Classic Tuesdays – 1955 Chevrolet 210 Sedan
Mention the words “1955 Chevy” and visions of the ubiquitous Bel Air come to mind. But behind the flash and glitter of the popular Bel Air is the Chevrolet 210, the more down-to-earth starting point for one of the most popular vehicles among classic car lovers and collectors alike.
1955 Chevrolet 210 Sedan – All-American in Every Way
Introduced in 1953, the 210 series was Chevy’s affordable mainstream offering with a wide variety of body styles, including a modest two-door and four-door sedan. The 1955 model underwent a drastic restyling, swapping the ‘54’s slightly long-in-the-tooth styling for more youthful curves and a brash, energetic front grille and headlamp arrangement. The beltline dip in the rear quarter door panel plus the new wraparound windshield added a playful touch to an otherwise extraordinary design.
Even when compared to the Bel Air with its unique, upscale odds-and-ends, the Chevy 210 managed not to look as plain and dowdy as one would expect. The overall design of the time was tasteful yet surprisingly restrained, considering how cars of the late 1950s were heavily decorated with chrome accenting.
Underneath that handsome exterior, the 1955 model year represented plenty of important changes for the 210. For starters, this year signaled the arrival of genuine V8 power. Buyers could option their 210 sedan with the 265-cubic-inch (4.3-liter) Turbo-Fire V8, the first eight-cylinder overhead valve engine ever for Chevy. Buyers could also choose between a three-speed manual transmission (with or without overdrive) or opt for a two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission.
The 1955 Bel Air may be the hot ticket for many collectors, but the 210 sedan also has its own appeal. Many collectors appreciate the inherent beauty in a basic sedan in its original form.
On the other hand, there have been plenty of 210 sedans that have been remade into Bel Airs – it only takes a few well-placed trim pieces to make a fairly convincing reproduction. It’s something that also makes the Chevy 210 sedan an unusual sight at many auto shows.