283-cubic-inch V8 to a Special Super Turbo-Thrust 350-horsepower 348 engine with triple two-barrel carburetors.

Urban legend had it that if the Chevy reached 90 mph, the back end would lift off the ground. So if you were being chased by police in their Bel Air, all you had to do was go faster than 90.

And those taillights!


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