Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe 1954






scale 1:18

Model number: 1702


Review of the model:

The New Chevrolet Bel Air of 1954 was in many aspects the same car as the 1953 model. The only difference was small trim parts that were altered. You can really compare the concept of re-launch an old vine in new bottles – just like in today’s “new car” in certain makers’ brochures. Maybe Chevrolet could ride in the lead a year more, but things were to chance in the coming years. Later the war on new inventions and design were in full blaze!

The early modern Bow-tie design of the Bel Air was a design that looked in to the future with a good feeling and therefore it was no wonder the car was a success immediately.

The model maker of Sun Star is giving us an opportunity to own both a 1953 and 1954 in 1:18 scale and also the choice between Sports Coupe and Convertible. Sun Star has really shown they believe in model cars that lay so close to each other, that there is a market for both.

The differences as stated above lay in the trim parts witch Sun Star have made very well.

The major parts are as follow: Hubcaps, bumpers, ornaments, side mirrors and taillights. Otherwise the models are near identical. The colors of 1954 are new and more saturated than the previous year and this model here whore the Fiesta Cream. A fine classy color even through it’s not a two-tone although the wide Bow-tie trim line has the Bel Air emblem on white background.

One feature that is different on the 1954 model is the missing carpet! Maybe Sun Star made the 1954 model first and later the 1953. You can also see the license plate is more realistic on the 1953 model.

Sun Star have made a fine model here, all the parts are well made and fits okay too. The paint work and prep work is as good as it comes. If you open the hood the beautiful Blue Flame strait six live in the engine bay. Sun Stars models always give us access to the trunk and a quick look reveals a nice floor mat and a spare tire – somehow they have forgotten to give the tire some tread marks!

The Chevrolet Bel Air is a bulky car, and one can easily think that Sun Star have made it even more voluminous. But no; the size is fairly correct. Try to erase you memory of all the lowered Hot rod you have seen in the past.

The model is good when we remember to balance it with the purchase cost. And Sun Star seldom let you down on the quality – So I will recommend this 1954 Chevrolet Sports Coupe to you…..You must admit its look so cute!

I will give this model 3 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and some movie clips for the real car. So please enjoy!




  Hoax brochure front page  
  Fiesta Cream color  
  1954 with new grill and bumper  
The last year before the legendary V8 1955
Note the Bow-tie trim with the Bel Air emblem on rear fender
A profile shot
Sun Star had made a fine model
Sun Star model with the iconic realistic chrome
Note the emblem on the deck lid 
A cute model car
Even the gas filler lid is well designed with chrome trim
Only the trim parts are new on the 1954 compared the the year before
A real 1950 classic
Note the hubcaps with turbine blade design
Your welcome to have a look inside
A roomy trunk with spare tire
Fine details on this model
Note the Power Glide emblem that show Chevrolet's automatic transmission
A bird eye's view
A car with real curves
A view to the straight six Blue Flame 125 bhp.
Note the realistic taillights in real clear plastic
Lets take a ride!
Sports Coupe without the B pillar was Chevrolet's invention in 1950
Will the model car move you?




The 1953-1954 Chevrolet Bel Air provides an excellent example of a popular practice in the Detroit of the 1950s called re-skinning -- making an old car look new without changing its basic structure by applying different outer panels. Nobody did this better at the time than General Motors, and the 1953-1954 Chevrolet Bel Air proved it.

Swift managerial changes in the late Forties had ushered in Thomas H. Keating as Chevrolet general manager, brimming with confidence about the future and filled with expansive plans for it. By 1952, the division was hard at work on an all-new V-8 for an equally new group of 1955 passenger cars. Meantime, they faced the problem of how to extend the sales life of the basic 1949 platform, then looking pretty long in the tooth. Re-skinning was the obvious answer.

The result appeared for 1953 as the most changed Chevrolet in five years. Singer Dinah Shore, Chevrolet's TV spokesperson in those days, introduced it as "a glamorous new star," paused while the camera cut to a close up, then gushingly asked: "Isn't that about the prettiest thing you ever saw?"

We tend to laugh at this commercial now, but the 1953 Chevrolet did look pretty good in its day.

Stylist Carl Renner dressed up the old bodies with fresh sheet metal below the belt, one-piece windshields (replacing twin-panes), and a prominent oval grille whose three vertical. "teeth" provided a familial resemblance to the forthcoming Corvette sports car. Rear ends on hardtops and sedans gained a bulkier, more "important" look, and introduced body side two-toning on Bel Air rear fenders. Artful die changes also reshaped rear side-window openings.

