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57 Chevy
By Larry Edsall

57 Chevy Buy a brand new '57 Chevy
Fifty years after the introduction of the now famous 1957 Chevrolet, CARS Inc. introduced the Chevrolet Convertible.

Based in Rochester, Michigan, CARS Inc. was founded in 1976 when Larry Wallie and Bob Chauvin couldn't find all the stuff they needed to restore their own Chevys, so they scrounged dealerships for old but original parts and started making those they couldn't find.

They specialized in sheetmetal fabrication – doors, fenders, floorboards, etc. – and in interior components. With 30 years of experience – and with former general manager Dave Pini buying out Chauvin's interest when the co-founder retired – CARS Inc. used the 2006 Woodward Dream Cruise to introduce its latest project -- a turn key '57 Chevy Convertible, this one with the classic finned body surrounding a thoroughly modern chassis and componentry that included a 350-horsepower Corvette engine, as well as modern air conditioning, cruise control, etc.

CARS Inc. will sell you a '57 Chevy convertible in any of three stages of completion. In each case, the company starts with an original 1957 Chevy "cowl," – dash, firewall and (windshield-supporting) A pillars, then builds out from there.

An all-metal body with the convertible top mechanism cost $34,500. That same body mounted atop an Art Morrison performance chassis went for around $48,000. Or you could get a ready-to-drive (turn key) car for between $90,000 and $100,000, depending on the specific components.

For the sake of comparison, at the nationally televised Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in January 2006, enthusiasts paid between $75,600 and $167,400 for ‘57 Chevrolet Bel Air convertibles.

CARS Inc. makes a variety of parts – some 25,000 parts numbers -- for various classic Chevrolet vehicles except Corvair and Corvette, which its leaves those to other specialist companies, spokesman Jason Plummer says.

For more information, visit www.1957ChevyBody.com or www.carsinc.com or call 248-853-8900.

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