By the end of the 60s Chevrolet Bel Air is still remains one of the most affordable full-size cars. With the discontinuation of the 2-door sedan in 1969, 4-door sedans and station wagons remained to be produced on the conveyor.
1971 Chevrolet Bel Air review
Bel Air remained to be placed on the middle range of Chevy’s B-body model range, along with top trim Impala, mid-high Caprice and low-budget Biscayne.
As before, the basic engine was a straight six of 250 cubic inches coupled with 3-speed automatic transmission. It was remained until 1973 model year when instead of I6 engine, the standard became 350 cubic inch V8 with automatic transmission. Old 2-speed Powerglide gearboxes were still available to offer for six cylinder cars.
Station wagon modification was also carrying Townsman name.
The car itself keep its more squarish lines, became popular in 1970s, it has got completely new front fascia with 4 square lights and stand out grille – typical design decision of the so many US-made cars on that era. B-pillars had become more square, the rear part features small square rear lights with chamfered angles. Rear numberplate was integrated to the bumper.
The interior keep its “square shaped” styling and wide spoke steering wheel acquired in 1969, unified with all other Chevrolet cars. Those square design will keep on most US-made cars until the mid 80s. It was especially popular on full-size sedans.
1971 Chevrolet Bel Air engine
In 1971 GM released several versions of the Chevrolet Bel Air with different body styles, engines and transmissions. Sedans offered eight options: from a modest 250 Turbo-Thrift straight six to monstrous 454-4 V-8 Turbo-Jet with Hydra-Matic. That is why you see the article about this car on our website. Due to the usage of high-powered big-block V8, its cheapness, you could call a Bel Air a true 4-door muslce car. The biggest 454 engine, being introduced with the 7th generation of the car (from 1971 until 1975) was a 8- cylinder V-engine capacity of 7.4L and a power of 289 HP. Thanks to this monster, heavy framed sedan was capable to reach top speed of up to 131 mph (212 km/h) and accelearate up to “sixty” in just 8.7 seconds.
The fuel consuption was also phenomenal, but in the relatively opposite way – a lot less than 11 miles per gallon.