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Lot 253

1953 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

  • Chassis no. C53B088834
  • Body no. 265

Sold for $74,250


Series 240. 115 bhp, 235.5 cu. in. OHV inline six-cylinder engine, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, semi-floating rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115 in.

  • An exquisitely detailed restoration
  • Finished in the original color of Target Red
  • One of the finest survivors of the original Bel Air


To say the least, 1953 was an active year for Chevrolet, as it had introduced three new models, which gave them a total range of 17 different offerings—the largest range in the company’s history. While it was the introduction of the Corvette that stole all the headlines, it was the all-new Bel Air that was Chevrolet’s crown jewel, with advertisements declaring it to be: “Startingly New! Wonderfully Different!”

In truth, the Bel Air was not all that new or different, but it was a beautifully built and well-equipped American family car, and it was offered with everything that was standard on lower-priced series but with a lot more comfort, convenience, and styling features. Americans embraced the new Fisher Unisteel body, with its enlarged luggage and passenger space and one-piece curved windshield, while the all-new 115-horsepower Blue Flame inline-six, which came standard with the selection of Powerglide automatic transmission, was the most powerful version yet of the famous “Stovebolt.”

The Convertible offered here features an exceptional restoration, and it is certainly among the finest, if not the finest, available today. The body has been taken back to its original color of Target Red, which was applied over laser-straight panels that have outstanding fit, and the vinyl interior is tight, fresh, and as-new. The chrome trim is bright and lustrous throughout, down to the dashboard. There is an abundant amount of options and accessories found on the car, including an AM radio, a correct Chevrolet heater, chromed wheel covers, a driver’s-side mirror with a spotlight, and wide whitewall tires. A correct spare wheel and tire reside in the trunk. Underneath and under the hood are as clean as the rest of the car, with correct wiring, decals, and detailing found throughout.

This is an outstanding Bel Air that had only 52 miles recorded on its odometer at the time of cataloguing, and it is one that is surely to be a great favorite of crowds and judges, wherever it ventures. Compared to all others on the market, it is, indeed, “Wonderfully Different!”

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more