Chevrolet Bel Air Custom Convertible

Mr. Robson acquired this stunning ’55 Bel Air Convertible from its original owner who lived in California. An original black three-speed convertible, complete with its original body panels, it was in superb, factory-correct condition and was equipped with a 265 V-8 with the Power Pak (four-barrel carb and dual exhaust). Mr. Robson elected to completely rebuild the car, stripping it down to bare metal and reviving it as a fully equipped custom, complete with a rare ZZ 430 crate motor (number 268 of the 430 built) mated to a Tremec five-speed transmission.

Joe Steinmetz conducted the design and build of the car in only four months in preparation for the Hot Rod Power Tour in 2004. Shortly thereafter, the car was taken to the Goodguys Nationals, where it was honored as the “Pro’s Pick” and presented with a Boyd Coddington trophy. Although the offer was declined, the car was even chosen from hundreds of competitors to appear in a ZZ Top music video.

Although the ZZ 430 comes as a carbureted engine, Joe fitted it with fuel injection, and it is reported to run and drive beautifully, having completed the entire Power Tour without any issues. It is estimated that the entire build cost about $150,000, of which the engine and all the associated work under the hood alone amounted to over $30,000.

The exterior is stock in most respects, but several chrome accents have been removed. The car has an aggressive stance with Torq Thrust II wheels by American Racing, and the interior is upholstered in black leather to match the exterior. The list of interior and exterior features is endless but includes four-wheel disc brakes, a Currie nine-inch rear end, power steering, Mercedes Haartz cloth top, custom bucket seats and a custom dash and gauges.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in November of 2010 at the Robson Estate, Gainesville, Georgia.

430 hp, ZZ 430 V-8 engine with fuel injection, Tremec five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 115"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: CopyrightDarin Schnabel

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