1957 Chevrolet 150 Handyman Pickup?

In 1957, Chevy built more than 1.5 million cars. And within their extensive line of passenger vehicles, you could get a hardtop, a sedan, a convertible, a sedan delivery, a utility sedan, and a handy man’s station wagon. But you couldn’t get a pickup. That wouldn’t come until 1959 when Chevy rolled out the El Camino in response to Ford’s Ranchero. Sure, they had the upscale Cameo, but that was part of the truck division. We don’t know how this project came to be, but someone took a 1957 Chevy 150 Handyman 2-door wagon and converted it into a pickup. Whether it was ever finished isn’t known, and what’s left is in pretty shabby shape. But it can be found in Gray Court, South Carolina and is available here on eBay Classifieds for $4,500, although offers will be considered.

Chevy was on a roll in 1957. They were in the third year of the current platform and led the industry in sales. One of their lowest production automobiles that year was the 150 Handyman Wagon, which was as basic a Chevy as could be had. The 150 Handyman had just two doors and was ideal for the traveling service technician and others who had to go from place to place. Only about 15,000 units were produced in 1957 or about one percent of total Chevy automotive production.

The 1957 Chevy at hand is said to have 66,000 miles on its odometer (which is almost impossible to read in the photos), but we don’t know how many of those miles may have been spent as a pickup, if any. No doubt inspired by the El Camino, a handyman himself who was apparently good working with sheet metal took off the roof behind the doors and turned this into a pickup. But it’s in rough shape now and far from complete. For example, it no longer has a motor or transmission, so we don’t know how it was equipped when it came off the assembly line. An inline six and three-on-the-tree would be a logical guess.

We’re guessing that if you don’t see it, it’s not there. Like a grille, front bumper, and the famous twin hood ornaments. At one time, the pickup was painted white and had a black interior, but there’s little left of either today. The windshield has a big hole in it and surface rust is very extensive, so it’s hard to tell what’s metal and what has morphed into corrosion. Some of the bed flooring is missing and there are holes in the floorboards, which would not be a big concern if you were Fred Flintstone. There is a bench seat in the passenger compartment, but it’s not period correct, comes with headrests and is just propped up rather than installed. On the plus side, the vehicle comes with a nice set of Rally wheels like I had on my 1970 Nova.

This project will be a challenging one to complete. If you wanted a 1957 “El Camino”, would you be better off trying to fix and finish what’s here or take a better 150 and cut it down like this one was? Since this car can be thought of as being one of one, there are no price guides to compare it against. A top notch 1957 150 Series example would be worth $30,000 or so according to Hagerty. Would this one-off be worth more than that completed and what would it cost you to get there? The seller is a dealer and willing to break payments into multiple parts as an incentive.

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Neat rig but not much left of it.

    Like 15
  2. Steve R

    It’s a mess. I would have liked it more if it was still a 2dr wagon.

    Steve R

    Like 14
  3. doug edwards

    I see folks building up VW busses from much less.

    Like 7
  4. Doug from MD.

    Chevrolet should have built something of this nature in 57 would have been interesting. But this is in sad shape.

    Like 4
  5. Jeff

    bummer

    Like 1
  6. Robert White

    Sandblast, weld, prime, paint, easy!

    I month tops.

    Everyone else is lazy.

    Bob

    Like 8
    • Kelly Mann

      Robert is right.
      Easy Fix…

      Like 4
    • stu

      Really? One months time…with 10 beers I can do it in a week, 12 beers less….

      Like 13
  7. George Louis Member

    This would make a great Chip Foose Project. When he finishes it it can go to the Barrett-Jackson TV Auction for charity the Charity of choice for Chip Foose.

    Like 3
    • stu

      Sorry George, I thought you said a fish and chip wagon.

      Like 1
    • grant

      Chip Foose would ruin it.

      Like 5
      • stu

        lol!

        Like 1
  8. Maestro1 Member

    A unique mess. If you want the only one in town, I guess this is it, the parts are everywhere, if you do your own body work it’s less frightening regarding cost, and you end up with something unique, practical and beautiful.

    Like 4
  9. mainlymuscle

    It’s not a “one off”, the El camino has been done many times to virtually every common type of car.I have an 84 Coupe DeVille “Caddamino” professionally converted in the 80’s .Getting back to this one ; even the most valuable tri-five,57 Nomad could not be brought back from a financial standpoint,but,thankfully,someone will always be willing to try.