Model-wise, the sole remaining Fleetline fastback sedan disappeared, and the lineup was reordered. At the bottom came the low-price One-Fifty, replacing the previous Special; DeLuxe gave way to the mid-range Two-Ten. This year's top-of-the-line series took the Bel Air name from Chevrolet's 1950-1952 hardtop coupe, which now became a Sport Coupe with two sedans and a convertible as running mates. Lower-series offerings comprised sedans, pillared club coupe, and Handyman wagon, plus One-Fifty business coupe and Two-Ten Townsman wagon, convertible, and Sport Coupe.

On the mechanical side, Chevrolet scrapped its smaller "Stovebolt" six and adopted the 235.5-cubic-inch Powerglide unit for all models. Higher compression boosted it to 105 horsepower with stickshift or 115 with Powerglide. The latter version received aluminum pistons (replacing cast iron) and insert-type rod bearings plus a more modern, pressurized lubrication system. Manual-transmission engines would get these changes for 1954, when the six was retitled "Blue Flame." All this reflected the presence of new chief engineer Edward N. Cole, who'd arrived from Cadillac in May 1952 after working on that division's milestone 1949 V-8.

The 1953-1954 Chevrolet Bel Air arrived none too soon. Ford, determined to regain sales supremacy, launched an all-out production "blitz" that year as the industry shifted back into high gear with the end of the Korean hostilities. Forced to sell cars they hadn't ordered, Ford dealers resorted to heavy discounting. Chevrolet had no choice but to follow, and the race was on, though Chrysler Corporation and the independents ended up the losers.

For 1954, Ford again face-lifted its new-for-1952 bodies, but stole a march on Chevrolet with a new 239-cid overhead-valve V-8 and ball-joint front suspension. Chevrolet replied with more chrome, a wider grille with more teeth, new taillights, brighter colors, new interior trims, and a fortified six running 115 horses with stickshift (same as that year's 223-cid Ford six), or 125 with Powerglide (versus the Ford V-8's 130).

The One-Fifty business coupe was renamed Utility sedan, while a spiffy two-door sedan called Delray replaced the Two-Ten convertible and hardtop. Finally, the Two-Ten Townsman was upgraded into a Bel Air, bringing the series up to five separate models. New options, most often installed on Bel Airs, included power brakes ($38) and power front seat and front door windows ($86 for either).

Despite Ford's hard press, Chevrolet had added just enough pizzazz in 1953 and 1954 to remain "USA-1," producing nearly 1.35 million cars for 1953 (about 100,000 more than Ford) and 1.166 million for 1954 (about 20,000 ahead). The Two-Ten emerged as the volume leader in both years, but the Bel Air finished a creditable second, rare for a flagship line even in those heady days.

The Bel Air's success also indicated that buyers were ready for more upmarket Chevrolets with colorful "living room" interiors; chromier, two-tone exteriors; and ever more convenience options. Indeed, the 1953-1954 Chevy pointed toward the future more than anyone probably realized at the time.

As collector cars, the 1955-1957 Chevrolets will probably always overshadow the 1953-1954 models, but the latter -- especially the Bel Airs -- are being discovered by enthusiasts as very pleasant cars with significance as the last of the low-suds "pre-classic" Chevrolets, an important transition in the make's history. That’s reason enough to include on any collectible car list -- that and the bow-tie badge they wear.

The 1953-1954 Chevrolet Bel Air had the performance to keep Chevrolet ahead of Ford in the race for number one.

Technical specification:

Engines: ohv I-6, 235.5 cid (3.56 × 3.94) 1953: 105/115 bhp (manual/Powerglide); 1954: 115/125 (manual/ Powerglide)

Transmission: 3-speed manual; 2-speed Power-glide optional

Suspension, front: upper and lower A-arms, coil springs

Suspension, rear: live axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs

Brakes: front/rear drums

Wheelbase (in.): 115.0

Weight (lbs): 3,230-3,540

Top speed (mph): 90

0-60 mph (sec): 15.0


Old brochures of the car




























































































Video of the real car from YouTube

  Chevrolet - How To Go Places (1954)  
  1954 Chevy Bel Air Sports Coupe  


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Dealers are welcome to get their models reviewed too.






Aeronautic Nov. 2018


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