1957 CHEVROLET BEL AIR CONVERTIBLE
Chassis No. tba
Black with red and white interior and a black top
Engine: V8, 231ci., 220bhp at 4,800rpm; Gearbox: Powerglide automatic; Suspension: front, independent, rear, leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
The king of the 1950s Chevrolet line-up, the '57 Bel Air is unique in that it was designed by a group of car enthusiasts. Two design teams led by Ed Cole and Harley Earl set out to improve upon an already successful car. In his spare time Cole was a hot-rodder, even before it was popular. He and his team were skilled and enjoyed developing engines. They took time and effort to make sure that everything fitted properly and performed at the highest level. Cole discovered ways to make thinner castings than had been previously used in production and the result made the engines lighter. Light rocker arms were used in the '55, but in the '57 they changed to hydraulic lifters that were sturdier for drag racing conditions. Because the time was taken to improve the overall efficiency on the new Chevy engine, it performed better than any other production engine, making it truly spectacular.
Harley Earl was put in charge of updating the body. He and his team made a body that was longer and lower and less rounded than the 1955 and 1956 models. The lines were sharper with flatter curves, yet edges were neatly finished. They put more details on this model such as subtle fins with a brushed aluminum splash accentuating them. The front was more dramatic with a heavier bumper and 'the dual gunsight' hood ornaments. They put chrome in just about everywhere possible, keeping with the fifties trend. Another nice touch was the concealed fuel filler in the left fin.
The car on offer here received a comprehensive, no expense spared restoration only a short while ago. It is therefore in very presentable, correct and lovely condition. We understand that this example has been used sparingly since the restoration. The attractive color scheme is one not often seen on these examples and highlights many of the distinct design features of this classic cruiser. As many of the deluxe model cars of the 1950s, this Bel Air is replete with all of the appropriate power options. One of the most classic American motor car designs of the period, this is without a doubt a true definition of 1950s style, elegance, taste and power all wrapped up in one.