Classic Cars _ Moments in American History Abound in Sacramento

Suddenly, it was the 1950s, and the brand-new American dream included a modern split-level in the suburbs, TV dinners in the family room — and a new “hardtop” in the carport. Chevy was offering the right car at just the right moment.

At a recent Tuesday night in Roseville, I came across Classic Cars on display in downtown and learned as much as I could by talking to the various owners of these magnificent  pieces of Americana.

To be sure, the Bel Air’s success involved more than just a racy roofline. For just $1,741, Chevy showed off it’s new two-tone paint designs and beautiful interiors. Power steering was a new option — and another Chevrolet first in the low-price class. Power brakes, power windows and a power driver’s seat were added to the option list in 1954. Could driving get any better than this?

The 1955 BEL AIR: Forever Young.

The moment that first ’55 Bel Air roared to life,  Chevy was no longer a Sunday morning kind of car. This one was a Saturday night cruising car !

Ed Cole’s artfully engineered new V8 engine made flathead Fords and low-ridin’ Mercs old news — the’55 Chevy V8 was “the hot one” on the track, on the highway, and in high school parking lots all across the USA.

There is still a lot for me to learn about the Classics, but this introduction has really been an education for me and a glimpse back in time. The first car I can remember as a kid was our Chevy Bel Air in turquoise blue.

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