Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
Chevrolet designers were really hitting their stride in the mid 1950's 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 1, 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, nice fins and wrap around glass. Also, we are rollin' with chrome 5 spoked American Racing wheels just to look even more cool!
Folks, this one is all that and a bag of chips as they say with black painted steel slabs with no rust, but does present with numerous inclusions, dings, paint bubbles, and scuffs. Then there are plenty of chromed bolt ons lighting up the front end, dagmars, and a large chrome bumper on the bottom. A gold egg crate grille, an upper chrome "lip" to follow the hood line, and a beautiful near perfect cloisonn Chevrolet multi-colored badge. On the hood we see a gold wide bodied V with the Chevrolet script in your grandmother's handwriting. Also, on top, dual jet chromed inserts fly forward from the chrome window surround and are near perfect in condition. This hood is a steel unit with a molded in reverse facing fiberglass cowl induction scoop. Dual chromed mirrors hang from the doors and are bordered by a long trim strip that starts just above the front quarters at the headlights and moves rearward and swoops downward and splits to reveal a horizontal ribbed panel to add some contrast to the rear quarter. Just beautiful. Small tasteful fins make up the top of the rear quarter, and are topped with chrome, and melt on top the rear taillights as crescent moons with an oval rear backup light on the bottom. The gas filler cap is hidden within the trim for the rear taillight on the driver's side for you non 57 aficionados who are in need of a fill up. 15-inch polished American Racing Torque Thrust wheels are all around and are wrapped in black walls which look like new on the tread front. Also of note is the wrap around glass for the front and rear glass.
A swing of the cool doors and we note black background broadcloth with black stitched flagstone outline pattern within it. A silver vinyl panel houses the window crank and armrest. The flagstone broadcloth is showing some light fading but still presents well. Moving to the front bench, which is split, we see more black broadcloth with the flagstone stitched pattern inserts with silver smooth bolster surrounds complete with correct white piping. These seats show very well with little to no wear and have some chromed buttons thrown on the uppers on backs for giggles and visual enjoyment. On the rear bench there is plenty of romper room and it sports the same retro 1950's pattern. The dash has become more square in its design but still has deep round silver painted metal bezels for the gauges. Streaking through the middle of the dash is a shiny mesh aluminum trim which breaks up all the black and silver painted metal. A billet style banjo steering wheel sits atop a shiny chrome tilt column and looks just fab. A black vinyl tight headliner is noted up top and down below we see clean black carpeting that is protected by black carpeted and rubber mats. A shout out to the trunk with its clean red vinyl side panels and black floor carpeting.
Sitting within the totally restored engine bay is a shiny new looking orange/red GM painted block. It is now a consignor-stated 402 ci V8. It is topped with a Holley 4bbl carburetor and an Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold. Allowing you to row some gears is a Muncie M20 4-speed manual transmission and way in the back is a 10-bolt rear axle with unknown gearing. Gobs of bling have been added to the restored engine bay as chrome rules for the valve coverings, air cleaner lid, alternator, brake booster and overflow canister.
Absolutely straight black no rust steel and frame, floor pans, side rockers, and even the wheel wells are clean. A light dusting of surface rust is noted on the usual suspects, but all remains solid. We note front independent coil spring and rear leaf spring suspension with added ladder style traction bars. Power brakes have been added and are disc format in the front and drums in the rear. Headers
Another coin flip car for the first to take to the test track and my never failing decoder, copy editor, and good fr
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