1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Barn Find

Bel Air Barn Find

Even after 58 years, demand is still high for the iconic ’57 Chevy. These were eye catching cars when new and they continue to charm with their good looks and powerful engine options. This particular example was found in a warehouse where it had been parked for the past 20 years. The current owner has since pulled it out, cleaned it up, and made it safe to drive again. They have put about 500 miles on it since then, but have now decided to let it go. It’s located in Floresville, Texas and is listed for sale here on eBay. Thanks goes to Charles H for the tip!

Cleaned Up

Here’s a shot of the car today. Washing all that dirt off sure did wonders, but the same can’t be said for those new rims. Luckily, they don’t come with the car and will instead be replaced with some old Torq Thrusts and a new set of tires. Personally, I like the look of the original hubcaps and wide whitewalls.

283 V8

The seller has already done a lot of the dirty work needed to make this a safe driver. A lot of people don’t realize how much work a car will need after sitting for 20+ years. The fuel system had to be cleaned out and the carburetor and fuel pump rebuilt. That helped in the go department, but there’s no sense in going if you cant stop!

Bel Air Interior

So, a new master cylinder went in as well as new hoses and shoes. Then new fluids went in and a full tuneup done. Now it could go and stop so the only thing left was to go through the suspension and make sure it could turn. The car looks good in the photos, but as mentioned by the seller it could still use paint and interior work. Getting a barn find back on the road can be a fun process, but one must also remember that it is not going to be as easy and cheap as you initially think. The next owner should have a good start with this one though.

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Comments

  1. L.M.K. Member

    IMO, it looks so much better when found wearing the wide whites and stock wheel covers….

  2. DRV

    Do not restore. Although ’57 is not my favorite, this one is in the best colors and a post car is still more desirable than a 4 door. This should be fun to preserve for a ’57 fan.

  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    Ditto on the white walls and hub caps.

  4. redwagon

    it still blows my mind that they made post and non-post versions of 2 door coupes back then. and the same for 4 doors too. that would never happen today – too expensive to have so many options.

    why didnt they just go non-post for both 2 and 4 doors? surely the cost savings would have allowed them to sell at or near the lowest cost option.

    • Al8apex

      Because the non post cars were ugly

      • Jason Houston

        Well, only when compared to the sedans Ford built, that were designed to look like hardtops. Another of George Walker’s stroke of styling genius that caused Ford to outsell Chevrolet for the first time in 31 years!

    • Jason Houston

      These are not coupes, they’re sedans. The last true Chevrolet coupe was 1954. The terms “post” and “non-post” are modern terms to describe the difference between sedans and hardtops. If you find that confusing, don’t feel bad: GM, who invented the hardtop, kept everybody under siege by calling Chevrolet 2-door hardtops “sport coupes” and 4-door hardtops “sport sedans”.

      Hardtops were actually more expensive to build than sedans. The lack of a center pillar necessitated more reinforcing of sheet metal throughout the car.

      • johnnywalker

        Agree. The term “post’ is a bit trendy. There were no post cars in 1957. They were 2 door sedans.
        As to 2 door versus 4 door give me a 4 door any day. I have an 81 Malibu 4 door ‘sleeper” that has blown the doors off many a muscle car. it was the element of surprise! Also have an 81 Buick Regal and the doors are long and heavy and can cause a lot of parking lot rash if I am not careful.

  5. JW

    I prefer the 56 model but I agree that the color combo on this car really sets it off. I actually like it with the wheels and tires that are on it in the pictures.

    Like 1
  6. Vince Habel

    Looks like the one I traded in on a 62 convertible.

  7. Peter R. Member

    Aztec gold / Adobe baige…

  8. 64 bonneville

    Peter R you are correct on the paint scheme. I too would also prefer the wide whites and full wheel covers over later day wheels. Hopefully the next owner will leave it as is, except maybe freshening up the seats, since it also has what appears to be new carpet. The bidding is at $16,600 with reserve not met and about a day and a half, as of this writing. For the condition it is in and the work done by the current owner to get it to daily driver status, the current bid is a fair compensation for what has been involved, in my personal opinion.

  9. Dan

    I like the post cars better than the hardtops….but no ditch the wide whitewalls and hubcaps….wish they had gotten it out of the shade for better pics….

  10. Doug Crawford

    Neat Car. I remember in the late 60’s / early 70’s , when one of us kids got one, the first thing we would do ( as money permitted ) was to remove and throw away the wheels and hub caps, air cleaner, valve covers, exhaust manifolds, etc. to be replaced with tacky chrome or aluminum, or cheap headers that would rust out quickly. – The folly of youth

  11. Rocco

    Interesting listing. I want to see where it go’s.

  12. Mark S Member

    Obviously there a lot of these still out there in various states of disrepair. As for this one put what ever wheels you want on it but be smart enough to keep the originals and wheel covers. I’d spot repair paint followed by polishing, then redo seat covers and door cards. I’d also convert to an HEI distributor. Add a nice sunny day and enjoy.

