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1957 Chevrolet 210 For Just $1,500!

1957 Chevrolet 210

In late November of last year, we featured an orange ’57 Chevy from Wisconsin. I thought it was interesting because of its completeness and originality, most of the trim and other parts were still installed on it, and it wasn’t priced too far from reality for what it was. And yes, it had rust. By accident, we featured it again a few days later. Both posts received plenty of good comments. Reading them, I was a little surprised to learn that a lot of people seemed to think this car was a lost cause, a worthless piece of junk.

1957 Chevy 210

As someone who spends lots of time looking at less expensive project cars, and in what may amount to little more than automotive journalistic trolling, I thought I’d share what a typical low-end tri-five project often looks like. In other words, you haven’t seen rough! This one is listed for sale in Des Moines, Iowa here on craigslist. The asking price is $1,500. If the orange car looked rusty, check this one out!


It’s rough and incomplete, and is missing an engine and transmission. I guess that opens up lot’s of possibilities though.


The situation doesn’t improve any when we see one of the photos of the trunk floor. This is the ‘good’ side:


Inside the car, it gets even worse. Between this and what we find on the underside of the floor and rocker panel, we realize we have entered Dante’s automotive purgatory!


Multiple companies have reproduction floor pans available to fit these cars, and that’s not for nothing, as the current saying goes. Dynacorn sells a full floor and brace for less than $800, but that price doesn’t include the freight, which is a substantial addition to the cost. Working with a car like this, it might be tough to find something good enough to weld reproduction panels to.

1957 Chevy 210 Dash

As bad as it is, rust isn’t the only concern with this car. It needs lots of glass and window rubber, too, and that stuff isn’t cheap. The small fortune spent replacing it might be nearly matched by the outlay required to obtain the missing bright-trim items. Buying decent used might save a few dollars, but probably not many, and the parts have to be located before buying them in the first place. It goes without saying at this point that we want to start with the nicest car we can afford when shopping for a new project car. And that it’s absolutely worth borrowing a truck and trailer and spending a long weekend driving across several state lines, or paying a shipping company, to bring the right car home to us.


So this one is worthless scrap metal, with no future, no redeeming features, and is way overpriced at $1500, right? I didn’t say that. Referring back to the Camaro cowl from a few weeks back, as well as this Z-28 featured last August and many others like them, if and when this ’57 is finished, no matter how long it takes, no matter how much it costs, it’s still a ’57 Chevy, and they don’t make those anymore….well, not exactly true. But for the hobbyist who doesn’t have a ton of cash to invest all at once, doesn’t mind the car being apart for a long time, and can invest the money and labor slowly, this car can still be brought back from the brink. Or should we talk about a four door conversion?



  1. Avatar photo Woodie Man

    jeez a rusted shell with wheels and tires for fifteen hundred bucks. 150 would make a lot more sense……….you pay me a hundred and fifty to haul it away………..I know I know its a ’57 post still..you have to draw the line somewhere..

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    • Avatar photo Barry T

      150 cents should be more like it! Is this poor thing some ones idea of a joke?

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    • Avatar photo Davnkatz

      There is a wrecking yard less than 2 miles from where I live here in central Texas. There are a bunch of 55-57 cars there. Most are more complete and better condition – at about half or less the price of this one. AND – they are mostly said to be “parts” cars.

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  2. Avatar photo Evan Allen

    wow, mine was $2300, but I drove it home over 100 miles

    I would not consider this worth the asking price

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  3. Avatar photo Sukey

    Cool yard art
    As a car it’s just to far gone to save
    It’s nothing but a good looking pile of iron oxide

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  4. Avatar photo cory

    I would rat rod it. Or possibly lt find a 4 door donor car.

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  5. Avatar photo piper62j

    Trash.. Nothing worth salvaging here.. This guy thinks he’s got a rolling gold mine..
    Leave it..

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  6. Avatar photo Brian

    You guys say it’s junk, but it still a Chevy post car. And just like the mopars today, people take complete junks and fix them because people want the cars. To fix this you either need a lot of money or patience. Prime example, Graveyard Carz, the Phantom Cuda and a guy also brought in a complete wreck of Daytona that he’s going to fix one way or another. If you want the car badly enough, it doesn’t matter.

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  7. Avatar photo Brian

    And here’s the Daytona, basically a dash, and even Mark Worman won’t fix it.

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  8. Avatar photo piper62j

    We “nay-sayers” might call a car junk if it doesn’t fit our criteria for restoration..That doesn’t mean the vehicle can’t be restored.. I saw that same show on Graveyard Karz where the owner brought his car in to the shop in pieces loaded up in a box truck.. They restored it and the guy PAID the price..

    So, no matter what the condition of the vehicle, if you really want it, it can be yours.. That’s how things go in this industry.. Deep pockets and a mountain of desire will get the job done.. Plus, keep in mind that most of us who have gone thru actually restoring cars have found that it can be a daunting task to complete especially when it’s you who is doing all the work. Tends to get old after so many years.

    In any case, the point is to enjoy this hobby or career, whatever suits your needs and don’t give up on a project for yourself just because someone else does.. On top of all that, this site is a blog for us to view comments that can be informative and not derogatory in nature.. Sit back, relax and enjoy what we have to say.

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  9. Avatar photo Mark S

    EThe floors and rocker panels look pretty bad, but the exterior body panels don’t look to bad. The fabrication work will be huge and your going to need a lot of tools and skills to do it. But what a fantastic challenge it would be for a good fabricator. The body is going to have to come off the frame and will need to be braced until repaired. This wouldn’t be my first choice in cars as I’m not a real big tri five fan, but I hope it lands in the hands of someone looking for the challenge. Maybe it should go to a high school as a teaching tool.

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  10. Avatar photo The Walrus

    Finally, something priced to EXACTLY what its worth! Besides the $20 you save for your first case of beer for the project! Having seen starting from worse, it could be categorized as a ‘5’ or Restorable, but it lacks certain criteria to be a 5. Based on the book…

    1957 Model 210, V-8
    2d Sed – 6: $1,520 5: $4,560 4: $7,600 3: $17,100 2: $26,600 1: $38,000

    5) RESTORABLE: Needs complete restoration of body, chassis and interior. May or may not be running, but isn’t weathered, wrecked and/or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts. This car needs everything. It may not be operable, but it is essentially all there and has only minor surface rust, if any rust at all. While presenting a real challenge to the restorer, it won’t have him doing a lot of chasing for missing parts.

    6) PARTS CAR: May or may not be running, but is weathered, wrecked and/or stripped to the point of being useful primarily for parts. This is an incomplete or greatly deteriorated, perhaps rusty vehicle that has value only as a parts donor for other restoration projects.

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  11. Avatar photo Marty Member

    It is restorable, but I don’t think it’s much of a “parts car”. The funny paradox being the fact that there are so few good parts left on it!

    With a four door parts car, and some panels, it’s totally do-able. It would also make a great rat rod.

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  12. Avatar photo Dave Wright

    This would make a great NASCAR clone……didn’t they race these in the 50’s? I don’t know a lot about oval racing but it would not be a difficult build. Are there vintage NASCAR races like we have in the SCCA?

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    • Avatar photo Marty Member

      Dave, now you’re thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’.

      Davnkatz, send us a few photos, would love to write them up.

      Like 0

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