    Like 1
  10. Phlathead Phil

    Uh, boy. Ho lotta elbow grease needed here.

    Youse betta knows how to weld, cut and burn before you round the corner of you’re first turn.

    Like 2
  11. Tony in MD

    Actually, there’s at least one other similar project out there: https://flic.kr/p/9d563A

    Like 1
  12. Wayne

    Still workable, and I am a Ute freak. But I would not have enough love to tackle this car. (not a big 1957 fan anyways)

    Like 1
  13. ACZ

    Looks to be that the hard work is already done….the roof and the rear passenger compartment wall. It would be worth a look/see. Considering what’s missing, it’s a bit pricey (by about 50%).

    Like 2
    • Pugsy

      Nope. Hard work not done yet. It needs Nomad doors and corresponding metal work.
      110% of conversions are done with the wrong doors.

      Like 4
  14. DavidL

    Curious as to the structural integrity of this beast. My understanding is that if the frame hasn’t been reinforced it could be a problem.

    Like 2
    • stu

      DavidL, a stick of dynamite will fix that problem….for good

      Like 1
  15. Johnny

    The back glass looks to be from the lift gate of a 57-58 Ford wagon and is mounted too high. If it was dropped so it’s botom edge was level with the door glass and the door/glass frame was canted forward to match the back glass,it would be way more attractive. That same lift gate and glass were used by the Alexander brothers for the windshield on the Dodge Deora from the mid sixties, which flowed beautifully IMO.

    Like 2
  16. John

    One can almost hear the creator of this dream machine saying “Ahhh the hell with it” before he towed it out to the North Forty, way out of sight, to rust into the oblivion…Good try though and kudos to the flipper who manged to wrest it from the widow! Probably paid $100 for it.
    As the man says – “I sure would love to make this Classic yours” – hurry up and pay the man!! LOL

    Like 2
  17. Jim Jordan

    Well, C”mon, Financial Standpoint? Really, when was the last time most of us made money on restoring or building an old car? It’s usually a hobby and we all would like unique.
    The two big standouts are like Pugsy said, the Nomad doors would be a perfect transition to the ElCamino, and when you alter the roofline to accept the doors, you should drop the rear glass as Johnny suggests.
    Only so much you can see from these photos, but the body certainly doesn’t look like some of the challenges we’ve seen people do.
    What an excellent Canvas to start with. Once done, it would be a great hit at any Cars and Coffee.
    Plus I could haul my garden supplies in it.
    I would vote yes, but maybe around $3000.
    But I don’t know how to weld, and my pockets are not deep enough.
    Good luck to someone.

    Like 3
    • Robert White

      The first lesson of learning how to weld is knowing that you don’t know how to weld until you start practicing welding on floors or trunk area. Then when you start to gain confidence in terms of the welds you are producing you can move to the exterior spots that need more refined welds and finishing.

      Remember that practice makes perfect.

      Bob

      Like 1
  18. Doug

    I recall a cover car on one of the custom car/hot rod magazines that was a similar concept- but I seem to remember it as a ’56….. The magazine was full sized at a time where Rod & Custom was Reader’s Digest / TV guide size – probably 1960-61.

  19. Karl

    The time, labor and cost of ALL the parts needed would be way to big a commitment to me for the end result!

  20. Jerrold Berg

    I was just wondering the other day what a 57 and a 58 El Camino would look like. Really would like to see a 58.

    • Phlathead Phil

      You mean an “El Butchermino?”

  21. 57Bel Member

    Wouldn’t that be a Bel Camino?

    • stu

      I like the “El Butchermino” comment…

  22. Bunky

    Chevrolet was not #1 in sales in 1957. Actually Ford sold 1.67 million cars in ‘57. 100k more than Chevy.

    Like 3
  23. pixelpusher

    Doesn’t anyone want to know what’s in the bucket?

    Like 1
    • bone

      Judging by the rest of the car , I’d say it has rusty bits in it !

      Like 1
  24. One Eye

    “What’s in the bucket !?!?!?!”, Why, Gwyneth Paltrow’s head, of course. Used to see a lot of old cars turned into very light duty pickups here in NW MN in the ’60’s & ”70’s.Good enough for checking crops,going to town for a couple of cases of Grain Belt, chicken feed, groceries, and parts.

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