1962 Chevy Bel Air Bubble Top / Photos, Specs, Styling, Engines

The 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Bubble Top featured here is a beautifully designed classic car. The 1962 Bel Air was of the third generation. 

chevy bubble top
1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Bubble Top

The Chevrolet Impala Bel Air  is a full size Chevrolet and was the Chevy Division’s most costly passenger vehicle at the time during the early 1960’s. It was also the best selling full size passenger car in America. It held that position for about a decade.

Chevy’s Bubble Top

Chevrolet produced two door bubble top styling from 1959 through 1962. Some might say it was really 61-62 but nevertheless the Chevy Bubble Top was unique. Chevrolet’s official name for the Bubble Top was a Sport Coupe.  While the Bubble Top was available on all Impala’s for the 1961 model year, the Bubble Top was only available in 1962 on the upscale Bel Air’s. The Bubble Top never was designed to be a full clear bubble roof primarily due to the heat issue that would be caused by a clear roof. The total bubble design was just not practical.

The Chevrolet Impala Bubble Top has one of the most iconic roof lines in automotive history. Remember decades ago when you could see a new car with unique styling straight from the factory.  You’d be hard pressed to find one today. Back in those days you’d see a good amount of chrome and chances are you’d be able to identify the model and the year just by looking at the grille. Not like today where almost every automobile looks fairly similar. Car designs in the 1950’s and 1960’s were indeed special and the Chevy Bubble Tops are just one example of the creative and unique styling from that era.

From a side view. it is just perfect: a thin, sweeping A-pillar followed by no B-pillar whatsoever, then an equally lean C-pillar that blends in with that iconic rounded rear glass.  the closest thing to a full bubble-top roof ever put on a production car. It’s not a total bubble since there is a metal roof section at the top.

chevy bubble

1962 Chevrolet Styling

The 1962 Chevy Impala styling is timeless. The Chevrolet Impala changed up its style each year from 1961–64. Prominent styling changes for the 1962 Impala included a new ‘C’ pillar design on all body styles except the four-door hardtop.  The previous ‘overhang’ roof style of the sedans was replaced by a wider ‘C’ pillar with a forward tiling, wraparound rear window.  1962 was the final year for the 235 cubic inch Stovebolt inline-6 and the small-block 283 engine

62’s were offered in solid color only. 61 grilles were silver, 62’s were flat black (a select few were anodized gold). 61’s had chrome cove surround and 62’s had none. 61’s had cove spears and name plate and 62’s had a chrome insert and cross flags on the fenders.

Chevrolet kicked-off the ’60s with one of its most-evocative body designs of the era, ditching the horizontal tailfins of the two previous years in favor of a gracefully fresh look.

1962 Chevy Bel Air Specifications

There was plenty of power available with the 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air. Several engines were available. These included a 235 cubic inch straight six, a 283 cubic inch V-8, a 327 cubic inch V-8 in several configurations and the powerful 409 cubic inch V-8. Horsepower ranged from 135 with the straight sixes to 409. The 1962 409 V-8 delivered 280 HP with a single four barrel carburetor and 409 HP equipped with a double four barrel carburetor. The Chevy Big Block 409 was produced for five years from 1961 through 1965.

Transmissions for the 62 Chevy Bel Air included both three and four speed manuals and a two speed Powerglide automatic.

Brakes are four wheel power assisted drums.

Dimensions for the 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air include a wheelbase of 119.0 inches, overall outside length 209.6 inches, width 79.0 inches, height 55.5 inches.

Chevrolet produced over one million full size automobiles for the 1962 model year. Out of that number there were only about 5,900 Bell Air Bubble Tops built. For the 1961 model year there were about 13,295 Bubble Tops produced. This of course makes the Bubble Top a pretty rare model.

See these related Auto Museum Online articles…

The 1961 Chevy Impala Hardtop

The 1958 Chevy Impala

The 1963 Chevy Impala Convertible

1962 chevrolet bel air

Reference material for this article includes…Chevrolet: The Complete History by the editors of Consumer Guide…100 Years of Chevrolet by Ralph Kramer and Jerry Burton…The Complete History of the Chevrolet Impala by Tony Markovich…General Motors Archives.

The Chevrolet Bubble Top…A Rare Collector Car

As noted in this article the Chevrolet Bubble Tops (officially Chevy’s Sport Coupes) are very rare collector cars. Less than 20,000 built over the 1961 and 1962 model years. These classic automobiles ate great representations from the time when car styling was king.

Auction and retail sales prices for the 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Bubble Top in excellent condition both mechanically and body wise run in a general range from $75,000 to $100,000 with some sales above this range.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)