Most of these cars look so bad that it’s immediately clear getting them back in shape would require a lot of effort, time, and money. Yet one quick look at the example we have here could make one believe finding, buying, and reworking one might just be worth all that.
We found this Bel Air, born in the last year of the second generation, over at Barrett-Jackson, which will try and sell it next January in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s not a barn find per se, quite the opposite in fact, but it only goes to show the potential of any Bel Air out there, provided enough care and resources are poured into it.
This particular car has been in possession of the same family for the past 45 years, and it too got degraded by the passage of time. The difference is the owners cared enough for it to have it restored and upgraded at the hands of Texas-based Chucci’s Rod & Custom, with work having completed no more than a little over 2,000 miles (3,200 km) ago.
The exterior look of the ride has been kept in terms of overall shape as close to the original as possible and wrapped in Root Beer paint with the customary bits of white here and there. To top it all off, the builders fitted Billet Specialties wheels sized 16 inches front and 17 inches back.
The body of the Bel Air hides a leather interior in Root Beer, tan, and cream, sporting Cadillac Eldorado 6-way adjustable electric seats and Dakota Digital gauges.
Clearly more than its former self, the Chevy has been modernized inside with the addition of an iPod-ready Eclipse stereo system backed by a custom sound box in the truck – it comprises two amplifiers, Focal Access 6.5 Comp Set speakers and 8-inch L5 SQ Dual speakers.
Big changes, perhaps the most important ones, have to do with the mechanical bits of the car. Pop the hood and you’ll find an LT1 5.7-liter V8 engine (power is unspecified ) worked through a 4-speed automatic transmission. Remove the body panels, and you’ll see McCarthy 2-inch drop spindles, Hotchkis Sport suspension sway bars on both ends, and power disc brakes on all corners.
We’re told this particular Bel Air was the recipient of a number of awards during its life, the most recent in 2017. Barrett-Jackson has it listed as going with no reserve, but complete with “detailed receipts on both parts and labor.”