Like what you see? We do too! That’s a 1954 Chevy Bel Air perfectly restored by North Carolina’s Retro Designs’ Daniel Valjevac, complete with the finned coupe’s quintessentially fifties-era Americana aesthetic. They preserve history’s most iconic cars, bringing them “roaring back to life” with modern engineering and subtle but skillfully designed styling touches.
Valjevac, Retro Designs General Manager, explains:
“Over the Bel-Air’s twenty-five-year production run, the Chevy model had several different iterations. Retro Designs wanted to reimagine a coupe from the first generation, so our production team focused on finding and restoring this 1954 model.”
“The Chevy Bel-Air presented an interesting challenge. We wanted to preserve the integrity of the original design and not lean into anything outlandish. Our goal was a sharp, crisp restoration of the car while subtly reengineering almost every facet of the automobile to make a hot rod suitable for today.”
Meanwhile, we’re just over here wondering what sort of badass technical vehicle you could make outta this thing. Maybe equip it with a chromed-out Hotchkiss machine gun on the passenger door?
1954 Chevy Bel Air: 640 Horses
A powerful LT4 640-horsepower engine instantly gives this Retro Designs Bel-Air hot rod status with a custom cold air intake alongside an ATI 9.17 lower pulley and balancer. Further performance is provided by a Billet Specialties front-drive system and Ultimate headers.
Valjevac engineered the finned Bel-Air to sit on a Custom Scott’s Hot Rods chassis with a special Ride Tech Air Ride Suspension for well-mannered driving.
Featuring a restoration that took thousands of hours at their brand-new 28,000 square-foot Harrisburg shop, Retro Designs channeled the rear of the 1954 hot rod exterior almost imperceptibly for a sharper silhouette. In addition, The Bel-Air incorporates an 8L90 transmission with a silky smooth Lokar shifter.
For comfortable stopping, the Retro Designs Bel-Air features stout Wilwood 4-wheel disc brakes on a set of Boze custom billet wheels with specially fabricated wheel tubs. The front of the car sits on Michelin 245/35/20 Sport Cup tires, while the company included wider 345/30/20 Michelin Pilot Sport Cups on the rear for improved traction.
To provide ground clearance for the low-profile ride, Retro Designs fabricated a specially made oval ss exhaust. The 1954 Bel-Air includes a new TANKS fuel system and features an American Autowire harness for supporting all electrical systems. Period correct Dakota Digital gauges and entertainment provided via a Rockford Fosgate controlled by a 400-watt 4-channel AMP make sure every part of the Bel-Air remains classically inspired.
The Bel-Air custom features a cool blue two-tone paint job via Axalta. In addition, Retro Designs employed multiple artisans to restore and upgrade the cabin interior, made possible through hundreds of hours of restoration work.
The 1954 Chevy Bel Air is priced at the allowance-challenging but reasonable amount of $350,000.
For more information on Retro Designs, please visit www.retrodesignsnc.com or call 704-721-0835.
More Pictures of The Retro Designs Chevy