1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Spent 44 Years in a Barn – Hides V8 Surprise Under the Hood

This 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air is part of the latter category and, after 44 years of improper storage, it needs a new home. This Tri-Five was purchased by the owner back in 1971 when it was a 15-year-old car that wasn’t exactly valuable. Sadly, this two-door isn’t one of them. Because the owner parked it in a barn in 1978 and kept it off the road for a whopping 44 years.

There’s no information as to why he decided to retire the Bel Air so early, but the car has been neglected since then. The gorgeous two-tone (Matador Red and India Ivory) paint has faded away, and every single body panel shows rust, whether we’re talking about surface corrosion or holes.

There’s no information as to why he decided to retire the Bel Air so early, but the car has been neglected since then. The gorgeous two-tone (Matador Red and India Ivory) paint has faded away, and every single body panel shows rust, whether we’re talking about surface corrosion or holes.

As for the engine bay, it is occupied by a V8 that’s also in poor condition. And it likely needs a complete rebuild to run again. But if you’re concerned about authenticity, you should know that this Bel Air no longer sports its numbers-matching engine. The original mill was swapped for a 327-cubic-inch (5.4-liter) small block.

Its origin is unknown, but Chevrolet offered a 327 across the lineup in the 1960s. Power ranged between 225 to 383 horsepower depending on specs, so this 327 should be plenty powerful for a 1950s Bel Air. Just for reference, the 1956 coupe came with either a 235-cubic-inch (3.9-liter) inline-six or a 265-cubic-inch (4.3-liter) V8 under the hood.

The former generated no more than 140 horsepower, while the latter was rated at up to 225 horses. The 327 mates to a Turbo 400 gearbox, most likely taken out of the same car as the engine.

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