Chrome, jet-age styling and rising horsepower drove the American automotive market during the late 1950s, and no automobile combined these three elements better than Chevrolet’s 1957 Bel Air convertible. Its unique styling and distinctive interior and exterior trimmings gave the impression of speed even while the car was at rest, and a growing list of factory options provided buyers with an unmatched opportunity to personalize their own Chevrolet.
Fort Lauderdale | Lot 510
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
$125,000 - $150,000 USD
| Fort Lauderdale, Florida
28 March 2015
The Bel Air was promoted as the “prettiest picture of top-down fun under the sun” in a large, yet economically-sized package. There were 16 handsome colors to choose from along with color-coordinated tops to either contrast or blend with the exterior choices. Lavish interiors were also a hallmark of this iconic 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air offering.
Perhaps nothing set this model apart more than its power package. Among the listings in the 1957 factory literature were two types of the ‘Corvette V-8,’ one being the fuel-injected version and the other, such as seen in this particular machine, the 283-cid, 245-hp twin four-barrel carb version that was rated at 9.5:1 compression ratio when offered new. The engine is reported to run with the correct 997 heads, and its original "batwing" air cleaner. This desirable unit is matched up with a Powerglide automatic transmission, which by this point was well proven by countless trouble-free miles across the land.
The Bel Air is easily recognizable for its affordable luxury with an aluminum screen grille (this car has one anodized in gold tone), ribbed silver anodized aluminum decorative panels on both rear fenders, and in this instance, gold anodized trim elements that are matched in visual beauty by the Onyx Black paint with black top and a new N.O.S. two-tone silver and red interior. The soft-top is power-operated and will offer snug protection from the elements at a button’s touch. When retracted, the top is covered by a red boot to match the interior.
Among the further features this Bel Air has power steering, dual antennas, N.O.S. Continental kit, spinner hubcaps, clock, deluxe heater, N.O.S. Wonderbar AM radio, day/night mirror, fingernail guards, plus the aforementioned gold trim and power top. The car rides on wide whitewall tires with color-keyed steel wheels and spinner-type wheel covers.
Having been frame-off restored to a high level and beautifully detailed throughout; this 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible is reported to have only 35 test miles since completion. It is arguably one of the finest available at this time, made additionally so by the coveted engine package found onboard.