By on September 13, 2011

Hey you! Do you have a fourth-generation Camaro? Are you sick of the fact that it doesn’t look like a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air? Are you willing to paint some fiberglass to make it look slightly more like a Bel Air? Do you have $5,595?

If the answer to all those questions is “HELL YEAH BUDDY,” then do I have a kit for you!

The Belaro is exactly what the name promises: a Bel Air styling kit for a Camaro.

The 15 piece high quality fiberglass kit is pre-engineered to be assembled in hours, not years!! Notice that the front bumper is part of the front fender (it bolts to the stock 93-02 Camaro mounts ) The hood is a direct replacement for the stock Camaro hood (it uses stock hinges, struts, latch, catch & all the original bolts) 2 door panels cover the curved Camaro doors, and THE BEAUTY PART OF THE DESIGN – Our 1/4 panels snap into the original trunk gap, under the roof, into the doorjam(b – sic) & wheel wells and simply glues OVER the original Camaro 1/4 panels and include all the ’57 Chevy details!

Like 150 trim, Tail Lights, Bumpers, Light Buckets for the Camaro brake, Directional & Back-up Light Sockets.
The ’57 rear bumper cover goes over the stock Camaro bumper and cleans up the bulkhead under the Camaro tail lights. The Belaro trunk overlays the stock Camaro trunk lid.

Couldn’t be simpler, right? Although the coupe is a monstrosity, the convertible approaches non-horribleness:

WHAT’S THAT? You say that you don’t HAVE a Camaro? You have a Mercury Cougar?

That’s right. Save almost two thousand dollars and choose the cheaper Ford kit! Find out more at www.easyrods.com.

The more I look at the Belaro and the unnamed Easyrod Cougar conversion, the more confused I become. Who exactly is the target customer for these things? What’s the appeal? Are the buyers people who are steeped in irony like the Queen’s tea, or are they completely sincere, forthright people who really think these cars look just like their aesthetic inspirations?

I will say this: the first person to race a Belaro in NASA’s American Iron class will have my full respect. Speaking of American Iron, I think I need to see a little footage just to make me feel better about what I’ve just exposed you all to.

YouTube Preview Image

Check out the acceleration at 0:40!

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46 Comments on “Introducing… The Belaro...”


  • avatar
    Advo

    And here I thought Chevy had made their own version of the new Thunderbird (to make it a sales success where Ford couldn’t) in the same way the HHR mimicked the PT Cruiser.

  • avatar
    eldo500

    I love the way the silver car’s shitty hubcaps match the shitty bodykit. Great idea, spending $5K+ to make a POS $2K car worth $1K.

  • avatar

    This is the best thing I have seen all day. Thank you.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    how did this kit even pass the ‘back of napkin’ stage?

    surely they must know that there’s something seriously wrong with the way it looks

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    The low contrast paint job makes the coupe hideous, as the bulges, creases and character lines disappear into a sea of silver sameness. And while the body colored bumper trim screams “80s!” (for those who remember the cruising scene from that era, it was the dominant trend among the car customizers then) it only serves to eliminate the nose’s traditional role as visual anchor for the rest of the vehicle. The convertible pictured below is far easier on the eyes simply because it provides some appropriate shiny bits for the eye to latch on to in order to perform a visual appraisal of the whole.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Ummm…NO!

  • avatar
    jaje

    Simply hideous.

  • avatar

    The one or two owners of the Ford kits I’ve seen at car shows seem genuinely proud of their cars. These kits seem to tap the same market as people who tart up PT cruisers with period accessories. People who want the “look” of a classic car while having something that drives exactly like a new(er) car. They seem content to trade authenticity for cheapness & ease of ownership. I can understand it from a logical and intellectual standpoint, however owning & driving a classic car is never a logical and intellectual decision. You own a classic car because it is beautiful, or it has a soul, or it otherwise stirs something deep inside you.

    Which is why after work today I’m picking up my new 6volt positive-ground, drum brake, flathead 6, gyromatic transmission ’50 Coronet.

  • avatar
    roger628

    The Ford kit is actually intended for T-Birds. The roofline of the MN12 T-Bird at least resembles a 49-51 Ford Coupe. These kits have been around for a long time. I saw one in dark green at a cruise night in Saskatoon in about 1999 and somehow it worked, at least on that one car. Here I was heaping praise on the metalworking skills of the owner, thinking it was a one-off. It wasn’t until many years later that I found out the sorry truth.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      There were many cars done in steel before the kits came on the market. Many of the early steel ones were done on the last of the Fox birds and I’ve seen a couple done with Mark VIIs too.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    I think that the reason these kits are so obnoxious is a mechanical version of the “uncanny valley”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

    When a kit conversion attempts a unique look, even if it doesn’t succeed it doesn’t make you gag the way that these things do.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    So what’s the new coefficent of drag on those suckers? :P

  • avatar
    Nick

    I assume the in-car cam is also shot from a Mustang?

  • avatar
    Ethan Gaines

    Well I know since the Belaro is based on a Camaro, it has to be popular with murderers.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    That which has been seen cannot be unseen.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Looks exactly like what it was, the front and back end of a car grafted to another. Why on earth would someone buys something like this? The only reason I can think of is the original car’s in a bad crash and the ‘alternate’ front and rear end is considerably cheaper than the original. Give me a Mitsuoka anytime.

  • avatar
    nikita

    It reminds me of those Rolls Royce kits that used to be sold for VW beetles. I didnt understand it then and I dont understand these now.

    http://www.oldbug.com/rolls.htm

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      The Rolls-Royce kit for a VW Beetle was, I think, 100% ironic — given the relative market position of the Rolls and the “People’s Car.”

