New Chevy Bel Aire

I remember some reports a time ago that Chevrolet was brining back the Bel Aire model.

Aside from the retro/heritage styling cues (its supposed to be the general’s answer to the Ford Thunderbird), the engine is a five cylinder version of the DOHC six-banger found in the TrailBlazer SUV.

Was it cancled?

I hope not! I wanna be Harrison Ford in American Graffiti.

It does not seem to appear in the Chevy 2006 new model line-up.

Then you’ll want an Impala.

Oh, and it’s Bel Air, not Bel Aire.

I had been misinformed, apparently. Thanks, Bo.

I don’t think it ever got past the concept stage. Good thing, I say. Butt-ugly.

Ehh, all it really needs is a bit of fine-tuning on the front fascia. The grille’s too high, and those headlights don’t flow well.

If it had a more pronounced front bumper, I’d buy one in a heartbeat, assuming I didn’t get a Pontiac Solstice.

Yike! That thing looks like an inflated Cavalier.

No, that’s if you want to be Ron Howard. Harrison Ford drove a '55 Bel Air.

Got it. Thanks.

GM’s in a world of hurt, right now, with their bonds being rated as “junk” and oodles of other problems. So while they need a breakout model, given their past history, they’re not going to be pushing the envelope too radically. The head of GM, Jack Wagner, pretty much doesn’t know a damn thing about the car business, and because of the (mis)management structure at GM, those who do, are left to twist in the wind. (Jack, if you’re reading this, give me a call. We’ll do lunch, and I’ll show you how to save the company without spending billions in the process to do it. Heck, I’ll even let you take credit for it. Just pay me a decent salary.)

I like it’s sister car, the Saturn Sky

BTW, it should be pointed out that the Solstice and the Sky were built by one of the car guys working at GM. Lutz was looking for something to spice up GM’s car line and wanted to find someone in the company who could pull it off. When Lutz heard about one of the engineers who spent his off hours converting Cavaliers to rear wheel drive and racing them, Lutz knew he had his man.

It also should be pointed out that the Solstice concept was built in just about a year, which is INSANE for building a concept. It’s normally a two-year turnaround from design to the first concept, but they built the Solstice largely from off-the-shelf GM parts.

The Sky has a very Euro look, especially in that front end.

Chevy’s cars for '06 look better than past ones, especially the new Impala. The Monte Carlo SS looks a lot more like the race car now, which is good. The big problem is that no one wants the Cobalt, Malibu MAXX or Aveo, and they don’t have the Camaro any more.

Yeah, one of the reasons Lutz chose the guy was because he was fast, and because he had so much experience reworking GM parts to new applications. That’s how cars should be designed and built: By people who know WTF they’re doing, and not by beancounters.