Here at RK Motors Charlotte, we actively seek the unusual and the rare, so when this lovely Sierra Gold '57 Chevy Bel Air hardtop showed up, we instantly knew it was special, especially since the last Bel Air we had in this color combination sold in a remarkable four days. In a sea of red and black and turquoise '57 Chevys, this one will always stand out, and with today's hottest OEM colors making a return to cool metallic like this, it's suddenly cutting-edge fashion all over again. Throw in a correct 283 Power Pack engine and an exceptional interior, and you have a '57 Chevy that will stand out simply for being true to its history.
According to the cowl tag, this is a real code 818 Adobe Beige over Sierra Gold Bel Air. Exclusive to the Bel Air, this stunning color combination was not as popular as you might think, and it's quite rare to see an authentically restored Bel Air sporting 818 paint these days. Fortunately, it was always a solid, complete car and the restorer was smart enough to realize what a rare gem he had. So big money was spent on the restoration, making the body as straight as possible, block sanding it for hours on end, and laying down the subtle yet dazzling finish in two-stage urethane so it simply glows in the sunlight. Sadly, the lighting in our photo studio just can't do this car justice, but when you come to see it, we'll be happy to pull it outside so you can get the full effect. It's quite impressive.
On a '57 Chevy, the chrome and trim are an integral part of the design, and restoring one requires cubic dollars at the chrome shop. It shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that the bill for the chrome on this '57 was probably twenty or thirty thousand dollars, and it was worth every penny. Everything is beautifully done, and the parts that were restored originals have lost none of their detail, and reproductions (if there are any, because they're not easy to spot) are exact in every way. All the stainless was straightened and polished to a mirror shine, and the items like the grille and nose and tail emblems were properly gold anodized, making the Bel Air instantly recognizable.
There were a myriad of engine options available in 1957, and when restorers dress up their Bel Airs, they often bolt on dual quads or even the rare Rochester fuel injection system to try to boost values. However, as is this case with the rest of this particular car, the restorer simply returned it to its original condition, which is a sweet-running 283 with the Power Pack 4-barrel and dual exhaust. Making 220 horsepower, it's enough power to make this car a great performer on the open road. The engine bay was nicely detailed for show, and it's interesting to note that 1957 was the first year for Chevy Orange V8s under the hood, which was so that assembly line workers could distinguish the 283 from the 265, which was externally identical. They got all the details correct, ranging from the correct hoses and clamps, to the relatively hard to find 4-barrel air cleaner. You'll also note that the original generator/power steering assembly is intact and fully functional, and along with the radiator and master cylinder, are original specification and they were not “upgraded” during the restoration as is so common on other '57s. Correct finishes, markings, and materials were used throughout, and a fresh Delco yellow cap battery has been installed to complete the engine bay.
A Powerglide 2-speed automatic was optional in 1957, and it makes a great travelling partner when combined with the smooth, rev-happy V8 under the hood. The original rear end was rebuilt and detailed, then reinstalled on the factory leaf springs. Everything else was refinished in basic black, just like the factory did it. There's no rust, no damage, no signs of major surgery underneath, although the car has been driven, so the chassis shows some road wear (unlike the rest of the car). A brand new dual exhaust system was recently installed, giving the 283 a rumble that isn't intrusive, and there's a fresh gas tank hanging out back. Original steel wheels have been painted Sierra Gold to match the body as original, and wear spinner wheel covers and newer BFGoodrich Silvertown wide whitewall radials.
The 1950s were notorious for funky colors and upholstery fabrics, but somehow they worked, and this Bel Air is an excellent example of GM stylists' expertise. Combined with that Sierra Gold paint, the code 674 Black/Copper/Beige upholstery is simply amazing. It ties the whole car together without being overwhelming, and the subtle copper pattern woven into the seat inserts is perhaps the car's most beautiful feature. It was all new at the time of restoration, of course, and shows few signs of use since. Both seats are excellent and supportive, the carpets offer the correct weave, and the door panels are beautifully rendered in matching materials. This car is also loaded with options like a clock, heater, defroster, EZ-Eye glass (it says so on the cowl tag) and an upgraded AM/FM/cassette stereo head unit in the original location and using the optional dual antennas mounted out back. All the gauges are fully functional, and the steering wheel has been expertly restored and is so nice you'll be afraid to touch it without wearing gloves. Seat belts have been added for safety using copper-colored belts, so they almost look OEM. In back, the trunk has been finished with a reproduction rubber mat and a matching full-sized spare with complete jack assembly.
While there are dozens of Bel Air hardtops on the market at any given moment, take some extra time to really look this one over carefully. It stands out from the rest by virtue of its brilliant color combination, but the execution of the work makes it an incredible buy. It's also quite reasonably priced, as there's just no way you could restore another one to this level for anywhere near the asking price. Fully sorted and ready to show and drive, this Bel Air needs no excuses. Call today!
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$299.00 Dealer Administrative Charge is not included in advertised price. All prices and offers are before state, city and county tax, tag, title and license fees. Out of state buyers are responsible for all state, county, city taxes and fees, as well as title/registration fees in the state that the vehicle will be registered. Dealer not responsible for errors and omissions; all offers subject to change without notice, please confirm listings with dealer.
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