The Tri-Five Chevrolet is the most iconic body style of all post-war American cars. These three letters and three numerals were emblematic of a decade and a half of American life – specifically, the postwar 1940s, ’50s, and early ’60s.
The Tri-Five Chevy was everywhere, in every city and town across America. If you love old cars, then you know that 1955, 1956, and 1957 Chevrolets are among the most desirable classics on the market today.
Known as Tri Five Chevys because they all have a model year that ends in “5” (as opposed to a VIN or other identifier), these Chevrolet models are highly sought after by enthusiasts and collectors. They’re packed with characterful design elements borrowed from earlier prewar models; combined with modern innovations like unibody construction for lighter weight and lower center of gravity.
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air and Fleetwood
The first year of the Tri Five Chevys was 1955, a year that saw the introduction of the Chevrolet Bel Air, a car that would go on to be one of the most iconic models in the marque’s history. The Bel Air was the top-of-the-line “luxury” model, but it was also offered in a sporty two-door version. The two-door Bel Air was an instant hit, thanks to its sharp styling and new 210-cubic-inch V8. Chevrolet also offered the Bel Air in a four-door model, which was actually a higher-performance version of the two-door, called the “Fleetwood.”
To be clear, the two-door Bel Air was the sporty model and the four-door was the luxury model. The fleetwood is a sedan, not a wagon.
1956 Chevrolet Bel Air and Broom-Stick
In 1956, Chevrolet offered the Bel Air in a choice of two V8s, the standard-issue 210-cubic-inch unit or the new 230-cubic-inch “Broom-Stick” V8 (named for the exhaust-header design that looked like a broom’s handle).
Other notable changes from the previous year included the introduction of the “Sweepstakes” coupe and the “Sport Coupe”; both of these hardtops borrowed the two-door styling from the Bel Air. There was also a “Custom” model that was between the standard “Custom” and “Del Ray” models and a “Del Ray Station Wagon.”
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air and Sport Coupe
For the 1957 model year, Chevrolet refined the Bel Air, Custom, and Custom Del Ray models. The Bel Airs and Customs got a more elegant chrome grille and a new “Sweepwing” rear that extended the side fins into the rear fenders. The Custom Del Ray models were more restrained, with more subtle fins. In the same year, Chevrolet introduced the Sport Coupe, a Bel Air that lacked the Biscayne’s standard rear seat.
1956 Chevrolet 210 Two-Ten
The 210 was the Tri-Five Chevy model you would have found at your local Chevy dealer in 1956, but it wasn’t the only model offered. The “Two-Ten” (which Chevrolet referred to as the “10-A”) was a unique model, a “rich man’s” Chevy, if you will. It cost $100 more than the other models, and it featured unique styling elements such as a “woody” wagon-style rear end and unique “Dagmar” chrome hubcaps.
1957 Chevrolet 150, 210, and Cameo
The entry-level “150” model was dropped in 1957, making the 210 the lowest-priced Tri Five Chevy. The model remained mostly unchanged, save for a more restrained grille design. The Cameo was the sporty version of the 210, fitted with a special hood, a rear fender, and roofline. The Cameo also featured a two-tone paint scheme and special interior upholstery.
The Tri-Five Chevys are among the most recognizable and collectible automobiles ever made.
They’re the quintessential “American car,” packed with great design elements from their chrome bumpers and whitewall tires all the way through their finned tailfins.
These Chevys are true works of art, and we’re excited about their future value as collectible classics. If you’re interested in owning one of these iconic American cars or trucks, you’ve come to the right place, here at the FSD HOT ROD RANCH!
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