Bel Air 4-Door Hardtop
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-Door Hardtop
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-Door Hardtop
Chevrolet designers were really hitting their stride in the mid 1950s with their Tri Fives, and you would arguably say the Magnum Opus was the last model of the Tri Five era…the 57 Chevrolet. So how exactly does one take this masterpiece of bowtie design, and take it one step further? Something to really end up with the pie'ce de re'sistance, and stand out from the crowd a bit, but all the while not ruining the original concept.
Elvis Presley was lighting up the charts, drive-in movies were all the rage for more reasons than one, and the poodle skirt had hit high schools across the country. And with this last year and considered the best year of the Tri Five era, and the highest end model in the Bel-Air. This one will not disappoint with all the right options, plenty of chrome trimmings and a finned rear.
The 1957 version is always the talk of the town, and this one will have your town's tongues wagging. The shiny mirror like grille with its big bumper below an egg crate gold (only in '57) grille and single headlights framed by fenders with the beginnings of a trim spear above, it just does not get any better. Nice use of chrome on the wheel well in front that fades into a rocker trim ending at the rear well. Above there is the ever widening spear that takes over the rear quarter panel and has a resplendent stainless steel insert panel complete with gold Bel Air script in your grandmother's handwriting along with a badge. On back are the chrome topped fins which on the driver's side magically flip open to reveal the filler for the gas. On the bottoms of these fins are half oval taillights with an arc bezel which intermixes with the protruding oval backlights and exhaust openings within the rear bumper. Twin radio antennas lean rearward and the panorama glass just in front of these is original to this car. Matador Red, and India Ivory paint adorn this two tone work of 1957 bowtie art.
Swinging the doors open we shake hands with red and black vinyl panels which dance together in various patterns to make up the door panels. Seen also is the 50's style “flagstone” pattern broadcloth with a black field playing host to red bordered flagstone patterns throughout the cloth that have kept their pristine original cranks, handles and chrome trimmings. Stretching from door to door in front is a bench seat with a split back which is covered in more black with a hint of red flagstone broadcloth inserted seats that have smooth red bolsters. The rear bench follows suit in design with the front, and floats on black clean carpeting. The newly designed more squared off one bump dash fronts the seats, and is very clean and sporting original gauges and knobs. Above and below a square punched pattern aluminum insert, are red steel dash topper and lower panels. A digital AM/FM/Cassette vintage look radio is now installed. With this metal dash top make sure your father puts his arm across when coming to a stop, so you don't hit that dash! A wonderful tight near perfect vented pattern vinyl in deep red is making up the headliner.
An original 283ci V8 is within the restored and pristine engine bay. This is topped with a single 4-barrel Carter carburetor. Consigner states this engine has been slightly bored and had new rings. At this same time for the engine slight rebuild, the original 2-speed automatic Powerglide transmission was totally rebuilt. The rear axle shows up as a 3.36 version. Under this hood is showroom original if I say so myself.
Showing off with no surface rust, plenty of undercoating, clean parts for the independent front suspension with coil springs and rear suspension with leaf springs, we see solid frame, rockers and floorpans. Nary even a drip from the bottom end of this engine and transmission which is great and rare. Drum brakes are on all 4 corners and a stock dual exhaust is nice and new looking.
Sitting behind this wheel brought me right back to 1957 as it truly is a mostly original car. The 283ci V8 lit right up and took me quickly around the test track, handling very well, panic stopping straight, and provided a nice quiet cruise on those like new Coker radials. All controls were in full working order and it was a nice experience.
Our consigner purchased this car 20 years ago and set out on its restoration journey. He utilized various professionals and experts when he was in over his head and tried to keep the car as close to original as possible. There was a color change but what else would you want but red?! This writer feels he succeeded in his goals and has even exceeded in his efforts with this 57 artful bowtie last year of the Tri Five era. It certainly escorts this era out with a bang!
C-2400 Series BelAir
B-Baltimore, MD Assy Plant
180273-Sequential Unit Number
STYLE NO 1039D-1957 Belair 4 Door Hardtop
BODY NO M7642-Baltimore Body #
TRIM NO 671-Black & Green
PAINT NO 812-Surf Green & Highland Green
ACC E-Tinted Glass
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.
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