The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air has style in spades, making these cruisers some of the most recognizable and desirable American cars ever created. They’ve always been great to look at, but for a lot of modern drivers, what equated to impressive street manners in the 1950s simply doesn’t translate to 2014. For that reason, there is a tendency to go overboard with updating these cars with modern hardware but this ’57 Bel Air offers the perfect balance of classic looks and modern behavior. The subject of a detailed body-off restoration, this tri-five Chevy retains a nearly stock appearance while offering a 427 cubic inch, a smooth-shifting Tremec transmission, power steering, and air conditioning – everything you need to enjoy this car on modern roads. Looking for a classic Bel Air without the compromises? Your Chevrolet has arrived!
The beneficiary of two recent restorations, the first was a complete frame off restoration which was finished in 2008. 2012 brought the most recent restoration that included a new frame, work inside the engine compartment, and a repaint. Today it sits as a decorated award winner in vibrant silver that was borrowed from the Mercedes-Benz line of colors.
Zoom in on the details and you’ll find all the correct trim in place and ready for show. The front is a gorgeous combination of gold and silver, lead by a pristine chrome bumper. Pointed fenders are capped in chrome and the hood décor continues the sense of forward motion. The greenhouse is filled with clean glass edged in well-preserved stainless trim, while round mirrors sit just beyond either vent window. A trio of gold fender louvers introduce the side profile and the iconic side trim flows back and opens up above the rear fender as the fins continue back. Out back, the sharp fins are capped in chrome, while a golden Chevrolet emblem and V badge fill in the center. At the very back you will find another wrap-around rear bumper, while the dual exhausts exit out just behind the rear tires.
Lift the big silver hood and you’ll find a fantastic blend of show and go sitting within the engine bay. Powering the Bel Air is a 427 cubic inch Big Block Mark IV V8 bored .030 over with a complete Reher Morrison top end. The big block creates a dyno-proven 587hp at 7000RPM and looks incredible while doing so. At the top of the engine is a polished aluminum air filter that sits atop a Holly ultra HP 850 CFM carburetor shoving the air/fuel mixture through an Edelbrock Victor series intake. Inside the block is a cross drilled nitrited forged steel crankshaft, Forged 11.3 pistons with 119cc heads, Molly perfect circle rings, Clevite H-series race bearing mains, Lunati solid mechanical roller cam, and a HP cam bearing set. Spent gasses travel out the Reher Morrison heads through a set of custom Hooker Super comp long-tube coated headers before entering dual exhausts.
Bolted to that massive 427 is a Centerforce clutch and pressure plate that transfers those 587hp to the Tremec TKO600 5-speed manual transmission. From there the power travels down the driveshaft and puts the power to the ground thanks to a Ford 9” rear axle that has been equipped with a 3.70 posi differential with 31-spline Moser axles. At the front of the car you’ll find Heidts front control arms with QA1 adjustable coil-over shocks and in the rear an upgraded tri-angulated 4-bar suspension equipped with adjustable QA1 coil-over shocks holds the Ford 9” in place. Stopping power comes courtesy of Wilwood 12” disc brakes being equipped at every corner. In front of those brakes the entire car sits on 18” and 20” Boyd Coddington Aluminum Junkyard Dog Wheels that have been wrapped in Nitto NT555 Extreme.
Inside you will find a completely custom red and silver vinyl interior by Cars Interior. When it comes to interiors, even the best stitch-master would be hard-pressed to create something more attractive than a stock ’57 Bel Air interior. The custom red and silver interior is a great reminder of that. Swing open either door to admire beautifully styled door panels with fresh trim, and hardware. Fisher Body door sill plates protect the threshold while fresh red carpets protected by new rubber mats greet your arrival. A pair of bench seats offers spacious accommodations for four, wrapped in the same striking red and silver vinyl as the door panels. Slide into the driver''s seat for a better look at the controls. You’ll notice right off the bat the Ididit steering column. Behind the red wheel, the stylish Bel Air dash reads only 497 miles and hosts a trio of gauges that measure temperature, speed, and fuel, while to either side, stainless pulls control the accessories. Vents underneath the dash distribute cooled air from the HVAC system and an upgraded radio provides entertainment for the ride thanks to a Custom Autosound receiver and 10-disc CD changer. The whole cabin is topped by a taut, red headliner completed by a dome light and matching red visors.
We aren’t the only ones who think this ’57 Chevy is immaculate. Here is a quick list of all the achievements it has already claimed:
•Best of Show award at 2009 World of Wheels in Birmingham Alabama
•Top three award at Corvette expo in Sevierville Tennessee
•Top Ten editor’s choice award at Super Chevy show in Atlanta Georgia
•Top 3 in class at Horsepower and Hot Rods in Sevierville Tennessee
•Featured on Wilwood Brakes Homepage
•Featured on Wilwood five brake fluid bottles
•Featured on Borla Exhaust films page
•Featured on Boyd Coddington’s Homepage
•Featured in MSD ignition ad in Super Chevy Magazine
If you’re after a high quality restoration topped out with thousands upon thousands of dollars’ worth of incredible functionality, then this is the tri-five of your dreams. Especially if you enjoy the 50''s styling but want a modern drivetrain and suspension, cars like this ’57 are the way to go. Its 427/TK0600 combination is a pleasure to operate and details like air conditioning and power steering will keep the passengers happy too. If you’re ready to truly enjoy a tri-five, don’t miss the chance to put this Bel Air in your collection today!