- *Recent frame-off restoration
- *283 V8 w/ Power Pack
- *TH350 3-spd
- *3.55 gears
- *Larkspur blue
- *Fully sorted
The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible has been at the top of almost every collector's wish list for decades now. As a result, prices have skyrocketed to the point where investing the equivalent of an Ivy League education in restoration is not a fool's errand anymore. Today the trick is finding a clean '57 Bel Air convertible that you can drive and show with equal enthusiasm without dropping six figures on a concours example (but if that's what you want, have a look around—we have several near-perfect specimens in stock). With a frame-off restoration not too long ago, this one is a great choice.
This Larkspur Blue '57 Bel Air ragtop is the ideal car for someone who prefers to drive his hardware on the road instead of onto the backs of trailers. Tastefully and carefully modified to improve its on-road performance, none of its original good looks or authentic 1950s flavor has been diluted. Starting with arrow-straight sheetmetal that has been restored to show condition, this is an extremely nice Bel Air. Panel gaps are decent, about what you'd get from the factory new in 1957, and overall fit and finish is quite good. Code 795 Larkspur Blue was selected (the car was originally code 821 Dusk) and applied in two-stage urethane, giving it a stunning shine and a depth that even the best paints of 1957 couldn't hope to achieve. But then again, what's the point of a '57 Chevy if it isn't an eyeball magnet? It's simply gorgeous in person.
Doing the chrome and stainless on a '57 can require a liquid-cooled credit card, but fortunately someone else already spent the long dollar restoring the trim on this Bel Air. From the lovely bumpers to the proper gold anodized grille up front, to the distinctive Bel Air panels inset on the quarters, all the jewelry on this car has been finished to show standards and presents beautifully today. All the stainless, including the rocker panels and sweepspear trim along the sides has been polished to look like chrome, and shows no signs of age. The glass is correct throughout, and replacing that wrap-around windshield is not an inexpensive proposition, either, and it carries correct EZI tinting. The emblems, marker lights (including back-up lamps), and badges are all excellent restored pieces or fresh reproductions that fit right.
The Power Pack equipped 283 under the hood is the right motor for a Bel Air you're going to drive. As a small block Chevy, its reliability and performance is beyond reproach, and this one carries a few smart upgrades to make cruising a pleasure. It's also detailed so that it looks as authentic as possible given the modern touches. You'll appreciate the Chevy Orange paint, the 'Chevrolet' script on the valve covers and the correct air cleaner atop a modern Weber 4-barrel carburetor with electric choke. Then there's the modern alternator, which does a far better job than the original generator especially now that the power steering pump is a separate unit. The original radiator keeps it cool just fine, and a great deal of effort was used to duplicate things like the factory decals and even the battery warning tag. You'll also note a modern dual master cylinder with compact booster, which feeds power front disc brakes, ensuring that this Bel Air is not only stylish, but safe as well.
In place of the original 2-speed PowerGlide transmission, there's an updated TH350 3-speed automatic, which makes the most of the small block's power and makes it considerably snappier around town, as well as the original rear end full of 3.55 gears. The frame and all the other components were restored while the body was off, and the body has been undercoated for durability and noise control. A fresh dual exhaust system gives this Bel Air a nice growl under acceleration and offers bright chrome tips peeking out from under the bumper. New shocks all around make for a smooth ride, and the original wheels and spinner hubcaps wear a set of fresh wide whitewall radials.
The Bel Air stands apart from other 1957 offerings with its simply stunning two-tone blue interior. Using light blue vinyl and textured dark blue fabric inserts, it creates a dramatic driver's compartment that's both functional and stylish. Heck, just look at those door panels if you don't think these cars are art. Everything was, of course, brand new at the time of the restoration and remains well preserved and virtually unmarked. Even the driver's seat shows zero wear, and the dark blue carpets are unmarked. The AM radio uses a rear-mount antenna and works as it should, and the steering wheel has been restored to match the upholstery. A closer look at the speedometer also reveals that the shift indicator has been modified to match the 3-speed automatic transmission, and the mileage shown is since the restoration was complete, so you know this car is fresh. Overhead, a new white vinyl power top folds easily and stashes beneath a matching blue boot. In back, the trunk offers a correct rubber mat, matching full-sized spare, and a complete jack assembly.
So if your enjoyment of a great old car involves getting behind the wheel and heading down the road, this is the perfect Bel Air to accompany you. The updates are nearly invisible but greatly enhance the road-worthiness of the car, and are easy to reverse if you suddenly decide that concours competition is where you'd like to go. In the meantime, it's a gorgeous, high-quality car that will be a hit anywhere it goes and bring a smile to the face of everyone who sees it. Call today!
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RK Motors, in my opinion, is the best place to find and buy your high quality dream car or next toy. Their inventory is full of high quality automobiles painstakingly preserved or restored the correct way at very fair prices. I throughly enjoy my automobiles purchased for RK Motors and my friendship with them. I would highly recommend them to anyone as i have to all of my friend, acquaintances and folks who have asked me for recommendations and advice.Mitchell W.