American car designs typically ran in three-year cycles. Usually by the third year of a design, the car was in dire need of freshening. The 1957 Chevy, however, has been the exception to the rule. Changes from 1956 lowered the whole car through a combination of smaller wheels and body modifications, and the nose and tail were updated with Cadillac cues, resulting in what some call a “baby Eldorado.”
There are some, however, for whom that just right is not enough. An automobile, even a ’57 Chevy, represents a blank canvas for expression—expression of engineering and of art. Such was the case with this ’57 Bel Air Convertible.
Art should have a focal point. For this car, it is undoubtedly the 502-cubic inch big block Chevy engine, the impact of which is magnified by liberal use of chrome on every imaginable surface. The transmission is a sturdy Hydra-Matic. The front suspension has been upgraded with tubular control arms, and the power front disc brakes with drilled rotors have been fitted. The turbine-style alloy wheels are from Billet Specialties, and they are mounted with radial wide whitewall tires.
The car has power steering and air conditioning, the latter a rare original feature, so the outlets are correctly integrated into the lower surface of the instrument panel. The original instrument nacelles have been retained and have been fitted with a full, handsome complement of black-on-white gauges from Classic Instruments. A white leather-wrapped steering wheel sits atop a modern tilt column. A Custom Autosound stereo system has been installed, specially outfitted for the car with a bowtie Chevy emblem on the face.
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Custom Convertible: Est. 350 bhp, 502 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and disc-front and drum-rear power hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 115.0 in.
More info: RM Auctions