The Chevrolet Bel Air nameplate came to represent the middle-line breadwinner among Chevy's full-size models, but as this article demonstrates, it didn't begin that way.

The Chevrolet Bel Air name made its debut for 1950 on the Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Bel Air. This car was actually near the pinnacle of that year's Chevy offerings and was in fact Chevy's first hardtop car.


1950 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe Bel Air two-door hardtop side view
The Chevrolet Bel Air began in 1950 with this sporty version of the
standard Chevy. See more pictures of classic cars.

In addition to covering the 1950 Bel Air, this article also looks at the 1950 Chevrolet Special and DeLuxe models from which it sprang. You'll also find information on the 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air as well as the lineup that generated the 1954 240 Bel Air: the 1954 Chevrolet 150 Special, 210 DeLuxe, and Delray.

Further down you can visit articles on the Bel Air through the 1961 model year, by which time the nameplate had settled comfortably into its middle-ground role. The Bel Air badge had one final flourish, however, and that came with the 1958 model year, when the Bel Air designation was used to launch a classic new Chevy nameplate, the Impala.

For coverage of the 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala, and for the 1962 through 1975 Bel Airs, check out our article on the Chevrolet Impala.

1959 Chevrolet Bel Air four-door sedan rear view
The Chevrolet Bel Air, like this 1959 sedan,
came to symbolize big-Chevy value.

For more picture-packed articles about Chevys and other great cars, see:
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  • Consumer Guide Automotive: Here's your source for news, reviews, prices, fuel-economy and safety information on today's cars, minivans, SUVs, and pickups.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Search: In the market for a used Chevy or virtually any other pre-owned vehicle? Check out these reports, which include safety recalls and trouble spots.
  • How Chevrolet Works: Get the inside story of one of America’s greatest automotive marques in this lavishly illustrated history of Chevrolet, beginning with its founding in 1911.