Matador Red
Red
283 V8
3 Speed Manual
  • Correct 283 cubic inch Super Turbo Fire V8 / 270 horsepower
  • Correct Saginaw 3-speed manual transmission
  • 3.55 gears
  • 14-inch steel wheels
  • 100% original sheetmetal
  • Correct Matador Red lacquer / White top
  • Correct Red and Silver interior
  • Many rare options
  • National award winner
  • Restored by the co-author of "How to Restore Your 1957 Chevy"

Sometimes a hobby turns into obsession, the best simply isn't good enough and the student eventually becomes the teacher. With that in mind, we can't think of a better car to be obsessed with than the Chevy Bel Air. Long coveted by pretty much anyone who has an affinity for mixing chrome and gasoline, tri-fives like this award-winning drop-top continue to tilt the classic car pricing structure well in to the six-figure range. But this isn't just some fixed-to-cruise charmer that'll look good in front of the local Dairy Queen. It's the MOST CORRECT Bel Air convertible we've ever featured thanks to a comprehensive restoration that was conducted by the co-author of “How to Restore Your 1957 Chevy”. So, if you're looking for a true throwback car that's been loaded with rare options and polished for the 21st century, here's the tri-five of your dreams!

Much more impressive than when it originally rolled down GM's storied St. Louis assembly line, this well-done Chevy has been transformed into a take-no-prisoners show queen that can consistently win trophies. You won't be staying under the radar with its incredible Matador Red lacquer, which has been correctly applied over a 100% original Fisher body. That glossy, solid façade is the product of a frame-off, rotisserie rebuild that included stripping each panel all the way down to bare metal. Not surprisingly, those panels' fit and finish is almost good enough to turn reflections into reality. And ultimately, it all adds up to one super cool classic that, thanks to its spectacular combination of color and trim, has an absolutely magnetic presence!

The '57 is certainly the most well-known of the tri-fives, with brilliant trim and crisp, retro styling that strikes a perfect balance between grandiose '50s bling and exaggerated '60s proportions. At the front of this Chevy, a guarded, body-width bumper centers 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 T3 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, rides between polished fingernail guards, factory wheel skirts and familiar profile emblems. Above those emblems, curvy chrome trim combines with rare spotlights, stainless wipers and a white vinyl roof to perfectly frame tinted greenhouse glass. At the back of that roof, peaked caps begin at the top of the car's fins and crawl past angled antennas to a second bumper, optional reverse lamps and '57 Chevy-exclusive tail lights. And above that bumper, a factory continental kit complements a stainless-trimmed trunk with a second set of gold Chevrolet emblems.

In the late '50s, Chevrolet's 283 cubic inch Super Turbo Fire V8 was a common choice for factory GM performance. With an advertised 220 horsepower, it's an impressive piece even in today's world of 300 horsepower grocery getters. And when optioned with an aluminum intake and two 1299 O94 4-barrels, like this drop-top's “EB” stamped mill, it hit the pavement 270 horses strong! At the top of the bright orange mill, correct oil bath air cleaners funnel wind in to the aforementioned carbs and intake. At the base of that intake, correct 997 heads hang stamped and silver-detailed valve covers over a correct, solid lifter cam. At the back of those heads, a traditional points distributor shoots fire through loomed AC Delco Packard TV R Suppression cables. Once those fires have been lit, a glossy black radiator circulates coolant through pliable hoses and authentic squeeze clamps. Once that air and fuel is torched, bare metal exhaust manifolds whisk spent gases into stainless, true-dual pipes. And once combustion is created, new V-belts spin a tagged Delco-Remy generator opposite a Delco yellow cap battery. Everything in this Bel Air's fresh looking engine bay is complete and pristine. And not a detail was missed during the car's calculated restoration, with items like correct decals and an old school windshield washer system setting a trophy-winning tone.

Under this razor-sharp drop-top, a stunningly straight chassis is finished in standard Satin Black paint and, when viewed next to the car's plethora of clean suspension parts, will give you doubts about the age of its 1988 restoration. Above that top notch chassis, solid red floorpans wear a chip-free coat of traditional oxide primer. Behind the engine, a correct Saginaw 3-speed twists torque to a 1956 rear end that's married to 3.55 gears. Holding that road ready powertrain in place is a fully restored suspension which includes traditional control arms up front, familiar leaf springs out back and correct spiral shocks at all four corners. Vintage turning characteristics are provided by a manual steering rack. Confident stops come courtesy of manual drum brakes. At the center of the floor, a 2.5-inch, true-dual exhaust system pipes spent gases through deep-sounding turbo mufflers. And the power hits the pavement thanks to 14-inch steelies, which spin old fashioned 7.50-14 BF Goodrich Silvertown whitewalls around ornate spinner hubcaps.

In the '50s, GM was the king of design. Period. And this Bel Air's correct 2-tone interior is one of the most beautiful cockpits ever mounted behind a motor. As fastidiously crafted as the car's bodywork, the red and silver seats are firm and extremely spacious. There's a padded dash that's based in red, trimmed in stainless and equipped with a GM compass, a deluxe heater and an optional Wonderbar radio. At the base of that dash, tight carpet balances thick rubber floor mats beneath a stainless tissue box and smokeless ash tray. Note the car's spectacular door panels, which carry their combination of stainless and 2-tone vinyl past crank windows to a body-matched convertible cowl. The centerpiece of this tailored environment is an expertly restored steering wheel, which anchors a chrome horn ring in front of a factory day/night mirror, a chrome shifter and a classy Bel Air emblem. And behind the cockpit, a show quality trunk features a correct jack, a reproduction mat and plenty of room to pack whatever your itinerary calls for.

As mentioned, this awesome Chevy is a prestigious award winner. It previously scored 988 out of 1,000 points to receive Classic Chevy International Trailered Gold honors.

The sale of this meticulous masterpiece includes restoration photos and a copy of “How to Restore Your 1957 Chevy” that's been signed by the car's former owner and book co-author Harold Louisiana.

When you add up all the ingredients that went in to creating this killer Bel Air, it becomes obvious that the builder really cherished the car. There are no shortcuts, no marginal parts and nothing that looks out of place on what is uniformly a high-quality piece. Of course, quality never goes out of style. And when you hit the green in this stunning drop-top, you can literally watch the crowds form!

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