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1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

Nicely Restored Top of the Line Bel-Air Convertible. Factory Dual Quads and 3 on the Tree.

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sold

VIN VC57N179984
Exterior Color Imperial Ivory
Interior Color Silver and Red
Mileage 1884 TMU Miles
Engine 283ci V8 no. F306EB
Transmission 3-Speed
Status Sold
Stock FJ2211

Comments

1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air Convertible
s/n VC57N179984, Engine no. F306EB
Imperial Ivory with Red and Silver Interior

Introduced by General Motors’ Chevrolet division in September of 1956, the all new and top of the line Bel-Air was available in several variants. This allowed for a wide range of configurations, among the most exciting of which was the all-new 283cid small block V8, which, coupled with the fabulously 1950s Motorama influenced styling, has made the 1957 Bel-Air one of the most desirable American cars of the 1950s. The unique and advanced design emerged from a series of Motorama concept car themes spearheaded by Harley Earl. Working alongside Earl, Ed Cole, chief engineer for Chevrolet, implemented a new dashboard, sealed cowl, relocated air ducts to the headlight pods, and unique tailfins trimmed in aluminum. These and many other safety improvements including padded dash, collapsing steering wheel, and crash proof door locks, substantially increased costs but resulted in a superior car. To highlight their top of the line appeal, Bel Air models were trimmed with anodized gold finishes on the grille, front fender chevrons, hood, and trunk script. Offered with the potent 283 cu. in. engine and 3-speed manual transmission, the Bel-Air had impressive performance, particularly when optioned with the twin-four barrel carburetor set up. So much so, that it would launch Chevrolet into NASCAR and other sanctioned racing, creating not only a style legend but a performance one as well. Indeed today the last of the immortalized “Tri-Chevy” models beginning in 1955, 1957 Bel-Air has become an icon of American 1950s strength and economic revitalization, immortalized in songs, movies, and fashion not only in the US but throughout the world.

This beautifully restored Chevrolet Bel-Air convertible is finished in factory correct and stunning Imperial Ivory with red and silver interior just as it left the factory in 1957.

The car’s numbers decode as follows:
Serial Number: VC57N179984
VC=V8 Bel Air
57=1957
N=Norwood, OH
179984=serial number

Trim Tag:
Style: 57-1067DTX
Body No. L21369
L=Body built in Lansing, MI
Trim 683 red vinyl with silver
Paint 794 imperial ivory

Engine No. F306EB
F=Flint
306=built March 6th
EB=283 cid with 2 X 4 bbl with high lift cam

The car has been lovingly treated to a comprehensive restoration covering all mechanical components while carefully addressing the detailed trim, extensive chrome, and beautiful script throughout the car. All the hallmarks of an exceptional Bel-Air have been addressed with care and continued preservation since the restoration was completed a few years ago. In addition to the rare, desirable, and potent 270 hp 283cid twin four barrel carbureted engine and high lift cam (EB suffix), the three-speed transmission, independent coil spring front suspension, and live rear suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs are all in place and properly configured just as when new.

The exterior of the car presents very nicely, with the unmatched visual impact of the chrome and tailfins era. The extensive trim and brightwork is difficult to get right during restorations, but this one has been wonderfully executed. It has an exceptionally cohesive feel to it that one appreciates immediately when seeing it. The paint is glossy throughout, the chrome and stainless are polished just right, and the anodized gold features are all spot on. The car sits on white wall tires with perfect stance, enhanced by the wide front grille and accented with iconic the tail fins at the rear. A few minor indications of mild use are visible, but none detract from an otherwise excellent visual appearance.

The beautifully trimmed red and silver interior is fully visible when the white convertible top is down, and all the windows parked in the lowered position. The red and silver color combination highlights the design of the interior, including the padded dash and beautifully restored instrument cluster, redesigned for 1957 for a more performance appeal in a stunningly detailed sculpted metal design with unique instrument clustering and juke box style. Truly the Motorama design elements are used throughout the interior offering visual delights everywhere. The full sized steering wheel with safely recessed hub is adorned with chrome much like the dash and door panels, glinting with elements of high-end quality and appeal, as only found on the top of the line Bel-Air.

Under the hood, the twin four-barrel 283 engine is topped with the original “Bat Wing” air cleaner, confirming to any curious onlooker that this convertible is configured for performance. The engine compartment has been restored with good attention to detail, displaying correct factory finishes both on the engine and accessory components as well as the firewall, wiring, hoses, and correct hardware as it originally was delivered. The trunk is properly lined with the correct materials and full sized spare tire as well as factory jack and lug nut wrench. Underneath the car, the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of the restoration is clear, with clean presentation, proper finishes, and very little evidence of use since the restoration.

The car starts easily and reliably with a nice deep V8 rumble from the very potent 270hp engine. The “three on the tree” gear selector is easy to use, as is the progressive clutch which, combined with the ample torque, makes the car effortless to drive. Straight line performance is impressive today and must have been spectacular when the car was new. Once underway, 50s era cruising and open-air motoring delights the driver and passengers as passersby smile, wave, and take photos. Highway driving is smooth and composed, cruising easily in modern traffic. The brakes and suspension work as they should, with good symmetrical operation from the hydraulic brakes.

Beautifully restored and handsomely optioned as the most high performance variant available, this Bel-Air convertible has all the attributes one might expect from an iconic Chevrolet of this glorious period of American automobile design. Optioned from the factory with the desirable twin four-barrel 270hp and three-speed transmission, this Bel-Air has all the glamour and excellence that embodied Americas “can do” attitude, when GM represented more than 75% of total world automotive production and the ultimate Tri-Chevy offering exemplified those ideals for prospering American families.

 


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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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