The automotive styling race of the 1950’s reached its peak at the end of the decade. Detroit automakers tried to surpass each other with increasing radical designs and the 1959 Chevrolet was no exception.
A new body greeted Chevrolet buyers for 1959, and the fins were once again a prominent part of the new design. Horizontal “gull wing” or “bat-wing” fins and matching “cat-eye” taillights were the most outstanding features of the ’59 Chevy. The look up front was a little less dramatic with horizontal openings along the leading edge of the hood that ducted air into the engine compartment. The 1959 Chevrolet could be described as “Wings, Glass, And Chrome”. Over 1.5 million 1959 Chevrolet’s were built and many are still runing today.
1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible
The 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible, Impala Sport Coupe 2 Door Hard Top, Impala Sport Sedan 4 Door Hard Top and Impala 4 Door Sedan were sleeker and wider. Features included a trim piece that ran all along the side of the Impala. The center of this trim
piece was painted and had a crossed racing flag emblems and “Impala” mounted just behind the front door. The Impala was a striking vehicle that set the tone for most General Motors automobiles throughout the early 1960s.
1959 Chevrolet Bel Air
With the Impala ascending to Chevrolet’s top rung, the Bel Air became the mid-range series for 1959. The 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air series included the four door sedan (shown above), four door Hardtop Sport Sedan, two door Sedan, Parkwood station wagon and the Kingswood station wagon. A Bel Air script nameplate and crest was mounted on the front fender. Side molding ran the full length of the Bel Air and had a painted insert.
1959 Chevrolet Biscayne
Note the subtle difference in the side trim on the four door Biscayne and the four door Bel Air (both shown above). Biscayne side moldings ran from the headlights to the center of the front door. The Biscayne series included the four door sedan, two door sedan, utility sedan, two door Brookwood station wagon and a four door Brookwood wagon.
1959 Chevrolet Nomad Station Wagon
Common terms used to described the 1959 Chevrolet included “Slimline Design”, “Spread Wing”, “Cat’s Eye” taillights, “Wings”, “Gull Wing” and “Bat Wing”. We call the 1959 Chevrolet “Wings, Glass, And Chrome”. The 1959 Chevrolet was the last automobile designed by the famous designer Harley Earl, who helped pioneer General Motor’s styling and design studio.