The Chevrolet Bel Air was a full-size car produced by Chevrolet for the 1950–1975 model years. Initially, only the two-door hardtops in the Chevrolet model range were designated with the Bel Air name from 1950 to 1952.

With the 1953 model year, the Bel Air name was changed from a designation for a unique body shape to a premium level of trim applied across a number of body styles. The Bel Air continued with various other trim level designations, and it went from a mid-level trim car to a budget fleet sedan when U.S. production ceased in 1975. Production continued in Canada, for its home market only, through the 1981 model year.

The Chevrolet Bel Air, especially its third generation design, has been considered an icon of the 1950s. Well-maintained and preserved examples are highly sought after by car collectors and enthusiasts.

From 1950 to 1952, the Bel Air Sport Coupe name was used only for the two-door hardtops in the Chevrolet model range, to distinguish the car from the Styleline and Fleetline models. It was named for the wealthy Bel Air neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles.

First year production reached only 76,662 models built. The car cost $1,741 and weighed 3,225 lb (1,463 kg).

Front suspension was independent, named "knee-action".

The first Bel Airs of this era shared only their front sheet metal ahead of the A pillar with the rest of the range. The windshield, doors, glass, and trunk were common with the Styline DeLuxe Convertible Coupe, however the roof, rear quarters and rear windows (3) were unique. The chassis and mechanicals were common with the rest of the passenger car range, and the overall appearance was the same as the rest of the range, except that the roof line was lower and the unique three piece rear window gave it a longer and more balanced look. The first Bel Airs were available with only the "DeLuxe" premium trim level and specification.

Apart from the usual annual grille and trim changes, the 1951–1952 Bel Air differed from the earlier 1950 model with introduction of the higher and squarer rear guards that were across the whole range.

In 1953 Chevrolet renamed its series, and the Bel Air name was applied to the premium model range. Two lower series, the 150 and 210, also emerged (as successors to the Special and Deluxe series, respectively). The 1953 Chevrolet was advertised as "Entirely new through and through," due to the restyled body panels, front and rear ends. However, essentially these Chevrolets had similar frame and mechanicals to the 1949–1952 cars.

The Bel Air was given a facelift in 1953. The pre-war technology, such as torque tube drive, six-cylinder splash feed engines, knee-action suspension, and split windshields of the early models was phased out and the foundations for the first post war modern Chevrolet passenger car were finalized. The Bel Air series featured a wide chrome strip of molding from the rear fender bulge to the rear bumper. The inside of this stripe was painted a coordinating color with the outside body color, and "Bel Air" scripts were added inside the strip. Lesser models had no model designation anywhere on the car, having only a Chevy crest on the hood and trunk. 1953 was the first year for a curved, one-piece windshield.

In the July 1953 issue of Popular Mechanics, a tested 1953 Bel Air went from 0-60 mph in 19.6 seconds.

Bel Air interiors had an optional massive expanse of chrome across the lower part of the dashboard (most were painted), along with a deluxe Bel Air steering wheel with full chrome horn ring. Carpeting and full wheel covers rounded out Bel Air standard equipment. For 1954, the Bel Air stayed essentially the same, except for a revised grille and taillights, and a revised engine that had insert bearings and higher oil pressure, needed for the full-flow oil filtration system that was not available prior to 1954. Prior to 1954, the 235 and 216 cubic inch six cylinder engines had babbit bearings and scoops to create oil pressure at the bottom of each rod and the oil pressure was standard at 15-30 PSI. During these years, there were three engine choices, depending on the transmission ordered. Both 235 cubic inch engines were "Blue Flame" inline six cylinder OHV engines, featuring hydraulic valve lifters (in 1953 with automatic transmissions) and aluminum pistons. The 106 hp (79 kW) 235 cubic inch displacement engine was standard on stickshift models, with solid lifters and splash plus pressure lubrication including babbit bearings. Powerglide cars got a 115 hp (86 kW) version which had hydraulic lifters and full pressure lubrication.

In 1953 and 1954, Bel Airs could be ordered in convertible, hardtop coupe, two- and four-door sedans, and, for 1954, the Beauville station wagon which featured woodgrain trim around the side windows. Many new options, once available only to more expensive luxury cars, became offered starting in 1953, including power steering and the Guidematic headlight dimmer in 1953; and power brakes, power 2-way front seat and power front windows in 1954. All 1954 models equipped with the standard transmission used the 1953 Powerglide engine.

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