There’s really already so much content available about the ’55 Chevrolet, and for the “Tri-Fives” in general, that it can be a task to come up with something new to say about them. Doing so isn’t my intent here, as Paul Niedermeyer had expertly summed up the reasons why the ’55 Chevy was arguably General Motors’ “Greatest Hit” in this post that originally ran a decade ago. Instead of adding to or expanding upon that canon, I simply wanted to share a few pictures of this ’55 that I had spotted in traffic in my neighborhood just over a year ago. Its festive green color, officially called “Regal Turquoise” from the factory, seemed fitting for the holidays.
The word “evergreen”, which may be used metaphorically as a noun or an adjective, is used to describe something or someone with an enduring or constant quality. While the “Neptune Green” shade on this ’55 Chevy paint color chart from PPG is probably closer to the hue of a pine tree than what we see on our featured car, I’d say that Regal Turquoise is still green enough to fit with December, even if it looks more similar to the color of a Christmas tree ornament. There are some classic vehicles that qualify in my mind as having an evergreen quality, regardless of how many decades ago they were originally produced. Early Ford Mustangs, C2 Corvettes, and the Chevy Tri-Fives like this car, though very much tied to the time periods in which they were new, seem never to have fallen out of fashion as universally loved and respected classics.
This year was the one in which I had started seeing reruns of my old essays for Curbside Classic that had originally been written and scheduled for publication six years ago. This gave me pause to think about just how much has changed, both within my own life and also in the world in the six years since 2015 when, with Paul’s low-key encouragement and persistence, I took the plunge of writing for this site instead of merely submitting my photographs to the Curbside Cohort for consideration. I now feel a bit like a CC “evergreen”, now with over four hundred entries under my belt. It has been hugely rewarding to write about the vehicles I have found interesting, almost like a belated discovery that homework, even if self-assigned, could actually be fun. This is perspective that was sorely lacking from my years spent in school, but a very welcome development.
Looking at my body of work, the tone of my essays has largely ranged from metaphorical to autobiographical, though sometimes heavy on the latter. It has not been unintentional or accidental that as significant changes have occurred in my life over the past six years, many of my themes have become more highly personal. Such pieces have been therapeutic to write and have been one way for me to take greater control of my own narrative, among other things. I thank all of you in the readership, and especially Paul, for allowing me the agency to express myself, and also for your engagement with comments that have been funny, informative, encouraging, corrective, gracious, or simply appreciative in expressing gratitude for my efforts here. With this being my last contribution of new content for the year, I simply leave you with these words and pictures with all my best as we all wrap it up. I look forward to connecting here with all of you in 2022.
Total (non-Corvette) 1955 Chevrolet production: just under 1,704,000.
Total production of the mid-range 210 line (above the 150, and below the Bel Air): ~805,300.
Total 210 four-door sedan production:~317,700.
Original base price of our featured car: $1,819 (before options), or roughly $18,800 in 2021.
The 210 four-door sedan was the second-most popular ’55 Chevy, after the Bel Air four-door, which outsold it by about 27,600 units. The least popular ’55 Chevy was the Nomad two-door wagon, with less than 8,400 units sold.
Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
Sunday, October 11, 2020.