Home Car Stories Alley Finds 1959 CHEVROLET Biscayne- Oakland, CA
1959 CHEVROLET Biscayne- Oakland, CA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Thursday, 21 April 2011 15:09

1959 CHEVROLET Biscayne- Oakland, CA


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

This old unrestored original B Body is still a daily driver; a testament to how well engineered those old domestic cars were if used in temperate climates such as California. No one held onto their cars for more than 3 to 5 years back then, but the cars were capable of providing many more years of service. Back in the day, a new car was a status symbol with yearly style changes spurring new car sales. Nowadays we see the same 'planned obsolescence' at work with constant software and technology upgrades that prompt computer and phone gadgetry buyers to constantly revamp their equipment.


The "V" emblem on the nose indicates the presence of a 283 cubic inch V-8 engine. The addition of the crossed flags emblem means a 348 lay underhood. The 348 engine was later enlarged into the legendary 409, but that's getting ahead of this story.

1959 was the first year for the shared platform called the B body. Chevy, Pontiac, Olds and Buick all used the same chassis for their full sized cars which saved money. The 1959 model year was the second year in a row that wheelbase and overall length were increased. Chevy was just keeping up with Ford and Chrysler who were also on a quest for longer, lower and wider cars. The manageable 1957 full size Chevrolet had morphed onto a 119 inch wheelbase and measured 210.9 inches long and 79.9 inches wide.

This model is likely a Biscayne because the trim only extends partway down the length of the car. The upscale Bel Air and Impala had full length trim. The Impala became an overwhelming success story within a few years. See the 1963 Impala story in these ALLEY FINDS, and the 1970 Impala story in the 20 YEARS PLUS section.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:00 )