Despite being best-known for their classic good looks and pure American style, the 'shoebox' Chevys were the hot rod of choice for many young gearheads who had a thirst for power and a need for speed. Dominating drag strips and terrorizing stoplights long before the likes of Tri-powered GTOs and Hemi powered Mopars; they carry an unbeatable combination of adaptability and universal appeal which still makes them one of the best platforms for amazing bowtie builds. This custom '57 Bel Air carries a fire breathing small block engine, substantial drivetrain upgrades and a $4K set of strip-ready wheels and tires which transform it into an irresistible old school muscle car with a killer combination of style and all-out performance. If you've been looking for an awesome 'tri-five' cruise and show car, but don't want to pay the exorbitant price of a restored original, this spectacular '57 Chevy simply can't be beat!
Combining classic Chevrolet lines with a glowing coat of Porsche Mars Red paint, this fantastic '57 Chevy is a no-compromises build which looks ALMOST as mean as it sounds. Starting life at GM's Norwood, Ohio assembly plant as a top-of-the-line Bel Air, it recently benefitted from a frame-off custom build that completely restored its rock solid body panels and gave it a better than factory appearance. Once the cars curvaceous body was properly aligned and free of imperfections, a killer coat of Porsche Mars Red was expertly applied, sealed with a thick clearcoat shell and buffed to a slick shine. The result is a rockin' red Bel Air which features first-rate finish work, presents exceptionally well and has enough visual punch to make 'kids' from 8 to 45 point, stare and smile.
The '57 Bel Air is certainly the most ornate of the 'tri-five' Chevys with sensational styling that's highlighted by flashy trim, a lot of chrome and some of the best tail fins to come out of the 50s. At the front of the car, a heavy body-width bumper houses a proper gold Bel Air grille behind a pristine Chevrolet crest and two clear parking lights. Above that Chevrolet crest, Bel Air exclusive gold hood ornamentation sits between Mars Red detailed 'spear bullets and spoons' and clear Mars Red detailed hooded headlights. On the sides of the car, classic 'tri-five' Chevy stainless that connects the front fenders with the rear fins displays no dulling or imperfections of any kind, and is branded by Bel Air exclusive gold emblems. At the bottom of the doors, dent free stainless rocker moldings perfectly emphasize the cars tight panel alignment; and at the top of the doors, excellent looking stainless trim combines with correct chrome mirrors to perfectly frame the cars entire greenhouse. Behind that greenhouse, peaked stainless trim begins at the top of the fins and continues down to '57 Chevy exclusive chrome tail lights and a second chrome body-width bumper. On the trunk lid, a second Bel Air exclusive gold “Chevrolet” script sits above a second gold “V” and a perfectly matched gold aftermarket tag bracket.
Pop the cars domed hood and you'll find a hot small block 350 that utilizes a .030 bore and a completely balanced rotating assembly to turn a stout 10.3 to 1 compression into an estimated 380 horsepower and 375 lb./ft. of torque. At the top of the motor, a Holley 650 double pumper carburetor is sandwiched between a mirror-like chrome air cleaner and a 1965 model Winter 327 high rise aluminum intake. At the sides of that intake, Mr. Gasket head bolts secure 64 cc double hump heads which hold 1.94 intake and 1.50 exhaust valves above a Comp Cams 240H Magnum hydraulic cam; and below that intake, forged TRW 2-valve relief pistons ride GM X-rods that are pushed by a cast crank and secured by ARP rod bolts. At the front of the motor, fresh V-belts spin a chrome alternator and chrome water pump above a Cloyes double roller chain while a Mallory points distributor sends spark through yellow Mallory Sprint plug wires. At the sides of the motor, spent gases are piped through great looking polished long tube headers, while a high volume oil pump pipes in fresh lubricants. The entire engine bay is coated in an even coat of Mars Red paint and niceties such as chrome hood hinges and braces, chrome Chevrolet valve covers, a body-matched and chrome capped master cylinder and a traditional 'tri-five' brass topped radiator add show-worthy finishing touches. Best of all, since this Bel Air was factory equipped with a small block V8, the Chevy Orange 350 fits perfectly and looks right at home.
The custom theme continues at the bottom of this '57 Chevy where the cars frame and floorpans have, like the engine bay, been sprayed in a fabulous coat of Porsche Mars Red paint. Behind the engine, a smooth shifting Muncie M22 'rock crusher' sends power from a Hayes clutch to a 10 bolt Posi-traction rear end which is equipped with pavement melting 3.73 gears. A completely rebuilt double A-arm front and leaf spring rear suspension benefits from polished front coil overs, polished tie rods, polished rear shocks and polished ladder bars; and braking is supplied by upfitted manual front discs and traditional manual rear drums. Exhaust is handled by a three inch aluminized true dual system that sends spent gases through Edelbrock RPM Series mufflers to straight pipes that are sawed off at the rear axle. And the car comes with a host of cool finishing touches which include a custom stainless fuel tank with new stainless fuel lines, a chrome oil pan, a polished driveshaft, a polished transmission crossmember and complete stainless chassis hardware. All this head turning style rides on a $4K worth of brand new rolling stock; 18 inch front and 20 inch rear Coys 5-spoke chrome wheels are wrapped in MASSIVE 26x8 front and 31x18 rear Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R radials.
Climb inside this '57 Bel Air and you'll find a great looking black and red interior that's every bit as dramatic and cool as the exterior of the car. Covered in fresh red vinyl, traditional black patterned inserts and bright silver piping the cars bench seats are all-day comfortable and free of any wear marks wrinkles or annoying creases. Overhead there's a crisp red headliner, and below the seats like-new black carpet props a chrome Hurst shifter that's complete with a black shift knob. On the doors, two-tone black and red door panels look great behind a traditional array of stainless trim and chrome handles; and in front of the driver, a curvaceous red dash is detailed in traditional 'tri-five' stainless trim from door to door. Inside that dash you'll find a passenger's side clock, a correct AM radio, a polished glove box and an array of bowtie branded gauges behind a correct Bel Air steering wheel which is complete with a correct chrome Bel Air horn ring. Behind the cockpit, a custom trunk holds the cars battery and a new mat amid massive fenders that, despite accommodating the cars massive rear tires, still leave a nice amount of trunk space for car show accessories.
Sure, there are a lot of nice 'tri-five' Chevys out there, but how many are built to this level and carry this kind of individual appeal? With a high quality custom build that is beyond reproach and a color combination that makes it a complete knockout at shows, this Bel Air is the kind of car that you can't touch for our asking price. If you're looking for an exceptionally nice, custom Bel Air that has twice the street credibility of an original car for a fraction of the price, this '57 Chevy is your ticket!
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