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Chevrolet Bel Air

1950 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe Bel Air

The new 1950 Chevrolet Bel was Chevrolet's first hardtop and the pioneer pillarless coupe in the low-priced market. Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile turned out sumptuous "hardtop convertibles" in 1949, but neither Chrysler nor Ford had one on the market.

1950 Chevrolet Bel Air
The pillared 1950 Chevrolet Bel Air
was promoted for elegance over sportiness.

A Bel Air, advised the sales brochure, was "open to the summer breeze" yet "snug against the wintry wind," with "the coziness and permanence of an all-steel top." In short, you got both sportiness and all-weather comfort.

Chevrolet offered just one hardtop (in the Styleline DeLuxe series), versus four versions of Pontiac's similar Catalina, but far more Bel Airs went to customers -- 76,662 in all. Priced at $1,741, a Bel Air brought $106 less than a convertible but $243 more than a sport coupe.

From the beltline down, a Bel Air looked exactly like other Stylelines. Convertible-type frame reinforcements made up for some loss of structural rigidity due to the lack of B-pillars. Rather than the usual broadcloth, upholstery was leather and pile-cord fabric.

Bright metal headliner bows helped give the feel of a real ragtop, while rolling down the windows delivered an airy, jaunty experience. Before long, hardtops would overtake convertibles in the sales race.

1950 Chevrolet Bel Air, Interior
The interior of the 1950 Chevrolet Bel Air
continued the outward trend of two-toning.

1950 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe Bel Air Facts


Weight (lbs.)

Price (new)

Number built

HJ Styleline DeLuxe




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