AJ's Car of the Day ( 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air )

Car: Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door Coupe

Year: 1960

What makes it special: For the second-generation Bel Air, the prior year's "Cats-Eye" styled taillights were replace by the return of dual "cone shaped" taillights per side, reminiscent of the 1958 model. Also, Bel Air's had more interior and exterior brightwork than the Biscayne.

What made it famous: New to the Bel Air series was the Sport Coupe, which used the Impala's two-door hardtop body, but lacked the Impala's luxury trim. Fuel injection was no longer available, but with the 348 cubic inch V8, a horsepower rating of 335 at 5800 rpm was now achieved. This involved the use of three double-barrel carburetors, a special cam and an 11.25:1 compression ratio that wasl sold as a package.

Why I would want one: It's just one of the most beautiful body styles ever created by any manufacturer. It looks like it's moving while standing still due to the lines of the car from it's wrap-around windshield to lay-down style rear fins. The dual cone taillights per side make it look like a jet plane in flight. Plus, the "all business" plain look coupled up with a 348 V8 and factory manual transmission just screams "hot rod." And it looks even cooler in black.

Fun fact: Not counting wagons, about 381,500 Bel Airs were built, as opposed to 287,700 Biscaynes, and close to half a million Impalas. Obviously, Americans still leaned toward luxury, whenever their wallets could withstand the impact.

 ( 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air photo from Barrett-Jackson.com )