Bel Air ’56

Recently I featured a detail shot from the front of a rough 1957 Chevy Bel Air, an icon of American motoring. Today the feature is on the tail end of the 1956 Bel Air in much better shape.

The 1956 edition of Chevrolet cars is sometimes overlooked – classic ‘middle child’ syndrome. The 1955 was a complete departure from previous Chevs. The 1957 was more ornate in design, and many argue it’s the prettiest of the 3 years. The 1956… well, some see it as less special, a warmed over 55 holding place until the 57 arrived.

That’s really not true, as we’ll see in an upcoming book review. The 1956 actually incorporated a number of upgrades and revisions over the 1955 car. Styling-wise the 1956 is distinct from its siblings, longer and some say cleaner. On distinctive feature was these one-year-only taillights, a bullet style that resembled those from Oldsmobile and predates the exaggerated 1959 Cadillac bullets.

This car was shot in Syracuse at the Nationals in 2014. I used my Nikon D3200, 18-55 Nikkor zoom lens, set at ƒ/9.0, shutter speed of 1/250 second and ISO 100. Compareed to the original (below) it can be seen there was a good amount of processing the image, which was done in Topaz Adjust, to warm up the colour as well as reveal the details of the image.

You might also enjoy…
Rough 1957 Chev
Fifties Flashback: The American Car
Sixty Years of Chevrolet

3 thoughts on “Bel Air ’56

    1. Mark Post author

      I just read a passage about the 56, and how its full-width grille treatment was a competing proposal that lost out to the 55’s smaller egg crate. Personally, I’m a fan of the 56 over the others. I like the additional length and how the angled front suggests speed. I like the 56’s side mouldings over the other. I concede the 55’s taillight lenses are a cleaner look. If I had a 56 I’d probably explore how to retrofit the taillights.
      Thank you for your comment as always sir.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  1. Pingback: Chevy Classics 1955 1956 1957 | autobookblog

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