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Q: Automobile design - Chevrolet ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Automobile design - Chevrolet
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: lisainmpls-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 06 May 2005 13:36 PDT
Expires: 05 Jun 2005 13:36 PDT
Question ID: 518612
what is the length of a 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air 4 door Sedan
Subject: Re: Automobile design - Chevrolet
Answered By: markj-ga on 06 May 2005 15:40 PDT
lisainmpls --

The length of a 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-door sedan is 211 inches.

How I arrived at the answer requires a little bit of explanation,
because, as far as I can tell, there is no online source that states
that answer so simply and clearly.

I found what turned out to be the correct answer on this Web page,
which reproduces a brochure published in the Netherlands (in Dutch, of
course) about 1960 Chevrolets:

Fedrelamdsvennen: American Cars: Brochures: 1960 Chevrolet

Here is a link to the page from that brochure that includes the
specifications for 1960 Chevrolets, except the Corvair, which is
provided on a separate page:

Fedrelamdsvennen: American Cars: Brochures: 1960 Chevrolet, Page 4

The paragraph on that page titled "Afretingen" clearly says (even to a
non-Dutch speaker) that the overall length of a "Chevrolet" is 5.36
meters.  That converts to 211 inches.

Notice that the dimensions given on the page do not refer to different
models of the Chevrolet full-size car line for that year (Biscayne,
Bel Air, Impala).  That worried me until I discovered through further
research that different body styles of cars (including 4-door and
2-door models) using the same frame and chassis typically are the same
overall length.  And that was certainly true of Chevrolets of this

Here's a specific reference to this fact in the context of "classic" Chevies:

"The nice part about the 55-57 Chevies is that all the body dimentions
were the same with the roofs being the only difference. This means
that the 4-door wagon had the same body length, height, and width as
the Bel Air 2 door sports roof car. This little piece of information
is valuable in modifying any model of 55-57 Chevy into another."

Scale Auto Magazine 

And here's a reference to the fact that all full-size Chevys used the
same frame and chassis in 1960:

"1958-64 Chevrolet Full Size Car B-body - Impala, Biscayne, Bel Air"

Inline Tube: Brake and Fuel Lines

And, here is a posting on a forum for car aficionados:

"Everyone thinks coupes are smaller because coupes in general are
smaller than sedans in general. Look at derived models, though: Grand
Prix, N-bodies, Camry/Solara, Accord, etc. Same overall length, same
interior space because it wouldn't make sense to severely modify a
platform for a two-door variation."

Finally, and this is the clincher for me, I did find a reference to
the "wheelbase" (distance from front wheel to back wheel) of a
full-size 1960 Chevy, which makes no distinction between 2- and 4-door
models and which corresponds exactly with the wheelbase number given
in the Dutch brochure:

"The 1960 Impala had a 119-inch wheelbase (distance between axles)
that ensured a smooth ride and that even a 2004 Cadillac DeVille or
Lexus LS 430 luxury sedans can't match."

Chicago Sun-Times: Impala carried Chevy into the '60s with style (July
4, 2004),By Dan Jedlicka

This evidence (and there is much more) gave me confidence that the
reason that the Dutch-language brochure gives only one set of
dimensions for full-size 1960 Chevrolets is that they all have the
same overall length (and width and wheelbase).

Search Strategy:

After trying various Google searches, I found the brochure when I used
the following search terms:

"1960 chevrolet bel air" sedan 

Then, to solve the mystery (to me, anyway, who doesn't know much about cars)
of whether a 4-door has the same dimensions as a 2-door, I used many
more Google searches, of which these proved to be especially useful:

"2 door" "4 door" "same * length"

1960 chevrolet wheelbase  "bel air" OR belair biscayne impala

As I said and hopefully explained to your satisfaction, I am confident
that this information is correct.  If anything is unclear, please ask
for clarification before rating the answer.

There are no comments at this time.

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