Finalist of the automotive of the 12 months: Chevrolet Bel Air 1955

It's odd to consider MotorTrend as a startup, however at first we needed to discover a answer as we went. No person had revealed dedicated to new automotive fanatics and American consumers till we arrived.

All through the '50s, we exploded by calling our automotive all 12 months. We've carried out every thing from the designation of a particular car to the mere awarding of particular person automobiles for distinctive efficiency, with the constructor having the best variety of unofficial wins. Some years now we have utterly prevented it.

We had six COTY winners within the 1950s, however none had the identical influence because the revolutionary Chevrolet lineup in 1955, together with the 150, 210 and Bel Air. He sports activities a brand new chassis and a contemporary suspension (permitting him to win the titles "Greatest Dealing with" and "Most Roadable"). It was additionally out there with a 265-cubic-inch (four.Three-liter) V-Eight and a Powerglide two-speed automated transmission. in a position to go from zero to 100 km / h in 12.Three seconds.

After which there may be the fashion. No car of the 50s is extra emblematic than the Tri-5, that’s to say the 1955, 1956 and 1957, Chevrolet. These block-shaped vehicles had flaps, wraparound windshields and a daring colour palette that may make Woman Gaga blush. Out there in seven physique types, together with the Nomad Capturing Brake (one in all our greatest automotive fashions for the 12 months), the 1955 Chevy vary has introduced Cadillac's fashion and efficiency to a powerful mass serving to Chevrolet management 44% of its "financial" fashions. markets its first two years of existence.

The Tri-5 Chevys are simply as thrilling in 2019 as they had been on the peak of the atomic age. Our tester, which was loaned to us by Tomas Vazquez, is a powerful Belve India Ivory and Pinecrest Inexperienced 1956. Powered by a 265 V-Eight of 162 horsepower paired with a two-speed automotive, it’s nearly equivalent to the '55 mannequin that helped Chevrolet win its glory, except for a revised calender and empennage.

To see a Chevrolet Bel Air in mint situation within the 21st century is unhappy to say the least; it's each anachronistic and futuristic. The Bel Air is fantastically styled and, regardless of the two-tone paint job, the chrome trim, the hood ornaments, the fins, and many others., its design stays sober. There isn’t a extra on this distinctive American exceptionalism. It’s a true masterpiece of the automotive fashion, an affidavit of what automotive designers can do if they’re allowed to place design within the foreground. Which, coincidentally, is one thing that I’m deeply conscious of after I look down on the sharp metallic decoration dangerously positioned in the midst of the bus-sized steering wheel, the place an airbag can be in a contemporary automotive , or check out the pale turquoise metal sprint.

Diving within the fuel and watching the sun-swept Californian hill unfold earlier than me frees me from the considered imminent loss of life. The engine of the Bel Air doesn’t really feel good in the present day (a vacuum drawback most likely limiting the automotive to about 15 mph (or 110 mph), however it doesn’t matter. Highly effective and remarkably good for his age, he behaves even decently, particularly when in comparison with the Cadillac '49 additionally out there.

After spending time driving and admiring the Bel Air, it's not onerous to see how he gained our hearts. The Chevy55 defines its technology, simply as it’s in the present day.

To be taught extra concerning the finalists of the year-round automotive:

1949 Cadillac Collection 62 Sedanette HERE
1972 Citroen SM HERE
1968 Pontiac GTO HERE
Mazda RX-7 1986 HERE
2013 Tesla Mannequin S HERE

The finalist of the value of the final automotive of the 12 months: 1955, Bel Air appeared for the primary time on MotorTrend.

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