1955 Chevrolet

1955 Classic Chevrolet - Engines and Drivetrain

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When Edward Nicholas Cole, Chevrolet Chief Engineer, was assigned the project of designing a new Chevrolet for the production year 1955 in May of 1952 he knew that it would need a trustworthy V-8 to provide the youthful performance that would transform Chevrolet.

Cole and Harry F. Barr designed Cadillac's V-8 overhead valve engine in 1949.

But Cole rejected it as to costly for the new 1955 Chevrolet and asked Barr to come over from Cadillac, design a new V-8 and become his assistant chief engineer.

The 265 was only the second Chevrolet V8 engine in Chevy history, the first was a short lived Series “D” (1917-1919) with 288 cubic inches and 55 horsepower. After that, Chevrolet built six-cylinder engines for all its passenger cars up through 1954. Chevy’s new V-8 was 30 percent more powerful and 40 pounds lighter than its old but dependable six cylinder.

Chevrolet named the 265 “Turbo-Fire”, it was rated at 162 horsepower with a two-barrel carburetor and had a 8.0:1 compression ratio. A “Power-Pack” version, which Chevy called the “Super Turbo-Fire” was added during the 1955 production year as an option. The “Power-Pack” version had 180 horsepower. The increased horsepower was due to a Rochester 4 barrel carburetor and duel exhaust. A third V-8 was offered later for racing and its horsepower was boosted to 195 with the use of a Corvette camshaft and valve springs.

1955 Chevrolet 123 and 136 HP Blue Flame Six Cylinder

1955 Chevrolet 123 and 136 HP Blue Flame Six Cylinder

Higher compression and minor internal changes brought the new “Blue Flame” six cylinder to 123 horsepower with a standard transmission and 136 with automatic. Both the Blue Flame six and the 265 V-8 could be teamed up with three transmissions. The standard three speed column shift manual transmission with a 3.70:1 rear axle and an over drive unit with a 4.11:1 rear axle. The optional two speed Powerglide automatic transmission returned with a 3.55:1 rear axle. See classic six cylinder cars here!

1955 Chevrolet 265 HP Turbo-Fire V-8

1955 Chevrolet 265 Cubic Inch Turbo-Fire V-8

Chevrolets new V-8 had everybody talking in 1955. The old mans car was dead and long live “The Hot One!” Even the basic 162 horsepower V-8 was both stronger and thriftier as it got a creditable 18-22 miles per gallon of gas. Road test done by independents found that the Powerglide equipped Bel-Air topped 108 miles per hour. The 180 horsepower equipped car did 0-60 in 11.4 seconds and the quarter mile in 18.4 seconds.

With this kind of performance the 195 horsepower equipped 1955 Chevrolet led to competition on the race track. Starting with the Daytona Speed Week in February of 1955. Then “Smokey Yunick entered a V-8 Chevy in the National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing (NASCAR) and won. That same year Herb Thomas won the Southern 500 at Darlington, SC on Labor Day averaging 92 mph. Other races won by Chevy that year included one in Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA.

To top the list of achievements for Chevrolet in 1955, a Bel-Air convertible was selected as the official pace car for the Indy 500.


Engine - Transmission Specifications and Availability for 1955

Six 235ci, 3.56X3.94 bore/stroke, 7.5:1 comp ratio, 123 HP@3800 rpm, 1 bl carb
3 speed transmission and 3 speed overdrive transmission

Six 235ci, 3.56X3.94 bore/stroke, 7.5:1 comp ratio, 136 HP@3800 rpm, 1 bl carb
powerglide transmission

V-8 265ci, 3.75X3.00 bore/stroke, 8.0:1 comp ratio, 162 HP@4400 rpm, 2bl carb
3 speed transmission, 3 speed overdrive transmission and powerglide transmission

V-8 265ci, 3.75X3.00 bore/stroke, 8.0:1 comp ratio, 180 HP@4600 rpm, 4bl carb
3 speed transmission, 3 speed overdrive transmission and powerglide transmission

1955 Chevrolet Powerglide Automatic Transmission

1955 Chevrolet Powerglide Automatic
Transmission

1955 Chevrolet 3-Speed Transmission

1955 Chevrolet 3-Speed
Transmission

1955 Chevrolet 4 Door Sedan

1955 Chevrolet 4 Door Sedan

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