Cohort Outtake: 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe – The Last Bubble-Top

True confessions: I’m not quite the fan of this generation Chevy as I once was, but then we all grow up, hopefully. And then JPC’s repeated anti-Chevy lobbying has had its effect: Seats too low, Powerglide, particularly dull steering,  undersized brakes, soft springs, did I miss something, Jim? But then this ’62 Bel Air Bubble appears on the Cohort (posted by paulvaranasi) and I can’t resist. This is a very attractive car, despite its faults. And as most of you know, something of an anomaly.

For 1962, GM abandoned the glassy, fastbacky “bubble” hardtop across all of its lines, and the B-Body cars now sported what amounted to a fake convertible top in steel, right down to the “bows” appearing to protrude. At the time, as a GM acolyte, I accepted it as the latest design gospel according to St. Bill. But I had some pangs of doubt (coincidentally, this was the year I first hooked Catechism class). “Are we sure this is really better?”

St. Bill must have been listening, because he threw us doubters a bone: the 1962 Bel Air Sport Coupe carried the 1961’s bubble roof over, for one more year. Although from this very strategically angled shot of it in the brochure, you’d never know it. Coincidence?

Let’s not be shy about that. Say it loud; I have glass and I’m proud! Actually, given the brochure and the lack of any Bel Air bubbles at the dealer and around town, it was probably six months or so before I actually cottoned to its existence. And was I ever surprised: “Aw shucks, Bill; you shouldn’t have”. But he did, or somebody snuck it by him, more likely. And Bubble enthusiasts will forever be grateful for that. My tattered faith was restored some then, as it is now, somewhat. Let’s see, 327/300 and four speed stick. How about we do a little competition with your favorite big ’62, Jim? A Drag race and fuel economy run, results combined. Gee; is my faith coming back?