1955 Chevrolet Full-Size Cars Fact Sheet
A Huge Change
Chevrolet drastically changed its body design in 1955.The entire care was redesigned with the famous slab-sided “shoe box” look, but only as Harley Earl could do it.
General Year Information
Chevrolet drastically changed its body design in 1955. The new 1955 Chevrolet had smooth straight panels on the sides and hood, a major departure from previous years. Although Ford introduced what would be the first “shoe box” body design in 1949, GM and Chrysler were slow to catch on, only slowly replacing some of their bubble-like hood and side panels with flatter ones each year, without achieving a the popular look by 1954. But in 1955, Chevrolet designed the entire car with the full “shoe box” style. Along with the flatter straighter panels, the 1955 also had modern cues like wrap-around glass on the windshield, and triangular tail lights that jutted outward. This new look, combined with new V-8 power and additional modern engineering, made it an instant hit with the buying public and a critical success for the Division.
1955 also saw the introduction of the Bel Air Nomad, a sporty two-door station wagon which featured hardtop-like door glass and elongated side windows. The unique roof design of the Nomad came directly from the 1954 Corvette Nomad concept car. Although regarded as one of the most beautiful station wagon designs of Fifties, the Nomad did not sell in large numbers, mostly due to its price tag – it was one of the most expensive models in the entire Chevrolet line – selling among the most practical body style – the station wagon.
Click the Tab to See the Details
Series 150 I-6 & V-8. The “150” series was Chevrolet’s lowest priced line. Standard equipment included rubber floor mats front and rear; full-width all-steel seat frames with “S” springs; all vinyl upholstery for station wagons. Exterior bright metal decoration was limited to “Chevrolet” in script on front fender and standard chrome plated bumpers, grille, door handles, hood ornament, head lamp rims and wheel center caps.
Station wagons had their own unique names – with the base two door wagon assigned to the Series was called the “Handyman”.
Series 210 I-6 & V-8. The “210” series was Chevrolet’s mid-priced line. Standard equipment included all 150 series equipment plus stainless steel windshield and backlight reveals, chrome front seat and sidewall moldings, glove compartment light, ash trays, cigarette lighter, arm rests, and assist straps. Additional exterior bright metal decoration included upper belt line and rear fender side and sash moldings.
Two Wagons were assigned to the 210 Series: the mid level two door “Handyman” and the 4-doot “Townsman”.
BEL AIR SERIES: I-6 & V-8. The “Bel Air” was Chevrolet’s top series. Standard equipment included the features found on the lower-priced lines plus carpets on closed body styles, chrome ribbed headliner on Sport Coupe, richer upholstery fabrics, horizontal chrome strip on sides of front fender and doors, narrow white painted insert on rear fender horizontal side molding, gold “Bel Air” in script and the Chevrolet crest behind a slanting vertical sash molding, a ribbed vertical trim plate on sides above rear bumper ends, wide chrome window and door post reveals, and full wheel discs.
The station wagons in the Bel Air Line included the sexy Nomad semi-hardtop wagon at the top, and the 4-door Beauville”.
Click the Tab to See the Details
Base I-6: Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 235.5 cubic inches. Bore and stroke: 3.56 x 3.94 inches. Compression ratio: 7.5:1. Horsepower: 123 @ 3800 RPM. Torque 207 ft. lbs @2000 RPM. Four main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Camshaft Duration: Intake 244°, Exhaust 244°; Overlap: 26°; Lift: 0.4004″. Carburetor: Rochester one-barrel Model 7007181.
Base I-6: Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 235.5 cubic inches. Bore and stroke: 3.56 x 3.94 inches. Compression ratio: 7.5:1. Horsepower: 136 @ 4200 RPM. Torque 209 ft. lbs @2200 RPM. Four main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Camshaft Duration: Intake 244°, Exhaust 244°; Overlap: 26°; Lift: 0.4004″. Carburetor: Rochester one-barrel Model 7007181. NOTE: stronger valve springs on the Powerglide engine allowed higher RPM and more power.
Base V-8 – with Manual Transmission: Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 265 cubic inches. Bore and stroke: 3.75 x 3.00 inches. Compression ratio: 8.0:1. Horsepower: 162 @ 4400 RPM. Torque: 257 ft. lbs @ 2200 RPM. Five main bearings. Hydraulic valve lifters. Camshaft Duration: Intake 252°, Exhaust 252°, Overlap 38°, Lift: 0.334″. Carburetor: Rochester two-barrel (Standard Transmission) 7008005 (Powerglide) 7008004.
