1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
‘55 And Still Alive
When the 1955 Bel Air was released, it wasn’t just a subtle change to the 1954 Bel Air. The 1955 Bel Air was a complete redesign of the car from the ground-up. These cars forever changed the landscape of cars and to this day are an iconic piece of American history.
TMI wanted to pay homage to these cars and develop an interior just as revolutionary as the cars themselves. They started with a 1955 Bel Air convertible - perfect for summertime cruising and for showing off our upholstery.
TMI Products started from the ground up on this ‘vert. The entire chassis was fitted with a complete Ridetech suspension system; tubular upper and lower control arms in the front with coil overs and in the rear we ditched the leaf springs in favor of Ridetech’s four-link setup and coil overs along with a Currie 9” rearend.
Stopping duties are courtesy of Baer brakes with a 14” Pro+ set up at all four corners which includes six-piston calipers and two piece rotors. Wrapping these large rotors are American Racing three-piece wheels; 19x8 front and 20x11 rear. Continental tires completes the rolling assembly.
Under the hood a factory inline-six or even classic small-block just wouldn’t do. Since the rest of the car was getting a full modern makeover, so was the engine. A brand new LS3 was installed along with a brand new 4L60e transmission. A complete CFR Billet serpentine system spins all the pulleys to keep fluids moving.
To keep the engine in check a complete cooling system was installed from Champion Cooling. This included a brand new radiator along with their dual fan setup and condenser combo, making for a clean installation under the hood.
Other under the hood goodies include Eddie Motorsports hood hinges, Baer ReMaster cylinder, and Church Boys Racing LS headers connected to a complete Flowmaster exhaust system.
Modern Interior For A Classic Bel Air
The interior is where TMI Products really shined on this ‘55 Bel Air. TMI knew that we wanted something modern to match the rest of the car, but it needed to be classy and look at home as well. The other important thing was this has to have the look of a custom interior, but be able to be a complete interior in a box so anybody can install it. Everything that we made for this car utilized a luxurious cream leather with Medium Parchment accents. In fact, you can call up TMI and order this entire interior in a box as the R1000 interior package.
In the dash they started with a set of modern Dakota Digital gauges to keep tabs on everything under the hood. A tilt steering column was used and topped with a custom leather wrapped TMI Sport Steering Wheel. A complete Painless Performance wiring harness was used throughout the car and ties into the Custom Autosound Stereo System. An Old-Air Products A/C system keeps you cool even in the hot summer days. The cherry on top of the dash is the custom wrapped TMI Products Sport-R dash pad.
Instead of using the factory door panels, we opted to build a complete set of molded door panels that feature a built in armrest and door pull. These door panels feature our Sport-R design that ties into the dash pad and seat upholstery as well. They are a one piece design that bolt directly onto a factory door.
Not only did TMI start the car from the ground up, they did the same with the seats by designing a whole neat seat from the pan up. First thing to note is that these are a brand new seat, not a reupholstered stock seat. These seats are fully powered with power recline, lumbar and slider tracks. These new Pro-Series Power Sport-R1000 Grand Seats are wrapped in the same leather to match the rest of the interior.
The rear seat is a TMI Products piece as well. It’s a complete and new seat TMI manufactures that gives the rear a dual bucket seat look and feel while remaining one piece. Rear door matching molded door panels were made to finish off the rear seat for a clean, professional look right out of the box.
The last pieces of the puzzle are the TMI Brown Loop Premium Carpet Kit that’s three pieces so the carpet lays down nicely instead of a single one piece that can deform. A custom wrapped Sport console completes the package with dual cup holders while offering storage while a Lokar Performance shifter pops through to put the car in drive and to hit the streets!
After going through the car bumper to bumper, top to bottom, TMI didn’t just leave the trunk an empty metal shell. They went ahead and developed an entire trunk kit for it to finish off the trunk and give it a high-end look. The panels are removable for easy access if you remote mount the battery or stereo equipment.
The end result is a car worthy of the halls of SEMA and next to high end builds, but is just as comfortable driving down Pacific Coast Highway with the top down!