- Immaculate restoration by “Tri-Five” expert Harold Louisiana
- Wonderful original color combination, 283/270 “EB 548” V-8, and three-speed transmission
- Numerous correct, rare factory options and new old-stock components
- Multiple award-winner since completion
One of the very finest 1957 Chevrolets available, this original California car was purchased in 1980 by Wayne Prowse of St. Paul, Minnesota, who maintained the car until the current owner’s acquisition in 2012. During Mr. Prowse’s ownership, the Bel Air was fully restored by the noted “Tri-Five” expert, Harold Louisiana, who quite literally wrote the books on how to restore these cars accurately and authentically.
The car is finished in its rare, correct factory color of Harbor Blue with the original Super Turbo-Fire 283 V-8 with dual Rochester four-barrel carburetors, rebuilt to factory specifications with solid lifters, and rated at 270 hp; three-speed manual transmission; and 3.55 Positraction rear axle. It is positively loaded with correct options, including power windows, seat, and antennae; vacuum ashtray; Wonderbar radio; seat belts (in their first year of availability); hydro-vac brakes; electric windshield wipers with washer; and even a factory tool kit. The “continental kit” and rear fender skirts are not aftermarket accessories but are original Chevrolet pieces, acquired at considerable cost.
Mr. Louisiana’s attention to detail extended to the correct amount of metalflake in the paint, and seeking new old-stock components for everything from the antennas to the seat belt buckles. Every piece of original chrome was properly refinished, the wheel spinners were correctly repainted (rather than using decals as on many lesser restorations), and the new window glass was properly date-coded.
A regular major award-winner since its completion, this is undoubtedly one of the nicest 1957 Chevrolets that RM Sotheby’s has had the pleasure of offering, and it would be a standout in even the finest collection.