In the world of collector cars, there are few cars as beloved as
the '57 Chevy Bel Air. Finished in Imperial Ivory with a rumbling
small block and a 4-speed automatic, this is the ultimate '50s
cruiser with modern upgrades that is a pleasure to drive and
Repainted a few years ago and still in good overall condition, this Bel Air has a subtle, resto-mod look that also offers a lot of authenticity. Workmanship is decent all around, with flat panels that fit together well and good depth to the finish, so it has a proper 1957 look without being too shiny and slick. Look at the door gaps, the way the polished stainless trim flows from panel to panel, and the smooth surfaces and it's clear that this car led an easy life and has been someone's favorite for a long time. The Bel Air's trademark feature, those lovely anodized aluminum panels in the quarters, are in good shape and carry correct Bel Air script on their faces. And while this is a resto-mod and not a strict restoration, it's nice to see that the restorer didn't go overboard with options as so often happens with these cars. It's just a clean, straight '57 that's easy to love.
The fantastic red and black interior is the ideal match for the vintage-looking bodywork. It uses correct materials and patterns and while it's not crisp and perfect like a fresh restoration, it works rather well with the soft shine of the paint and gives the car an all-of-a-piece vibe. And speaking of simplicity, the steering wheel is from an earlier model, so it's plain, but the contrast is appealing and works well here. The auxiliary gauges in the dash have been replaced by modern dials, but the speedo is original, and there's a second set neatly hanging under the dash. A custom shifter for the 700R4 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission also carries a Sun tachometer, which is a cool way to add function without altering the factory look. They kept the stock AM radio in the dash, although it's probably due for an upgrade pretty soon. Open the trunk lid and you can see for yourself how clean and well-finished this car is, with solid quarters, a reproduction trunk mat, and a full-sized spare tire that's never been used.
Thanks to generations of development, a modern 350 cubic inch Chevy V8 will slip right between the Bel Air's fenders and deliver roughly twice the horsepower of the original 283. The small block sports a Street Dominator intake and a 4-barrel carb, plus Edelbrock valve covers and a bright chrome air cleaner. No, it's not show quality, but it does run superbly and will be easy to maintain for years to come without so much as a second thought, and it's a ton of fun to drive. Stock manifolds feed a 2.5-inch dual exhaust system, so it's got a great soundtrack to go with its understated look and the overdrive transmission ensures that it never gets annoying on the highway. Underneath, it's fairly clean with a bunch of new parts, including the aforementioned exhaust system, a new gas tank, and recent coil-over shocks. And no resto-mod Chevy is complete without a set of Rallys with staggered 235/75/15 front and 255/70/15 rear Uniroyal radials.
If you're looking for a fun '57 that doesn't demand a lot of fussing and can run with some pretty serious hardware, this Bel Air fits the bill. Call today!