  13. Barzini

    So many great color combinations for this model and year but this one is my favorite after black on white. I love everything about this car except those rims.

  14. piper62j

    Nice… Smother it with TLC and keep it as a driver.. Drive ins, car shows, cruise nights.. Great..

    I like it..

  15. Doug Towsley

    Those are iconic cars, and interesting to see what it ends at, But having worked on a few and had friends who had them, the luster wears off quickly. This car is a problem as when you drive one of these the ride is god awful,. A 50s international school bus goes down the road better and Im sure corners better as well. The brakes are wooden and usually suspect. In a panic stop you are never sure if the car will track straight or lurch to one side. (Been there done that too many times) To make it enjoyable to drive you need to update the suspension and brakes at a minimum. But then it isnt stock. This one is too nice to modify in many ways. I suppose the solution is carefully bag and tag the original parts. But still. Thats why i dont enjoy restorations much anymore and just have fun with customs.

  16. Rex Kahrs Member

    Doug’s comment is interesting. But for me personally, the weird handling and braking are what make owning these old cars fun. I like ’em stock.

    Don’t get me wrong…I’ve had probably 30 cars over the last 30 years, and I make sure the brakes and suspension are 100% roadworthy. But I like the driving experience as it came from Detroit or Munich or Sweden or Paris (OK, strike Paris, that Renault Caravelle was a total crashbox!). Anyhow, currently I love the tight feel of my 75 BMW 2002, and the float of my 65 Skylark. Front discs on the ‘Lark? It doesn’t need ’em.

    • Doug Towsley

      “But for me personally, the weird handling and braking are what make owning these old cars fun. I like ’em stock.”
      To each their own, and if thats makes you happy, more power to you (Pun intended).
      However, to those who havent experienced the ride and handling of one of these you might want to look into it a little further before you lay out a lot of coin for what is a very cool looking car. Same really goes for early Corvettes, Impalas, Novas etc. The suspension design for early Novas, Chevelles and Mustangs are almost identical and are text book courses in how NOT to design suspension. They violate all the rules of accepted engineering. Look very closely at the ebay auction pictures and zoom in on the engine compartment. Take a close look at that funky old master cylinder. Notice there is ONE, count them, 1 brake line coming out of it!!!! Yep, that single pot of DOT3 wonder routes one single brake line to all 4 underwhelming drums on what is a very heavy and largely unresponsive car. 1 and half tons of steel (approx 3500 pounds give or take). Keep in mind as well, there is NO proportioning valve either on that design. No front to rear bias.
      Ive rebuilt the brakes on a number of these early brake systems and they have a habit of grabbing at different rates, or not at all. Thus, while in a panic state you MIGHT skid to a stop, but just as likely lunge to one side or another. Also take a look at the suspensions on these early cars. Adequate for a show car or museum piece but in real life traffic, It can get quite exciting. I am not talking Sleepy secondary roads in Iowa, Spend some time on the freeways in Dallas, LA, Bay Area, Seattle or Portland, especially in the winter on the last 2 with those vacuum powered intermittant wipers and some original bias ply tires. Yee Ha! that will age you quick.
      But different horses for different courses. YRMV

  17. erikj

    I am renting a storage unit and in the back lot is a flat tired 57 no post belair. Same color inside and out. Its been there a long time with orig. plates with blade chevolet frames old. I asked someone that works there and all they know is someone pays every month for it outside storage. Shame, Slow death. I really want to get it on this site. I will try.

    • L.M.K. Member

      Would love to see it….

  18. Rex Kahrs Member

    I worry more about texting idiots smashing into me from behind, which is how my freshly-restored ’69 Volvo 1800 got totaled.

    • Doug Towsley

      2 years ago I was riding my motorcycle home from work minding my own business. (Approx 45 mph) and was smashed into from behind by a speeding drunk girl the police report estimates was traveling between 75-80 mph. She was drunk AND texting! I flew into her windsheild smashing it and hit so hard the back window partially popped out.
      I flew off and over the top and went cartwheeling down the road with a nice case of road rash. Head injuries and misc health problems ever since.
      Idiots and their damn cell phones are a very sore topic for me. I scream and yell at people on their phones. I rant about it, and have reacted very strongly when i see people on their phones texting or yakking. To say this epidemic of stupidity is a worsening problem doesnt really do the topic justice. Anyone on or near a roadway is in danger. Be careful and I hope none of you experience this but sadly, sooner or later you probably will one way or another.

  19. Al

    While I feel 57’s are vastly overrated that’s a nice looking car! Love the color combo, but the new wheels ruin it. The JC Whitney one size fits all carpet looks nice.

