The Chevrolet Bel Air was a full-size automobile that was produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors for the 1950–1975 model years. Hardtops in the Chevrolet Deluxe Styleline model range were designated with the Bel Air name from 1950 to 1952, but it was not a distinct series of its own until the 1953 model year. Bel Air production continued in Canada for its home market only through the 1981 model year.
For 1955, Chevrolet's full-size model received all new styling and power. It was called the "Hot One" in GM's advertising campaign. Chevrolet's styling was crisp, clean and incorporated a Ferrari-inspired grille. Bel Airs came with features found on cars in the lower models ranges plus interior carpet, chrome headliner bands on hardtops, chrome spears on front fenders, stainless steel window moldings, and full wheel covers.
Models were further distinguished by the Bel Air name script in gold lettering later in the year. For 1955 Chevrolets gained a V8 engine option. The new 265 cu in (4,340 cc) V8 featured a modern, overhead valve high compression, long stroke design that was so good that it remained in production in various forms, for many decades. The base V8 had a two-barrel carburetor and was rated at 162 hp (121 kW), and the "Power Pack" option featured a four-barrel carburetor and other upgrades yielding 180 bhp (130 kW). Later in the year, a "Super Power Pack" option added high-compression and a further 15 bhp (11 kW). "Idiot" lights replaced gauges for the generator and oil pressure.
Source: Wikipedia (original)