Optional 4-Barrel V-8. Overhead valves. Cast iron block. Displacement: 265 cubic inches. Bore and stroke: 3.75 x 3.00 inches. Compression ratio: 8.0:1. Horsepower: 180 @ 4600 RPM. Torque: 260 @ 2800 RPM Five main bearings. Hydraulic lifters: Camshaft Duration: Intake: 250 degrees, Exhaust: 250 degrees, Lift: 0.3987″. Carburetor: Carter Type WCFB four-barrel Model 2351S.
- Accelerator cover.
- Air-conditioner (V-8 only).
- Arm rests for 150.
- Autronic Eye.
- Backup lights.
- Chrome grille guard.
- Chrome sill moldings.
- Continental wheel carrier.
- Courtesy lights.
- Custom Color interior.
- De-Icing wiper blades.
- Deluxe heater and defroster.
- Door edge guards.
- Door handle shields.
- Dual electric wipers.
- Electric clock (standard Bel Air).
- Fender guards.
- Floor mats.
- Full Wheel covers (standard Bel Air).
- Glove box lamp.
- Heavy-duty generators.
- Heavy-duty springs.
- Insect screen.
- License plate frames.
- Lighted cigarette lighter.
- Locking gas cap.
- Oil bath air cleaner.
- Oil filter.
- Outside sun visor.
- Parking brake signal lamp.
- Plastic windshield glare shield.
- Power brakes ($38).
- Power convertible top.
- Power seat (except Series 150).
- Power steering ($92).
- Power windows (except Series 150).
- Radio antenna.
- Radios (manual or push button).
- Rain deflectors.
- Rear speaker.
- Rear view mirror.
- Recirculating heater and defroster.
- Right-hand sun visor for 150 Series.
- Seat covers.
- Tinted glass.
- Tissue dispenser.
- Tool Kit.
- Traffic light viewer.
- Trunk light.
- Under hood light.
- Vanity mirror.
- White wall and overs1de tires.
- Windshield washers (automatic or foot operated).
- Wire wheel covers.
Body Paint Color Codes
Click on the Paint Code Name to See the Mix Codes for the appropriate color:
|585 Onyx Black|
|586 Seamist Green|
|587 Neptune Green|
|588 Skyline Blue|
|589 Glacier Blue|
|590 Copper Maroon|
|591 Shoreline Beige|
|592 Autumn Bronze|
|592 Autumn Bronze|
|593 Indian Ivory|
|594 Shadow Gray|
|596 Gypsy Red|
|598 Regal Turquoise|
|630 Harvest Gold|
|683 Cashmere Blue|
|684 Navajo Tan|
|685 Dusk Rose|
|689 Anniversary Gold|
1955 Chevrolet –
Current Market Values
- Wheelbase 115 inches.
- Overall length: wagons: 197.1 inches, all others 195.6 inches.
- Front tread: 58 inches.
- Rear tread: 58.8 inches.
- Width: 72.5 inches
- Height: 60.4 inches
- Tires: (station wagons) 6.70 x 15 six-ply on nine-passenger models; (all other models) 6.70 x 15 four-ply; (optional) 7.10 x 15 four-ply.
- V-8 265 cubic 180 horsepower engine engine. ($65).
- Three-speed manual transmission was standard in all models.
- Overdrive transmission. ($108)
- Powerglide transmission. ($178).
- Posi-traction rear axle with 3.36 or 3.55 ratio ($45).
NOTE: Base 2-barrel 265 CID V-8 included in base V-8 model pricing.
Three Speed Manual Transmission Ratios
- I-6: 1st – 2.94:1, 2nd – 1.68:1, 3rd – 1:1, Reverse – 2.94:1
- 265 CID V-8: 1st – 2.94:1, 2nd – 1.68:1, 3rd – 1:1, Reverse – 2.94:1
Overdrive Manual Transmission Ratios
- Where Available: 2.94:1, 2nd – 1.68:1, 3rd – 1:1, Overdrive 0.70:1, Reverse – 2.94:1
Rear Gear Standard Ratios
- I-6: 3-Speed SMT – 3.55:1; and Powerglide – 3.36:1; Overdrive SMT – 4.11:1.
- 265 CID V-8 SMT – 3.55:1, Overdrive SMT – 4.11:1, Powerglide – 3.36:1.
NOTE: Optional – dealer installed gear ratios ranged from 3.07:1 to 4.33:1.
Files directly related to the 1955 Chevrolet Full-Size Line will appear below:
1955 Chevrolet Deluxe Prestige Brochure
1955 Chevrolet Wagons Foldout Brochure
1955 Chevrolet Portrait Print Advertisements
1955 Chevrolet Landscape Print Advertisements
1955 Chevrolet Factory Specifications Sheets
1955 Chevrolet Road Test – John Wherry Publications
1955 Chevrolet Road Test – Motor Life Magazine
Related Images to the 1955 Chevrolet Line will appear below