  20. piper62j

    Doug Towsley.
    I’m sitting at a stop light in my brand new 2008 Goldwing and a young girl plowed right into me. All I heard was “bang”.. Next thing I’m looking up at a blue sky and wondering what happened. My bike was tossed 14 ft from where I was laying on the street, demolished. She was passing in a no passing zone, crossed over the double yellow lines and said she never saw me.. Gimme a break.. Big huge Goldwing and didn’t see me???.. The cop that cited her said she may have been texting..

    Anyway, I ended up with contusions, some road rash and a bleeding kidney for 6 mos.

    I don’t ride a bike anymore.. I want to stay above the grass as long as possible..

    • Doug Towsley

      Ugghh! Yep, this sort of thing is becoming far too common. I would guess that the size of your bike absorbed most of the energy. The girl who hit me was also very young. She was on a drinking team with a softball problem. Believed she drank at the game, and drank quite a bit at a bar. I thought momentarily I was back overseas and got blown up, I remember flying airborne and thinking this doesnt make any sense. But when I stop moving we will sort it all out. My second worry was getting run over by more cars when i realized i wasnt in the middle east. One of my witnesses has PTSD and all of them though i would be pitched over the divider into oncoming traffic. I peeled off my helmet and kept asking what happened. Some lady talking very slow…
      “You’ve been in an accident!” My response was “No S##t, what happened?” So then the girl who hit me stands there points at me and declares over and over “He came out of nowhere and hit me!” Luckily I had some awesome witnesses and they were amazing. I will never forget this redhead girl stomping her foot and yelling “No you little B****h, you hit him, I saw the whole thing” As a trained first responder, I didnt realize how badly hurt i was, and started giving orders, and secure the scene and telling people what to do. The drunk girl said well looks like you are okay and lets exchange info and get on our way. Instead I ended up in the trauma center and she was arrested.

    • Jason Houston

      My condolences to you and I think you made the right decision.

    • L.M.K. Member

      So glad that you survived and can tell this horrible story….It’s pretty bad and getting worst…..

  21. Rex Kahrs Member

    Wow Doug, that’s quite a story. And you’re worried about from drum brakes, lol?

    • Doug Towsley

      Actually yes,,, I do worry about drum brakes. I get freaked our riding or driving anymore, and while originality is super cool for a museum or car show piece, If you are going to drive a old vehicle much, its just not worth it to put yourself at risk, or others. I had a LOT of pucker and white knuckle moments when I was young and dumb with old cars. That was when i was bullet proof. Near death experiences change your perspectives. But I DO remember every day, i was very lucky to survive. Ironically, Ducati parts wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard in my backpack probably saved my spine and acted as a protector. The trauma unit staff couldnt believe any of it, and they brought in trainees and newbies and “Thats THE guy!” No one could believe i survived. After running a shop for many years, I dont have much enthusiasm anymore for restorations. Build them how you like and try to have fun is my new motto.
      My neighbor up the street survived a health scare as well,, and was debating about spending a LOT of money on a Lotus, His wife told him “Get it, theres no sports cars in heaven” So enjoy them while you can.

  22. Jason Houston

    I guess it doesn’t need to be said for the hundredth time… but I’d rather have the car as it was found with the right tires and wheels and dust, and use the hose coilers for their intended purpose: fasten to a wall and wrap the garden hose around them.

  23. Gary Edlund-

    this 57 is a car that I owned & restored back in the late 70s- It was originaly all adobe Beige- with a 283 & a powerglide- It took mee 5 yweas to rebuild- Then I eas forced to sell it for only $ 1,ooo,oo- to a vulture from Niagra .Wi- I found it two years ago in texas on line for sale- They wanted $ 18,000.oo for it- The coustome clear seat covers were bad- & the seats were on ther last legs- But the rest of it still looked preaty good—- Almost 40 years since I finished her- And I was VERY Happy to see how well it had held up- When I sold it she had only — “39.000 ” miles on it-I was the second owner- I miss it alot-

    • L.M.K. Member

      Incredible , small world…..

  24. Doug Towsley

    Wow! 2 year old discussion! I sure would love to track down the old vehicles I used to own, would love to know what happened to them. I suppose a few would be a very sad story but would be nice to see some that lived happy lives and still being enjoyed today. I sure get upset seeing classic bikes and vehicles getting parted out, especially ebay sellers parting a nicer version than what I am working on.

  25. Gary Edlund-

    Nothing on her had changed- Except maybe 30 + years of wear & tear- First thing I noticed was the Two different shades of beige on dash & steering column- (my fault) also the upholstery I picked out– It was a one of a Kind Material- & the clear plastic seat covers my upholstery guy insisted on making- to protect the cloth he used on the seats- No- Dought about it– This is HER— Wow– you dream about this stuff – But Never think it would happen to You- Now – if I only could find that Black customized “56 NOMAD that I owned three Different Times back in the sixties ???

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