Rides from the Readers: 1955 Chevrolet 210

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1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 210 and 2016 C7 Corvette
Hank Zielinski

Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, tips@hagerty.com. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to the above email address.

Today’s featured car is a 1955 Chevrolet 210. Thanks to the leadership of GM’s head of Chevrolet manufacturing, Ed Cole, 1955 was a watershed year: It marked the introduction of the Chevy small-block, a 531-pound, 265-cubic-inch champion. The engine originally appeared under the hoods of Chevy’s revamped 150, 210, and Bel Air model lines and was also shared with the 1955 Corvette. The engine wasn’t the only good thing about the 1955 210, either; Cole’s team lengthened the rear springs to improve ride, sliced six inches off the height, increased stiffness with steel frame components, and reduced weight by 52 pounds.

This particular 210 belongs to Hank Zielinski, but the 265-cubic-inch engine has long since yielded to its younger descendants. When Zielinski bought this yellow two-door last March, it packed a 350 paired with a Hurst four-speed and a 3.77 rear end. Since then, that powertrain has been succeeded by a 406-cubic-inch fuel-injected small-block packing a walloping 585 hp.

“Nothing could mean more to me than this new ‘old’ yellow ’55,” Zielinski writes.

 

Why is Zielinski so nostalgic when it comes to ’55 Chevys? His first car was a blue 1955 two-door sedan (left), followed (in college) by a 1955 two-door Bel Air (right) with a 327 mill and a Muncie four-speed. “My son was born in May 1968, and the yellow Chevy became a family sedan instead of the drag racer it was meant to be!” Zielinski writes. He eventually sold his beloved Chevy to help pay for dental school, and today’s fire-breathing 210 reminds him of that ride.

“If the young gentleman from Dallas, Pennsylvania, who purchased my old ’55 back in 1970 should read this, I’d love to know what became of that Bel-Air,” Zielinski concludes.

If you have a lead, drop us a note in the Hagerty Community!

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