Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Cars like this handsome 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop remain popular year after year, and it's easy to understand why. They're handsome, comfortable, reliable cruisers that pluck at a lot of people's heart strings. This particular Bel Air exactly nails the original look and feel with a nicely done restoration that offers a few low-key upgrades to make it perhaps the ultimate cruise night vehicle.
Bodywork was well executed with good gaps and signs of a substantial investment in time and effort to get the panels straight and ripple-free. If you're going to use a color like white (or Imperial Ivory for the purists, although this car was not born with this shade regardless) to attract all this attention, you'd better make sure the sheetmetal is straight, smooth, and well-aligned. It's got a few signs of use, maybe an imperfection here or there, but you can tell that this wasn't some cut-rate job that was done on the weekends. No, this looks great from any angle and holds up to the appreciative looks it's going to get on the highway. Much of the chrome has been re-plated or replaced and the stainless straightened and polished at the time of restoration, and if there are any reproduction trim pieces on the car, they're mostly indistinguishable from original. The gold anodized Chevrolet emblems front and rear, as well as the distinctive quarter panel inserts are all in very good condition as well, letting everyone know that this is indeed a Bel Air without having to check the VIN. Neatly restored and well-kept ever since, this Tri-5 is ready to rock.
Inside, the lovely black and red interior is the perfect complement to the elegant white bodywork. Workmanship on the interior is first-rate, and the materials are essentially exact duplicates of the original stuff. There are no major wrinkles or misaligned seams, suggesting that someone took their time, and while there are very minor signs of use here and there, there's nothing that needs attention. Unlike so many other '57s, it was restored to remain almost entirely stock inside, right down to the AM/FM/Cassette radio, which closely resembles the original unit and fits precisely into the factory dash slot. Original gauges show clear lenses and good original markings and the bright trim across the center of the dash still looks good, while a couple of auxiliary units were installed below to keep a better eye on the motor up ahead. The door panels are in great shape and match the seats, the black carpets below are plush and insulate the cabin, and the red headliner above is taut and pleated in the style of an original Bel Air. In the trunk, you'll find a correct rubber mat, spare tire with reproduction whitewall, and even a complete jack assembly.
Power comes from a 283 cubic inch V8, which has been nestled into a nicely restored engine bay and treated to a beautiful presentation. Obvious upgrades include the popular "Power Pack" style option that featured a 4-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, although this one sports a more modern 4-barrel under the shiny chrome air cleaner. Chevy Orange enamel on the engine really looks slick, especially with the contrasting bright chrome on the valve covers that puts a neat spin on the OEM look. Other upgrades include a newer master cylinder for the brake system, an upgraded modern alternator, and a big aluminum radiator with an electric fan up front that keeps the V8 nice and cool. The smart running V8 spins a 3-speed manual transmission driving what appears to be the original rear end. The underside is in good condition, with plenty of maintained parts, including the dual exhaust system that sounds great. Finishing off the look is a set of original steel wheels adorned with chrome hubcaps, which carry 14-inch whitewall performance radials from Hankook that give the pretty hardtop plenty of grip.
Despite building record numbers of 1957 Chevys, they remain very much in demand today. This speaks to both their enduring appeal to buyers as well as their inherent quality. This one, with an easy-cruising V8 powertrain and a very solid restoration represents a great opportunity to own an icon. Call today!
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