Written by Nicole Ellan James
During the 1950s and 1960s, the automotive world was captivated by a design concept known as the “bubble top.” In essence, a bubble-top car has a distinct roofline defined by its curved, one-piece windshield featuring slender, sweeping A-pillars, along with elegantly inclined C-pillars sporting rounded, bubble-like rear window glass. This unique styling gave the vehicle a sleek, bubble-inspired roof, setting it apart from the conventional flat-top or hardtop roof styles that were prevalent among cars of that era. This design was not only futuristic but also trendy during its time.
Numerous automakers experimented with the bubble-top design, but it’s most notably linked to Chevrolet’s endeavors in crafting attention-grabbing and distinctive cars of the early ’60s. At the inaugural 2023 New Orleans Auction, taking place from September 28-30 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, a 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Bubble Top will be offered with No Reserve from the MS CLASSIC CARS Collection. This vehicle stands as a prime example of the quintessential bubble-top aesthetic. In 1962, only 5,950 Bel Air Bubble Tops were manufactured. This specific model underwent a frame-on restoration with the objective of recapturing the essence of the 1960s.
The centerpiece of this Bel Air is a rebuilt 409ci V8 engine complete with dual Carter 4-barrel carburetors for optimal performance. The engine’s appearance pays homage to its time, featuring era-correct Offenhauser finned valve covers and dual air cleaners equipped with hoses that draw in air through the outer headlight buckets. The engine exhales through custom-made ceramic-coated headers and a dual-exhaust system, contributing to its potent and distinctive sound. Power is seamlessly transmitted through a rebuilt 4-speed manual transmission, adding to the engaging driving experience to this bubble top.
To enhance its visual presence, the front of the car has been raised slightly, giving it an imposing and aggressive stance. Complementing this are era-correct-style polished 5-spoke wheels that offer classic lines. The wheels are wrapped in Pro-Trac 70 Racing Profile 225-70-15 tires at the front, ensuring a balanced grip on the road, while the rear features Mickey Thompson Radial Dragster 8.20-15 tires, further accentuating the car’s performance-oriented character.
The bubble top’s exquisitely crafted body was refinished in a striking white hue, giving it a refined and tasteful appearance. Every exterior detail has been thoughtfully addressed through a comprehensive restoration or replacement process, including the stainless trim, front bumper, body molding, door handles and emblems.
Complementing the exterior is an equally captivating two-tone red interior. To give it a personalized touch, custom features have been introduced, including a Stewart-Warner gauge cluster for enhanced monitoring, a Hurst chrome shifter with a white shift knob and 409-embossed carpeted floor mats that pay homage to the car’s impressive powerplant. The interior preserves the era’s aesthetics while offering modern comfort and functionality.
Whether you’re a collector seeking an authentic piece of automotive history or an enthusiast longing for a ride that captures the spirit of the 1960s, this 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Bubble Top offers both style and performance. Register to bid today for the opportunity to own this piece of automotive heritage that’s bound to turn heads and evoke the nostalgia of a bygone era.
Whether you’re a collector seeking an authentic piece of automotive history or an enthusiast longing for a ride that captures the spirit of the 1960s, this 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Bubble Top offers both style and performance.