With late 50s Chevys being six-figure investments, and arguably the hottest segment in the collector car hobby, the division’s Bel Air has become one of the most recognized and beloved classics of all time. Its clean lines, ornate trim and excellent proportions make for a handsome canvas with a TON of customizing potential. And not surprisingly, a wide array of these trademark Chevys populate car shows around the country with builds that range from correct concours quality restorations all the way to wild creations that exceed the performance of today’s fastest street cars. Somewhere between those perfected trailer queens and temperamental custom machines you’ll find cruisers like this awesome black rag-top. Decked in a smooth coat of correct paint, sporting an attractive two-tone interior and featuring an era-correct dual-quad drivetrain, this super slick tri-five is the kind of well-done classic that’ll pick up trophies AND tear up the open road. Looking for an awesome weekend warrior to turn heads with? You’ve found your next car!
Professionally built with little regard for expense, this sleek Bel Air convertible is chock full of great craftsmanship. During an extensive rebuild, every piece of the car’s body was honed and fine-tuned until it was both solid and shapely. Once that body’s panels exhibited a factory fresh appearance and displayed good fit and finish, its surfaces were bathed in a fantastic coat of correct GM code 793 Onyx Black. And today, the car sits as one rockin’ tri-five cruiser that’s sure to elicit double takes wherever it goes!
When the longer and lower ’57 Chevrolets debuted, they created just as much buzz as their twice removed ancestors. And in the course of only three years, the Chevrolet division had transformed from a manufacturer of chunky runabouts to a brand that was extremely stylish and genuinely aspirational. At the front of this red hot drop-top a heavy, body-width bumper hangs a proper gold Bel Air grille behind a pristine Chevrolet crest and two clear parking lights. Above that crest, Bel Air-exclusive gold hood ornamentation sits between good looking ’57 Chevy-exclusive ‘spear bullet and spoons’ and hooded T3 headlights. At the sides of those headlights classic tri-five stainless, which connects the car’s front fenders with its rear fins, is accented by Bel Air-exclusive gold emblems. Above that stainless, bright chrome window frames combine with correct chrome mirrors, traditional chrome door handles and a fade-free black top to perfectly frame like-new glass. Below that stainless, dent-free rocker moldings flow to optional black fender skirts that help create a sleek and solid profile. And behind those fender skirts, peaked stainless trim begins at the top of the car’s fins and continues down to ’57 Chevy-exclusive tail lights, a second body-width bumper and a stylish continental kit that mimics the car’s gold-scripted decklid.
While this convertible is certainly one handsome cruiser, we all know that looks aren’t everything. Take a peek under its smooth, rolled hood and you’ll be happy to find a 283 cubic inch Super Turbo Fire V8 that props an April (04) 15th (15) 1957 Flint (F) build stamp above a correct 1957-specific 3731548 casting number. Consistently chosen over Rochester’s much-hyped Ramjet fuel injection as GM’s ultimate hot rod option, this stout small block is widely regarded as the starting point of Chevrolet’s amazing performance legacy. Those reliable Carter carburetors, which inhale through traditional AC oil bath air cleaners, bolt to a revised and tweaked intake manifold that’s seated in a familiar glow of Chevy Orange paint. At the sides of that intake, stamped Chevrolet valve covers hang over fully restored exhaust manifolds that funnel spent gases into true dual pipes. Behind that intake, a traditional points distributor shoots fire through fresh 7mm suppression wires that are neatly loomed at the sides of the block. And in front of that intake, a gloss black radiator circulates coolant through fresh GM heater hoses and authentic metal squeeze clamps. In addition to its killer powerplant, this Bel Air offers a correctly detailed engine bay that’s complete with stainless fuel lines, proper decals, an old school generator and even a reproduction Delco yellow cap battery. And aesthetically, the car’s satin black fenders blend seamlessly with its brightly adorned mill on the way to providing a natural contrast which oozes performance appeal!
Underneath this sharp Chevy, you’ll find a straight frame and solid floorpans that are finished in a familiar combination of traditional red oxide and subdued satin black. Behind the car’s stout small block engine a sturdy 3-speed manual transmission, which wears an application-correct 3845122 Saginaw casting number, twists power through a factory rear end. Holding that solid drivetrain off the ground is a completely restored double A-arm front and leaf spring rear suspension that’s been equipped with correct manual steering. Quick stops and excellent pedal feel come courtesy of rugged four wheel drum brakes. A first-rate soundtrack is provided by a factory replacement exhaust system which sends spent gases through free-flowing, aluminized pipes and baritone turbo mufflers. All this head turning style rides on a correct set of 14 inch steel wheels which spin classy 7.50-14 BF Goodrich Silvertown white walls around pristine Chevrolet hubcaps. And everything from the car’s bright blue shocks to its stainless steel fuel tank is clean, functional and ready to go!
The spectacular cockpits in second generation Bel Airs need no introduction, but here goes. Depress the button on this drop-top’s bright chrome door handle and you’ll find a gorgeous GM code 683 red and silver interior that stays completely true to the car’s original scheme. The rebuilt front and rear bench seats are all-day comfortable and feature supple, chrome trimmed hides that fit well and feel great. Beneath those seats, fresh black carpet props rugged Bel Air-crested floor mats next to clean silver kick panels and bright Fisher-branded sill plates. At the edges of that carpet, flawless two-tone door panels are anchored beneath sculpted red toppers and classy stainless frames. At the front of those panels, a curvaceous dash is layered in bright red urethane, spectacular chrome trim and a stylish, bowtie-branded gauge pod. The driver spins a correct red steering wheel, complete with a chrome horn ring and a classic Chevrolet Bel Air centerpiece, around a chrome shifter for the car’s 3-speed manual transmission. And passenger’s store essentials in a freshly finished trunk that features a correct mat, a correct jack, correct decals and a second full-size spare tire.
The sale of this awesome Chevy includes a factory owner’s manual and factory instructions for operating its folding convertible roof.
Logging only weekend miles since it was completed, this Bel Air is exactly the kind of car that creates big smiles and great memories. Its professional restoration is clean and solid, and its era-correct drivetrain is fully-sorted and ready for years of carefree cruising. If you’ve been looking for a great tri-five Chevy to drive and enjoy, we have the car for you!