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Gold Standard Replica Chases Mystery Of GM’s Missing 55 Chevy Bel Air Special

  • This 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air is a tribute to the 50-millionth vehicle ever produced by GM.
  • The original milestone car disappeared in 1954, and its fate remains a mystery to this day.
  • This recreation features 600 parts plated in 24-karat gold.

At first glance, the notion of an all-gold 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air might seem a tad ridiculous. However, this tri-five isn’t merely about gaudy excess. It’s actually a tribute to the 50-millionth General Motors vehicle to ever roll off the line, and it comes with something even more valuable than gold: a compelling story.

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The tale starts in 1954, as GM was approaching its production milestone, and decided to celebrate with a special, all gold version of the Bel Air to celebrate. However, after showing the car off on a float in Flint, Michigan, the 50 millionth car disappeared, and has never been seen since.

Read: World’s First $20 Million McLaren F1 Is Back Up For Sale

The fate of the Bel Air remains a mystery 70 years on, but it’s not hard to understand why someone might want to steal it. Hemmings reports that on top of being painted an auric hue, the real anniversary model from GM featured a number of parts plated in real gold.

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This example isn’t the original car, but it is a stunning tribute to it, built by ’55 Chevy experts Real Deal Steel and Snodgrass Chevy Restoration. They built it for the 71st annual Detroit Autorama custom car show this year, and now they’re offering it up for sale.

Despite not being the 50-millionth GM vehicle, the Bel Air is very impressive. The builders spent countless hours comparing paints against historic photos to get the color just right, and spent three weeks putting in 12-hour days to ensure the finish gleamed appropriately.

On top of that, over 600 pieces have been plated in 24-karat gold, including the door handles, switches, nuts, bolts, and screws. Estimates suggest that at least 1,800 hours of work went into making this tribute to the 50-millionth GM vehicle ever.

If you love gold, and tri-five Chevys, you may want to head to Mecum’s Indy 2024 sale on May 18, where the car will be auctioned off.

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Credit: Mecum

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