Powerglide/Automatice Transmission

75

Asked by Aug 07, 2015 at 02:39 PM about the 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air

Question type: General

Ok all of you are going to really hate me.  My dad restored a 1956 Chevy Bel Air 4 door.  He had a very dibilitating stroke and can no longer care for his baby.  It has been sitting in storage for 5 years and I just had it shipped to Texas.  He NEVER let me drive it and my questions is it has a L and a D.  Is that a powerglide transmission and if so how do i drive it?

16 Answers

14,145

Why do you think we should dismiss your car? I certainly don't, it's a classic! I had a 57 Chevy with the two speed power glide. OK, it's probably not the best transmission, but, lots of people change them out. Talk about an American Graffiti car, it certainly is one. Looks really clean, how's the interior? Cars like this sell for more than $10,000 especially if they're rust free. Yes, it's definitely a power glide with L and D. Just put it in D and drive it. These cars are gas hogs, and you'll be lucky to get more than 10 miles per gallon. I frequently got 8. Definitely a Sunday car. It's likely got the 265 V8? Here's some info about the transmission. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerglide

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
75

Mark, thanks, not really dismissing my car, just the new guy with such a classic, just dont know much about it is all. The interior is all re-done and is very clean. 265 V8 and yes i am sure its a gas hog. Fuel Gauge does not work so yes for sure Sunday Car..thanks again for the feedback.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
14,145

Post a picture of the interior. These cars have a special cult following and frequently wind up in car shows. Depending upon the options that you have on your car will determine its value. Believe it or not, these cars back in the day were offered as two door coupes and convertibles and options like air conditioning, power windows and power steering. My old 57 Chevy didn't have any of these and the steering especially parking was impossible. These cars are very heavy and didn't handle well, but, hey, it was my first car. Hard to forget your first car.

75

Its a beast, no A/C (which is not really cool here in Texas) No powersteering which is also fun. Will post some interior pictures this weekend, or at least will take some as it needs a good cleaning.

14,145

By the way, go easy on this thing.....it's 58 years old. The fact that it's still on the road is remarkable. Don't know how much your Dad did in the restoration, did he rebuild the engine and transmission? You probably won't do this, but, if you ever wanted to sell it, you would not have any trouble doing so as long as it stays in excellent condition. It's very expensive to keep and maintain old cars and insure them over time.

14,145

Yeah, no A/C, or power steering, very typical for this car. A lot of people just purchased the car for a family and didn't get the fancy options. If it were a convertible, then, maybe it would have had them.

75

Engine has been re-built and transmission has had some work however not totally re-built. No I will not be selling it, will pass it down to my sons when the time is right. Just want to get it in good order, maybe do a car show or two and take for a spin every now and then.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
14,145

Take a look at this, gives you an idea on its value, http://www.cars-on-line.com/ch_56classic.html

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
56,855

On the 2 speed Powerglide the bands need to be adjusted about every 12,000 miles. Check out Faxon Automobile Literature in Riverside, California for a reprint of the factory shop manual. If you do not have park on the shifter (Not sure when GM introduced Park) shift into reverse, set the emergency (parking) brake THEN shut off the engine. This will lock the transmission like the newer ones with park. Good luck with your classic car. HTH. -Jim

75

Some interior pics of the 56'

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
75

one more

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
56,855

NICE CAR!! Thanks for sharing those photos! You have a real gem there! Good luck with it. I hope you and your family get many years of enjoyment out of it. -Jim

14,145

tdrackley - yes, your car is BEAUTIFUL, really nice interior. I imagine that's the original upholstery? Keep it original if you can, I think it adds to the value. How many miles are on your car and does it drive smoothly? Good luck.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
75

Mark, it is not the original. My father had it redone when he was restoring it. It is however the same design/material that was in the car orignally. The car has 36,000 miles on it, 136,000 i am sure... and it runs ok, its pretty old but will get down the road just fine... Jim, thanks for the comments

14,145

Yes, I understand, I meant to say the original design. It blends nicely with the dashboard. . You're probably right, the odometer has probably spun around once, maybe twice. These older cars had a very heavy suspension and hopefully it doesn't drive like some lethargic boat on the road bouncing up and down like a cupie doll. I would definitely recommend getting really updated shocks on your car for better handling if you haven't already thought about this. My old 57 Chevy would "float " along the road giving very little feedback from the road. Not a stable or reassuring feeling. And, I'm sure you know that the stopping distance required in these cars is down right outrageous. While it's nostalgia, it wouldn't be a car I'd want to drive regularly again. I'm sure you only take it on short hops.

75

Mark- its big and heavy and really does drive ok as my father did put some newer shocks on it. Yes on stopping distance for sure. And just short hops for sure. taking it to a car show this weekend...only 6 miles from our home.

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