Bringing a Bel-Air back to a show standard – Chevrolet Bel Air 1965


Our client brought us a very rare 2 door Bel-Air for a repaint. The car had been re-painted in 2008 in America but when we examined the paint closely, we could see that there was pin-heading and defects on all surfaces. Stripping a few areas back to bare metal revealed light rusting to all the panels. The owner had also remarked on a persistent leak of water into the boot area.

A decision was made to undertake a glass out bare metal repaint of the car. Removing the back window revealed that the lower lip of the rear window aperture was rusted out in many places and water had been making its way past the rubbers for some time. Being regularly covered in water from the leak the boot floor had fared worse than expected and needed to be replaced. We achieved this by fitting some new panel parts and fabricating new sections.


With a larger phase of work underway our client decided on some subtle changes and upgrades. The original chrome handles were replaced by modern units which sit flush in the door panels and open with a push on one end. Because the car was being exported to New Zealand, we installed a front prop shaft safety hoop and we had to adapt the side light indicator configuration to comply with import regulations.

Other improvements included an additional reversing light, alarm and mobiliser, a new anti-tramp bar to ensure that the Air-ride system lowered the car evenly and an emergency boot lock release system as the original external boot lock had previously been removed.

The cars huge panels required some expert prepping and filling to enable us to paint, lacquer and polish a dead flat pale blue metallic colour. Once finished we worked with local pin striper ‘Mad Danny’ to recommission the classic ‘Von Dutch’ style pinstriping scheme. The final pin striping accentuates the cars incredible flowing lines without overpowering them.


The result

This vast Bel-Air with its rare two door configuration and stunning original pale blue metallic colour is now finished and emigrating to the New Zealand with its owner. We are sorry to see it go but the owner not going to miss the UKs small country lanes and is looking forward to driving this 6 foot wide and over 17 feet long car on the much wider roads in New Zealand!