      I suppose there were one or two people who didn’t get the joke . . . but, surely, everyone else did. Indeed, the VW Beetle itself was an ironically-styled car, given that its body style was contemporary of the time when it was developed — the 1930s — even though it was being sold 20,30, 40 years later.

      • 0 avatar
        econobiker

        Echoing DC Bruce’s comments that it was ironic. Remember this was when the mass market still thought that Rolls was the most expensive apex of automobile design and panache. If you “made it” back then you bought a Rolls Royce- re: The Beatles, etc.

        Back in the 1970s most VWs with got the hood kit after the car was in an accident- it was considerably more rare to see a both front trunk and back engine cover version. The version from the link is more along the lines of a full kit car as I never remember seeing any with those special fenders just the hood and rarely an engine cover. Another one you might see is the rear of a VW getting the “wind up toy key” attached as irony of its presumed small size during the era.

        JC Whitney was one of the mail order suppliers of the kits.

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    This conversion does look cheap. The gray Belaro in the first photo even has steel wheels with plastic hub-caps. I once owned a base-model 2000 Camaro that had the exact same wheelcovers.

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    Here is a homemade creation the owner calls a Luminallac.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8490341@N04/4428213728/

  • avatar

    In the photos on the easyrods site, the last few Belaro pics show a car from NJ with the “Belaro” vanity plate.

    This could be the next endorsement deal for the “Jersey Shore” crowd….

  • avatar
    BigDuke6

    The convertible doesn’t look too bad…..
    But I can’t imagine how big of a market exists for these kits. After tooling up and producing all these fibre glass panels, how many would they have to sell just to break even?

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    The Belaro is an abomination, which is a judgement that as the owner of a 2002 Camaro SS I am 100% qualified to make. But what about the 4th gen to ’69 conversions?

    http://www.londonautosales.com/index.php?fn=catalog.search&cat=MUSCLE%20CARS

    There’s a guy about 50 miles down the road from me that’s been building these for awhile. He uses salvage cars for the foundations. Again, speaking as a 4th gen owner, I’m more ambivalent about these reskins, especially if it’s a car that was just going to be headed for the shredder otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      There was another company that reskinned fourth generation F-Bodies as Avantis. As a fan of the Studebaker originals, I could never warm up to these modern interpretations.

  • avatar
    Les

    I.. I feel like I’ve just been stabbed…

    …stabbed in my Soul!

    It hurts, it hurts very much badly.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Kill it with fire!

    Proof that “ricers” don’t have to be Japanese cars, and their drivers don’t necessarily have to be young…

  • avatar
    carve

    It reminds me of the car Homer Simpson designed.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Hey you! Do you have a fourth-generation Camaro? Are you sick of the fact that it doesn’t look like a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air?

    And thus the Chevy SSR was born!

  • avatar
    cackalacka

    The search for the tasteful body kit continues.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Ow my eyes.
    Who the hell thought that this was a good idea? Just goes to show that there’s a company out there to cater to every taste – no matter how tasteless.

  • avatar

    “The 15 piece high quality fiberglass kit is pre-engineered to be assembled in hours, not years!!”

    As the owner of a ’57 Handyman project (the BA 4-door in the icon is lonnnnng gone)…I’ll choose “years”. At least I can die with a little self-respect.

  • avatar
    texlovera

    OHHHHH GOD MY EEEEEYES!!!! THEY BUURRRRRRRNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • avatar

    Here is a fantasy vehicle based upon a real ’57 Chevy and done by a real craftsman. http://www.mystarcollectorcar.com/3-the-stars/star-truckin/525-a-57-chevy-el-caminothe-truck-that-never-was-he-have-it.html

  • avatar
    dgodshal

    The original bullet-bird was built 20 years ago by Jim Grandin. Steel body took 1500 hours to fab. Looked great and had “modern” T-bird A/C, supercharger, IRS, disk brakes, etc.

    http://www.hotrod.com/featuredvehicles/43540_1949_ford_thunderbird/

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      That isn’t the “original” and wasn’t built 20 years ago. In the article that was from the may 07 issue says “he came up with the idea about 4 years ago”. So that is after the kits were on the market. The first ones I saw locally in the early 90′s were done on Fox-Birds.

  • avatar
    SuperACG

    WOW, Jack! For a race car driver, you sure are slow! I remember spending time on the easyrods website as far back as 2004; I wanted to do a T-Bird conversion. Still do! In yellow, or primer black.

    Saw a pot lot trying to hock a Cougar version of one of those for $7995; they did the conversion themselves, and it didn’t look too bad.

    If I raced one of these in LeMons, would you have respect for me?

  • avatar
    sastexan

    Sajeev has now found a way to breathe new life into some of his old iron…

  • avatar

    I’m ambivalent about these kinds of conversions. I was just at the Lingenfelter Collection, which has some of the finest and rarest original Corvettes you can find, and next to the pristine ’53s and ’54s, there was one of these:

    He’s also got two CRC conversions that put a ’62 style body on a C5 chassis, one of them to match his original ’61 Vette.

    Based on some of the other cars in the collection (Fiero, Allante, SSR, Bricklin) Ken Lingenfelter isn’t an automotive snob, so it didn’t really surprise me to see these conversion there, particularly since Lingenfelter Performance sells custom Vettes. Of course Ken’s converted ‘Vettes are a bit more artfully done than the hardtop Belaro. The Belaro’s hood line just doesn’t work. On the original ’57, the hood doesn’t rise as it goes back.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    The fins on the Belaro are wrong. They look like the fins on a 56 Packard


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