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.
For consignment a piece of the piece de resistance in the form of the banner year for the Tri Fives... a 1957 Bel Air. Fully restored and all primed to go for a cruise down Main Street and start turning heads. In excellent condition, it's like a gold nugget that glistens in your pan amid all the silt and water, and when you lay your eyes on this one you will see she's worth her weight...
From its toothy vintage and fresh grille that floats between a small upper bumper and lower large bumper complete with rubber tipped "Dagmars", to the beltline swoop spear that makes a downward turn on the rear quarter panel, this restoration is truly the definition of the term "buttoned up." Dual rocket style hood embellishments are fronting curved gentle tubes that are on either side of the hood. These run back toward the wrap around windshield where they die into the hood. Very nice (just like the bumpers and trim) chromed headlight bezels frame the single headlights, and nice chromed side view mirrors, door handles, and window trim all chromed are all good. Continuing rearward, we see an offshoot of the downward sloping spear, that also runs to the rear of the car, and borders a horizontally ribbed aluminum panel with a gold Bel Air badge in your grandmother's handwriting, and cloisonn Chevrolet bowtie badge. We need to talk about the straight steel panels all around, with fair minded gaps, and covered Black paint. 14-inch wheels have been put on to accommodate the front drum brakes. On the rear are fender skirts. The wheels are covered with polished 4-pointed midcentury modern star hub caps edged with red steel wheels and wide whites.
A swing of the doors and we see flagstone pattern black and gray broadcloth mixed with a curvaceous gray mid panel. Cranks and levers are very good as is armrest. Looking inside a very clean split bench with more of the black and gray flagstone pattern tuck and roll cloth and light gray bolsters. Just to show off chromed buttons have been added to the seat backs. The rear bench follows the form of the front seats. The dash is showroom, with black painted top dash, light gray instrument cluster, steering column and steering wheel right out of 1957 and all pristine. An aluminum band with mini square pattern adds an accent strip to the dash and houses various knobs and a vintage looking radio. Black clean thick pile carpet floods the floors and has some black carpeted protective floor mats on top. A few aftermarket gauges have been added in and all is looking just showroom inside.
An automotive mechanical bauble could best describe this single 4-barrel carburetor and intake setup, which tops a small block Chevrolet V8 motor. This engine sports an orange painted block, and well-polished bolt ons all around, chromed valve covers, and a round chrome air cleaner holder. Supple hoses and original silver manifolds are all present and accounted for. On back is a TH350 3-speed automatic, and way back a 3.36 axle
The frame off restoration has left the undercarriage simply beautiful looking absolutely right out of the showroom. Black floorpans and pristine black rockers are mounted securely to a jet-black straight rust-free frame. Dual exhaust in Cherrybomb fashion is like new, worms it's way back past all this finery. Front and rear drums remain on. Manual steering and independent coil spring front suspension and leaf spring rear suspension are all clean and near perfect and showroom quality.
As expected from the look of the rest of the car, it runs very well, starting immediately, shifting smoothly, and providing a smooth ride. Plenty of power from those 4 barrels feeding the small block. All functions were working as expected on our test drive.
If you are in the market for the best year of the Tri-Fives, that is as close to really nice as one can get, then look no further because this is one of the nicest examples around. Tastefully performed restoration and in keeping with the original concept from 1957. An original looker, and in the prime time... 1957. Looks like you are in the front row!!
C-2400 Series BelAir
N-Norwood, OH Assy Plant
201320-Sequential Unit Number
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