Factory V8 Survivor: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

It is often hard to believe that there are any original condition ’57 Bel Airs, but I am always amazed by what shows up over time. Having only changed hands once, from one family member to another, this Chevy has always been “in the family” so to speak. Despite being repainted painted many years ago, this factory V8 equipped Bel Air is very original, and does run and drive with the aid of a small bottle for fuel. Needing some work, to be a road goer once more, bidding has reached $10,100. Find it here on ebay out of Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Packing a 283 V8 with a Powerglide from the factory, this Bel Air is a rare specimen in original condition. The drivetrain is original to the car and is in functional condition. Even though the engine runs, I would assume that the factory fuel system either needs to be cleaned or replaced. Also the brake system is going to need some attention in order to stop safely as well. Under the hood the engine and bay are a little dingy needing some cleaning. Despite the grime, there is still a lot of paint on the firewall, and the engine bay appears complete.

Inside of this survivor is an original interior that has held on fairly well, but could use some refurbishing. The driver seat, the passenger arm rest, and the headliner are split. There also looks to be some rust developing in the floor, near the door jamb. Beyond these concerns, the rest of the interior has aged nicely, especially the dash, and steering wheel.

Looking over the exterior reveals some surface rust that has accumulated over time. Although repainted almost 30 years ago, the paint on the roof is quite worn with surface rust present. Both doors have rust around the edges, but on the passenger side it is clearer to what may be plaguing this Chevy. There is rust along the trim line, as well as in the rockers. I would assume the driver side to be in a similar condition. There is some rot present in the trunk floor, as well as on the inner portion of the rear fender. Although a little rough around the edges, this factory V8 car is a great platform for a restoration project. What do you think this Bel Air will sell for?

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Comments

  1. leiniedude

    Auction ended.

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  2. Len

    Must have gotten an offer he couldnt refuse.

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  3. Rocko

    Friend of mine wanted one in the worst of ways till he drove one, then made the switch to camaro!

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  4. DRV

    Surface rust?

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  5. Steve

    Back in the 80’s my dad and i had a 57 that was almost the twin to this car. 283 with a poweglide, same color combo, Two door sedan instead of hardtop. Ran and drove but trans slipped, unmolested numbers matching car, decent interior except carpet and front seat cover. Good glass. Mostly good chrome and stainless. Only trouble was it came from the texas gulf coast. It was RUSTY. We tore it all apart and kept finding rust. It needed quarters, floors in trunk and passenger compartment. The roof and inner rear quarters seemed ok. Front sheetmetal ok with a couple of 1″ patches on bottom lowers. Dad bought it for $300 around 1986. We kept looking for a “donor” body but never found one. I sandblasted the frame, rebuilt the front suspension, we rebuilt the 283 and had the pg rebuilt. Sat the body back on and sold it for $2500 around 1993. Wish i still had it. I would buy a dynacorn body for it!

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  6. JamestownMike

    RUST is popping out of all the seams! That’s the problem with rust belt cars, once that rust gets between the panels, there’s no stopping it. Thanks but I’ll stick with the SW cars.

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    • G 1

      Yah, rust never sleeps. Neil Young sang about it.

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  7. Nic

    In 1966 my dad showed up at home with a present for me, my first car , a 57 Bel Air hardtop ! The same color combo and drivetrain…

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  8. Gary

    I have my fathers 57 Bel Air in my garage, same color combo, off the road now for at least 20 years. It’s the 283 power pack with a glide, and only 85,000 original miles. It really sucks how life has a way of getting inbetween a man and his car(s). Same goes for my 65 Malibu Conv., 69 C10, etc., etc. Always liked this color combo, Adobe Beige/Sierra Gold.

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    • Jon

      So Gary, what are you going to do with the 57 ? Are you driving it.?

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      • Gary

        no, unfortunately not! it’s ashame

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    • Matt

      Sounds as though you’re spreading yourself a little thin, if none of these is on the road.

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      • Gary

        I can’t argue with that! I definitely have a problem with ‘wanting,’ but not having the capability of letting go. The 57 has been in the family as long as I can remember, and as my father grew older, he asked me to “put it in my garage” just for “awhile.” Well, 22 years later, it’s still sitting there. I know, how can an individual who claims to have such a passion just let something sit idly by. Well, I have no legitimate answer, but I also know I’m not alone when it comes to “over collecting.”

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  9. Larry

    Some rust developing in the floor near the door jamb. The exterior reveals some surface rust. Yeah. And I’m often mistaken for George Clooney.

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  10. SteveFeld

    In October of last year I found perhaps THE last unrestored 1957 Bel Air Sport Coupe in the southwest, out of El Paso. Months ago when I began cleaning the years of debris away (while whistling Marty Robin’s song), a 1941 Mercury dime emerged from the collection of dust beneath the rear floor area inside the right side quarter panel where it had slowly moved over time, becoming half buried, after falling from someone’s pocket since the car was new in March 1957. Two 1987 pennies came from the back seat area, telling a bit more of the history of when the car was last used.

    Even though the car was always in Texas, there still four small see-through holes in the floor where dust collected that stayed muddy with the occasional rain water that found its way there too. Apart from that the undercoating that the factory or dealer generously ($@#&!) put on the inner fenders, wheel wells and the lower part of the body otherwise kept it safe from developing rust for the last sixty years.

    The worst surface rust has hidden sheet metal pitting it generated in several places, with the car previously subject to a few inexpensive coats of paint post-1970. This restoration is time-consuming (265 hours in almost five months with DTBM enthusiasm–Down To Bare Metal), but far simpler than what true craftsmen in the midwest are dealing with (as seen on youTube) with their absolute and complete removal of bad sheet-metal and even the good sheet temporarily to reach the rust. Good for them!

    Slowly that old, oily smell of the car is going away, as I look forward to May 5 when I plan to lift the body off the chassis to get to work on the rest of the frame. Although it seems the law requires that all 1957 Chevy cars to be sold without engines, this one came with a 1973 Monte Carlo 350/165.

    Someday, someday–next late spring 2018 this one will be roaring along like it was 1967 again. No, 1967 when it became a hot rod with a tough-looking grill from a ’54 Chevy, and the four speed replaced the automatic.

    Restoration is a commitment–don’t cover anything hoping no one will notice! Time will tell again!

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  11. Larry

    I applaud your commitment to bringing this 57 back to life. It sounds like a great car. Best of luck with the restoration. Please post pictures of the progress.

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  12. Tim

    I have an original Delco tar top
    battery for this car in the box if he wants to make even more original .

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  13. SteveFeld

    El Paso Bel Air in October 2016–the last of the unrestored cars in the southwest.

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  14. SteveFeld

    El Paso Bel Air in February October 2016–the last of the unrestored cars in the southwest.

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  15. SteveFeld

    El Paso Bel Air in January 2017

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  16. SteveFeld

    Slow but careful progress 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe, March 2017

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  17. SteveFeld

    Tell me about the battery. Thanks Tim!

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    • Tim

      I have a couple tar top batteries from the early 60s in the boxes Delco NOS .One is #DC12 .I will have to get some more numbers .

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  18. Jon

    Hi Gary,

    If there is an outside chance of you wanting to let the 57 go, I would be most interested in taking it of your hands do that I can once again enjoy another 57. That was the first car I had owned when I was in High School. And would like to do it again. Email me at jonhilker@sbcglobal.net. thanks.

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