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As I stated earlier the development of the 1955 Chevrolet was a team effort. Each department needed good communications with each other to insure that both engineering and styling worked together. It is extremely rare that an entire car gets done from scratch, but that's pretty much what happened in the case of the 1955 Chevrolet. Of the car's 4500 components, all but 675 were newly created for 1955. The three major carryovers were the 6-cylinder engine, the manual transmission, and the basic Powerglide automatic. But the frame, suspension, rear axle, body, accessories, and especially the V8 engine...those and more were totally new.

This created some exciting opportunities and challenges for the GM Styling and Design staffs. They weren't reworking the existing concepts, they were breaking new ground it all areas of the car.

The process for engineering and design the 1955 Chevrolet started in 1951. As you can see from these prototype photos the design was refined several times during this period. The designs on paper were recreated into full size clay models. The early prototypes shared some design elements found in the '53 and '54 models. This eventually gave way to the more familar profile we know today on the '55 Chevrolet.  55design1.jpg (59162 bytes)
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(Click on thumbnails to see larger view)

Besides styling the 1955 Chevrolet had many engineering acomplishments. Our next section will go into these in more detail. I feel one of the most important contirbutions to the success of the mid-fifties Chevrolets was the development of a new V-8 engine.

The completely new 265 cu. in. overhead valve V-8 chevyv8.gif (33262 bytes)

This was only one of the inovative things the 1955 Chevrolet offered. Continue on to the Engineering section to see what else is new.

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