Think you know all there is to know about the Chevrolet 210? Let’s take a deep dive into the history of this classic car, which is a favorite for many drag racers.
In 1953, the world was introduced to a star. It wasn’t a Hollywood celebrity, or even a person: it was the Chevrolet 2100 (later shortened to 210, or Two-Ten).
Created with affordability in mind, the car was less expensive than Chevrolet’s popular Bel Air. As a midrange car for the everyman, Chevy made the 210 in several body styles, including a convertible, Sport Coupe hardtop, two and four-door sedans, and four-door station wagons.
Regardless of the body style, the car’s design is quintessential 1950s Americana. Its features include a wider body outfitted with chrome accents, hooded headlights, a sleek curving rooftop, and of course, fins.
But the stylish exterior wasn’t the only thing that appealed to its drivers, then or now. What’s under the hood plays an important role in the car’s driveability, and the first generation 210 (produced from 1953-1954) included two engines with an overhead valve (OVH) design, and a 3-speed automatic Powerglide transmission.
Two years after its debut, Chevy wasn’t done tinkering with the 210’s mechanics. In the second generation (produced from 1955-1957), Chevrolet included a new chassis and a small block V8. The engine choices for the 1956 remained the same as its predecessors with the exception of a higher rated power output. The 1957 model had three versions of the new optional 283 cu. in. (4.6L) small-block V8 engine.
More than half a century later, 210s are a racetrack favorite for their build and classic look. A few things have changed in 50 years, and successful drag racers have made a few modifications to enhance the car’s performance, like the BTE TH400 Transbrake transmission.
Looking for more? Check out some of the excellent examples of 210s in our Car of the Week series.