Street Parked: 1962 Chevrolet BelAir

Bel Air profile
UPDATE: This car is actually a 1964 Bel Air, thanks for setting me straight everyone. That’ll teach me to not carefully check my memory!
Matte finished cars normally don’t catch my eye. Even when I do notice them, they hardly ever look good to me. This big sinister Chevrolet is different, the matte paint job really works. The car looks both elegant and frighteningly evil.

Chevrolet Bel Air at dusk
This car has been in the neighborhood for a while now, I shot it at a couple of different locations and times of day.
Bel Air rf corner
The color of this car really makes the design details jump out, and also the excellent Torque Thrust style wheels.
Bel Air rf nose
The Bel Air was the middle of the line full size Chevrolet for 1962. The Impala was the top of the line and the Biscayne was the stripped out entry model. The Impala far outsold its lesser trimmed platform-mates: 704,900 Impalas, compared to 365,000 BelAirs and 160,000 Biscaynes (1). (Update: These are 1962 figures – the 1964 figures are similar, with an additional 185,000 Impala SS sales. Yes, Chevrolet sold over a million full size cars in 1964.)

Bel Air rr tail
These cars came with a wide range of engine choices. You could have a thrifty 235.5 cubic inch (3.9 liters) inlne six with 135 horsepower or you could opt for v8s in sizes up to the monstrous 409 cubic inch (6.7 liter) range topper that made 409 horsepower when equipped with dual four barrel carburetors. Although I’ve seen this car parked in a number of different places in the neighborhood, I’ve never heard it run or met its owner. I wonder what sort of engine is in there. Probably not a 409.

Bel Air brow

Big older American sedans like this get lost in the sea of muscle cars and other drive in favorites. Personally, I like something that you don’t see every day. I love seeing a car like this getting driven and creatively modified. I’ll post an update if I notice any significant changes to it. I think enormous flames painted on the hood and flowing down the sides and onto the roof would be interesting. It would need a healthy engine to back up this look, which would be fun.

For more Street Parked goodness, visit the Street Parked index page:

(1) Thanks to Autos.Howstuffworks for the sales stats: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/chevrolet-impala5.htm

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4 thoughts on “Street Parked: 1962 Chevrolet BelAir

    • Hey cool! Awesome that it has a 409. I’d love to check it out sometime. I’m booked solid for the next couple of weeks (racing, racing out of town, the day job). I’ll shoot you some mail later on and maybe we can do a “real” photo shoot and review. It’s a very cool car.
      Thanks for reading!

    • Thanks! Yeah, I’m wrong on the year. That’ll teach me to write and publish while I’m super tired. I’ll update the article to note the correct year.

      It is a neat car, isn’t it.

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