Frame Off Restored Bel Air Convertible 283 Dual Quad V8 3 Speed Manual
- 283 cubic inch Chevrolet Turbo Fire V8
- Dual 4-barrel carburetors
- Saginaw 3-speed manual transmission
- Factory power steering
- 14-inch steel wheels
- Correct Matador Red paint
- Haartz cloth top
- Nakamichi CD player
The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air is in a pretty elite group when it comes to significance and overall impact on the collector car hobby. It's one of the most easily recognized cars on the planet and clean, stock examples routinely fetch a solid six figures at auction. Sporting an impressive red on red and silver color combination, a correct dual-quad 283/3-speed drivetrain and a thorough, frame-off restoration, this Bel Air is the kind of well-done classic that goes above and beyond the nearly universal appeal of a stock model. If you're considering a show-stopping tri-five, why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building a similar car when you can take home this completed masterpiece for roughly half the money?
This exceptionally clean drop-top is a no-compromises build that combines great Bel Air design with marvelous craftsmanship and a hot Chevy small block. Officially revived via professional, frame-off restoration, the car was completely stripped and given a high quality shakedown that ensured every one of its rock-solid panels presents much better than factory originals. Once that collection of fenders and doors was mocked up, their ripple-free facades were blanketed in a smooth coat of Matador Red base and buried in durable clear. And today, this Chevy rolls as a fresh spin on a traditional look that combines the visual punch of a classic Ferrari with the visual class of a vintage Cadillac.
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 props a gold Bel Air grille behind a pristine Chevrolet crest and two clear parking lamps. Above that crest, Bel Air-exclusive header ornamentation rides between hooded headlights and '57 Chevy-exclusive 'spear bullets and spoons'. At the sides of those headlights, classic tri-five stainless, which visually connects the car's fenders with its fins, is branded by Bel Air-exclusive emblems that display no dulling or imperfections of any kind. At the top of those emblems, curvy chrome trim combines with correct chrome mirrors, bright stainless wipers and a fresh Haartz top to perfectly frame a like-new greenhouse. Opposite that top, peaked stainless caps begin at the top of the car's fins and continue down to '57 Chevy tail lights, a second chrome bumper and polished stainless exhaust tips. And above that bumper, an optional continental kit complements requisite gold trunk emblems.
While this car is certainly one handsome cruiser, we all know that looks aren't everything. Take a peek under its smooth, rolled hood and you'll be happy to find a 283 cubic inch Turbo Fire V8 that's been fully rebuilt and professionally detailed for show. Consistently chosen over Rochester's much-hyped Ramjet fuel injection as one of GM's ultimate hot rod options, this stout small block is widely regarded as the starting point of Chevrolet's amazing performance legacy. Two reliable Carter carburetors, which inhale through Corvette-style air cleaners, bolt to a revised and tweaked intake manifold that's seated in a familiar glow of Chevy Orange paint. At the sides of that intake, stamped and silver-detailed valve covers reflect fully restored exhaust manifolds that funnel spent gases into true-dual tail pipes. Behind that intake, a traditional points distributor shoots fire through pliable radio cables that are neatly loomed at the sides of the block. And in front of that intake, a tagged and decaled radiator circulates coolant through GM-branded hoses and authentic metal squeeze clamps. In addition to its killer powerplant, this Bel Air offers a largely weather-free engine bay that's complete with stainless fluid lines, an AC fuel bowl, a tagged Delco-Remy generator and even a reproduction Delco yellow cap battery. And aesthetically, the car's Satin Black fenders blend seamlessly with its brightly adorned mill on the way to providing a natural contrast that virtually oozes performance appeal!
Underneath this razor-sharp bowtie, a straight, Satin Black chassis is framed by solid, Matador Red floorpans. Behind the small block, a correct Saginaw 3-speed spins torque through a beefy driveshaft and fully rebuilt rear end. Holding that road-ready powertrain in place is a fresh, fully-sorted suspension which includes traditional control arms and correct leaf springs. Easy turns are provided by factory power steering. Short, confident stops come courtesy of correct drum brakes. At the center of the car, a 2.5 inch, true-dual exhaust system sends spent gases through deep sounding turbo mufflers. And putting the power to the pavement is a sweet set of 14-inch Matador Red steelies that spin old fashioned 205/75 Coker Classic whitewalls around ornate stainless center caps.
The spectacular cockpits in second generation Bel Airs need no introduction, but here goes. Depress the button on this Chevy's bright chrome door handle and you'll find a gorgeous Red and Silver interior that's both classy and stylish. The rebuilt front and rear bench seats are all-day comfortable and feature supple, silver-detailed hides that fit well and feel great. Beneath those seats, fresh black carpet props rugged Bel Air-crested floor mats next to clean black kick panels and bright Fisher-branded sill plates. At the edges of that carpet, flawless two-tone door panels are anchored beneath sculpted red toppers and classy stainless frames. At the front of those panels, a curvaceous dash hangs an optional tissue box beside a modern Nakamichi CD player. The driver spins a correct red steering wheel that's complete with a chrome horn ring and classic Bel Air centerpiece. And passengers store their essentials in a fully finished trunk that features a correct mat, a correct jack and correct decals.
The sale of this vivid classic includes an Owner's Manual, instructions for its folding top and a few maintenance receipts.
A top notch restoration takes a while to fully absorb. Its major features may not hit you immediately but, the longer you spend looking at it, the easier it becomes to see just how much work has actually been performed. From its sweet, dual-quad 283 to its amazing interior, every piece of this Bel Air shows as though it was the priority of the build. If you're in the market for a well-executed copy of America's most iconic automobile, don't miss your chance to own this killer '57 Chevy!