1 year 9 months ago - 1 year 9 months ago#523by JP
JP created the topic: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
Chevrolet called its '57 line "sweet, smooth and sassy," and the Bel Air was exactly what Americans wanted - a junior Cadillac.
Finny, trim and handsome with Ed Cole's Super Turbo-fire V8, it boasted one of the first production engines to pump out one horsepower per cubic inch; it was the first mass market "fuelie" sedan with Ramjet injection.
With Chevy copywriters screaming "the Hot One's even Hotter," Bel Air became the king of the street.
That year production broke the 1.5 million barrier, giving Ford the fright of its life. Today, the Bel Air is one of the most widely coveted collector's cars in the United States and perfect embodiment of young, mid-1950s America.
The '57 was 2.5 inches longer than the '56 model. (Why this info is important to someone? Really. I like classic cars a lot but no one has ever brought this fascinating fact up in our conversation about any car.)
The deluxe option of a spare wheel carrier made the car look like a dream come true. And, oh yeh, guess where the fuel cap is; yup hidden in the driver side rear fin end above the brake light. Someone stayed up late dreamin that up-but it's cool.
Now here's a memory. My dad had a '55, second-hand Chevy, and I used to sit right here in the driver's seat playing make believe driver at age 10. I was a good driver. I used my signaler (I forget it now sometimes today but the idea rarely comes back to the ol'coconut before I make the turn into my driveway. My wife just looks a me in disgust like I forgot her birthday...again. Oh well, it's a jungle out there friends). I NEVER got in a crash as a 10 year old; as Trump would say, GREAT driving record! And if I was lucky, dad let me drive with the radio on...really. Two things at once! Real cool.
Buyers could choose from many custom options, including a two-toned interior, tinted glass (that's right), power convertible top (yup) and....even a tissue dispenser. Now that's thinking of everything. My car doesn't even offer that option. And boy do we go through tissues!
At $2,511, the Bel Air convertible was the epitome of budget-priced good taste. But the Bel Air was substance as well as style - options included seat belts (hmmm, do we really need that, honey?), shoulder harness (I guess that's if you carry a gun and there is no rear window rack) and ventilated seat pads (at the age I'm at now they should run it to the carb and the engine would run like it was powered by nitro-glycerin- boom- ask my wife...).
Ventiports were added to the fenders (again, that is for us guys over 60 who are required to buy the vented seats; our wives freely pay for the ventiports)
When fitted with the solid-lifter fuel-injected V8, the Bel Air became an amazingly quick car. Lot's of fun!
I hope you enjoyed a ride down my memory lane. Sound familiar to anyone? Thanks for checkin in with us.
We love this car! This is one of Chevy's best designs in the 1950s. Nice article, Eddie.
Thanks for sharing this car with us!
In fact, we have a 1957 Bel Air Power Pack to show your readers:
We'll be happy to sell it to you for $75k, it's an Original '57 Bel Air, 283 Power pack, automatic. Beautiful car.! Reply here to Ed's Swap Meet.com about your interest only, no contact info for the world to abuse, and we'll be sure to post the car's information with more pictures in this website's find a car section.
Ed's Swap Meet.com pulls the car collector community to one virtual swap meet for everyone to share there interests. Thanks, Eddie!