DEFIANCE — It was 1955 when the Chevy Bel Air was fitted with a V8 engine, and earned the reputation as the “The Hot One” among car enthusiasts. The Chevrolet Bel Air was a full size car produced for the 1950 through 1975 model years. The 1955 Chevy received all new styling and power. The Bel Air came with features found on cars in the lower model ranges, plus a Ferrari-inspired grille. In 1955, the Chevy Bel Air gained a V-8 engine option with a powerglide transmission. Motor Trend magazine gave the Bel Air top marks for handling. America went crazy for the new beauty and sophistication of the Bel Air. At a base price of $1,095, the Bel Air was considered America’s first low-priced ‘hardtop coupe.’ Chevrolet quickly gained a reputation for building performance vehicles.
Kirk Pickering, of Defiance, brought his 1955 Chevy Bel Air to The Lima News’ Real Wheels Cruise-In. He has owned it for 40 years. He bought it, tore it apart, and put it back together again. He says his best memory of the car is, “all of them.”