1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
Sales - Design/Build - Restoration
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Part of building a jaw dropping show car is knowing when to hold back. With an icon like the ’57, even the most subtle touches go a long way. While the body received plenty of attention, it was aimed solely at creating the most perfect surface possible. Nothing has been shaved or modified in any way. Panel fitment is significantly above what factories were churning out in the 1950’s and every movable piece opens and shuts with ease. Of course, it’s the color that ultimately decides the personality of these cars and the glossy coat of Red lends this ’57 a sporty demeanor that most pastels simply cannot. The perfect reflections and crisp lines are a testament to how many hours were invested into block sanding the car before paint and wet sanding/buffing afterwards. The show quality finish guarantees this Chevy will make a big first impression on anyone lucky enough to see it in person.
The ‘57 is certainly the most well-known of the tri-five Chevys with brilliant trim and crisp, retro styling that strikes a perfect balance between grandiose 50s bling and exaggerated 60s proportions. At the front of the car a heavy, body-width bumper houses a proper gold Bel Air grille behind a pristine Chevrolet crest and two clear parking lights. Above that Chevrolet crest, Bel Air exclusive gold hood ornamentation sits between good looking ’57 Chevy exclusive ‘spear bullets and spoons’ and new hooded headlights. At the sides of the car classic tri-five side panels, which connect the front fenders with the rear fins, are branded by Bel Air exclusive gold emblems and display no dulling or imperfections of any kind. At the top of those fenders, excellent looking stainless trim combines with correct chrome mirrors, new Raingear wipers and a canvas red top to perfectly frame a like-new greenhouse. At the back of the car, peaked stainless trim begins at the top of the fins and continues down to ’57 Chevy exclusive chrome tail lights and a second body-width chrome bumper. And between those tail lights, another Bel Air exclusive gold “Chevrolet” script complements a matching gold “V” and two pristine chrome exhaust tips.
Take a peek under this car’s smooth, rolled hood and you’ll find a stout 5.7 liter LS1 V8 which produces solid power and effortless torque. Straight from Street & Performance, this fully-sorted package combines a smoothed and painted block with lightweight aluminum heads, coil-near-plug ignition and Weiand aluminum Lingenfelter intake manifold to create razor sharp throttle response and lightning quick acceleration. At the front of the engine a modern serpentine system, which is complete with a full set of chrome pulleys and chrome brackets, spins a chrome alternator and a chrome AC compressor at the sides of a chrome air cleaner that’s equipped with a fresh re-usable filter element. In front of the engine, cooling comes courtesy of a massive aluminum radiator that’s complete with a large electric fan. Not a detail has been missed under this Bel Air’s hood. Niceties such as a chrome brake booster and master cylinder, detailed hood hardware, nicely organized fuel and oil hoses and a Lokar dipstick add just the right amount of flash and detail to make people stop and take notice. And the car’s glossy engine compartment combines with the LS1’s clean silver casting to provide a natural contrast which oozes performance appeal.
Underneath this sharp drop-top a stunningly straight and smooth chassis has been painted to match the exterior and, when viewed next to the car’s plethora of clean suspension parts, looks so nice you’ll swear it’s floated down less than 10 miles of country black top. Above that top notch chassis, solid red floor pans wear a chip-free coat of glossy paint. And behind the engine, a new Street and Performance 4L60E 4-speed automatic spins torque through a new driveshaft and a fully rebuilt GM 8.2 Drop out rear axle. Holding that road ready powertrain in place is a fresh, fully-sorted suspension which includes tubular control arms up front, correct leaf springs out back and a fresh set of shocks at all four corners. Short, confident stops come courtesy of power four wheel disc brakes. And at the center of the floor, a true dual exhaust system sends spent gases through deep sounding Magnaflow mufflers to spotless exhaust tips. Cool finishing touches, like the new stainless steel rock valley fuel tank, combine trophy winning prowess with modern drivability. And putting the power to the pavement is a sweet set of 18” and 20” inch Coy Rims which wear Venezia rubber.
Pop open the driver’s side door and you’ll find a gorgeous red leather interior that has been stitched from front to back without any regard for busting the budget on time or cost. The custom upholstered interior and trunk compartment was performed by Steve Holcomb and is one of the nicest we’ve seen in a ’57 Bel Air. It starts with the Front bucket seats which wrap the driver and passenger in extremely comfortable red leather. Beneath those seats, upscale red carpet props color-keyed floor mats next to attractive black pedals. On the doors, custom sculpted panels look great between custom armrests and bright handles. Front and center, a curvaceous dash is detailed with traditional tri-five stainless. In front of the driver a bold, polished aluminum steering wheel spins red leather trim around a chrome tilt steering column, and a full set of Classic Instruments whited faced gauges. Slide the hideaway console and you’ll reveal the power windows including power vent windows.
With merely shakedown miles since it was completed, this Bel Air is exactly the kind of car that ends up taking home big awards at big shows. Its restoration work is absolutely first rate and its professionally built drivetrain is fully-sorted and ready for years of carefree cruising. Take this Chevy for a drive, or trailer it to shows, and watch the crowds form! If you’ve been looking for the ultimate tri-five Chevy, we have the car for you!
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