Chevrolet Bel Air 3rd Gen Origin
The 3rd generation of the Chevrolet Bel Air was built in 1958 in order to build the shorter designs of the model car’s predecessor which was produced in 1957. Not only were the 1958 Bel Air models longer than the models from 1957, but they were also lower and a lot heavier in comparison. They also came with a new engine option which was not available in the previous model. Having an outer redesign was not the only thing that the 3rd generation had, they also had some internal modifications as well.
In 1958, Chevrolet added a halo vehicle to its Bel Air model cars for the first time which was called the Impala. The only versions that were available when they were first introduced were a convertible and hardtop coupe. Although it had the same style as the other cars in the model range, there were a few qualities that set it apart from the others.
For instance, its roofline was different, it had a unique side trim, a vent above the rear window, and broader alcoves that housed three tail lights.
It was also in this model year that Chevrolet designed two cheaper models of the Bel Air which were the Delray which was formerly called the 150, and the Biscayne which was formerly known as the 210.
Stay with me till the end and I will reveal more interesting details about this classic car
Chevrolet Bel Air 3rd Gen Overview
The 1958 Bel Air had a better design than all the other models that came before it and it had much less chrome as did the other sedans in that year. The design on the front of the car was comprised of square headlights and a broad grille and there was a fan-shaped alcove housing two tail lights on each of the side panels at the tail. Although the year 1958 was marked by recession, Chevrolet was named the No. 1 make of automobile and this was mostly due to the popularity that was gained from the Bel Air series.
Since the Bel Airs had a variety of models and body styles, any car from the model range could be bought as a luxury vehicle. Chevrolet also brought back its Nomad station wagon in 1958 after its debut when it was designated as the premium Chevrolet station wagon. All the station wagons before then came with two tail lights – each one housed in shortened alcoves on each side of the body of the car – but the 1958 version used a different dash.
Furthermore, the 1958 models used a General Motors (GM) B platform unlike the model from the previous year which used a GM A platform. They were available in five different body styles which are the 2-door sedan, 2-door hardtop, 4-door sedan, 4-door hardtop, and a 2-door convertible.
Chevrolet Bel Air 3rd Gen Engine
The 3rd generation Bel Air featured three different engines. The first is a 235.5 cu in (3.9 L) Blue Flame I6 engine which generates 145 hp. The next is a 283 cu in (4.6 L) Small-Block V8 engine and finally 348 cu in (5.7 L) Big-Block V8 which can produce between 250 to 315 hp. The cars in this model range have two different transmissions which include: a 3-speed manual transmission and a 2-speed Power glide auto. The Power glide models featured a “PRNDL” arrangement for its transmission selector to replace the former “PNDLR” arrangement.
Chevrolet Bel Air 3rd Gen Production
The 1958 Bel Air Chevys came with a “Safety Girder” cruciform frame which is the same as the layout frame that Cadillac used for its model in 1957. It was made up of a boxed front member and box-section side rails placed underneath the engine.
The company produced 491,441 units of the 4-door sedan, 256,182 units of the 2-door sedan, 170,473 units of the 4-door station wagon, and 142,592 units of the sports coupe, 83,330 sport sedans, 55,989 convertibles, and 16,590 2-door station wagons.
Chevrolet Bel Air 3rd Gen Price
I promised to give you all the specifications of the 1958 Bel Air model cars if you stay tuned to the end. Since we’re here now, I’m sure you want to know how much these cars were sold for. The cost of the Bel Air car models was between US$2,400 and US$2,900 which is equivalent to $23,347 and $28,212 in today’s market.
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