The Plymouth Belvedere is a series of American automobile models made by Chrysler from 1954 to 1970 that were marketed under the Plymouth brand.
The Belvedere name was first used for a new hardtop body style in the Plymouth Cranbrook line for the 1951 model year. In 1954 the Belvedere replaced the Cranbrook as the top trim and became a full model line with sedans, station wagons and convertible body styles. The Belvedere continued as Plymouth's full-sized car until 1965, when it became an intermediate, and was replaced after the 1970 model year by the Satellite, a name originally used for the top-trim level Belvederes. The Belvedere replaced the Cranbrook as the top-line offering for 1954. Now, a separate model instead of just a two-door hardtop, it was also available as a convertible, two-door station wagon, and four-door sedan. The two-door hardtop version was now called the "Sport Coupe". The 1954 Belvederes featured full-length rocker sill moldings.
Minor styling updates adorned the carry-over body design. For the first time, small chrome tailfins appeared on the rear fenders.In March 1954, Plymouth finally offered a fully automatic transmission, the Chrysler PowerFlite two-speed.
All Plymouths were treated to a major overhaul for the 1955 model year. This was the first year of Chrysler stylist Virgil Exner's "Forward Look." The Belvedere returned as top-of-the-line. For 1956, Plymouth styling evolved from that of the 1955s. Most notable would be the introduction of the first push-button automatic transmission to appear in an American automobile, and a more dramatic rear-end treatment highlighted by a pair of rakish tail-fins. In early 1956, the Fury joined the Belvedere line as a special-edition high-performance coupe. Belvedere remained the top full-line series through 1958. In 1956, Plymouth added seat belts.[In 1956, Chrysler's chief engineer in a public relations campaign took a Belvedere and had a turbine engine fitted instead of the standard gasoline engine, and was driven across the US.
The 1957 model year had high sales for the Chrysler Corporation, and for the Plymouth line. Plymouth's design was so revolutionary that Chrysler used the slogan "Suddenly, it's 1960!" to promote the new car.Standard on all body styles except the convertible was the "Powerflow 6" L-head engine. The convertible was only V8 powered and V8s were available in other Belvederes with an optional "Fury" 301 cu in (4.9 L) version as well as a "High-Performance PowerPAC" at extra cost.A manual transmission was standard with the push-button two-speed PowerFlite optional and the push-button three-speed TorqueFlite automatic also optional on V8 cars.
The Belvedere would once again return as a top-level trim for 1958 for the last time. Styling was a continuation of the 1957 models. A big block "B" engine of 350 in3 V8 with dual four-barrel carburetors dubbed "Golden Commando" was optional on all models.
The 1957-58 Belvedere two-door hardtop gained notoriety from the movie Christine (1983) based on the novel by Stephen King. In the opening scene, which the titles set as "Detroit, 1957", Christine appears near the end of the assembly line as a lone bright red car in a long line of Buckskin Beige Furys being built for the new model year (1958). (In the novel it is revealed that her first owner, Roland Lebay had ordered her with custom paint, as the standard 1958 Fury came only in beige.) For the movie, Christine is painted "toreador red" with an "iceberg white" top.
This very nice example was restored years back and runs and drives very well. Featuring a striking Red/White color combination the car has the Christine look while having the added benefit of being a convertible. The supersonic tail fins and large Aluminum side panels add to the late 50's flamboyance like only a car from Virgil Exner's pen can.