Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

1957 Chevy Bel Air Coupe Poject


This 1957 Chevy Bel Air Coupe is in need of a major restoration, but is being auctioned off without a reserve. For the right price, it could make for a great project. If you’re interested in taking on the momentous task, find it here on eBay.


The original engine and transmission are currently missing, but the seller doesn’t state whether this was a V8 or straight 6 car originally. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a 283 V8 to drop into the engine bay, the hardest part would be deciding which transmission to pair it with. These were offered with a 3-speed manual, a Powerglide, or the Turboglide automatic. Which would you would you choose?


The interior has been stripped, but it does retain its original dash and gauges. There appears to be a lot of rust strewn about the cabin, but the seller claims the floors are still solid. I would want to see it for myself before believing that though.


This might be a big project and a massive undertaking, but it has lots of potential. Hopefully the rust isn’t as severe as it looks in the photos. I personally love the white on black color scheme and think it will look great after restoration. If this was your ’57, what would you do with it?


  1. Mr. Moe

    Not in a position to take on such a task, but it brings back a lot of memories for me. My Mom had a ’57 Bel Air 2dr. Sport Coupe that was dark blue with a light blue top; 283 with the Turboglide transmission (I would have rather had the Powerglide), PS, PB and even A/C! I loved that car and wanted it soooo bad! My folks would not let me have a car until I was a senor in HS and she sold it my junior year to a guy in my home town that was 5-6 years older than me. I was ticked-off about it, but that’s the way goes. It was fun while it lasted!

    Like 0
  2. phillip thompson

    looks like one ready 4 drag strip would be easer than restoring missing 2 much

    Like 0
  3. wmason1961

    Attack it with a welder for a couple of hours and make it a structurally sound rat rod. I could have a blast with it.

    Like 0
  4. Jim

    Hotrod it!

    Like 0
  5. Bob H.

    Fully restored wouldn’t it be worth about $35K?

    Like 0
    • phillip thompson

      it would take about 35 2 restore it back right

      Like 0
  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    When that tin worm gets into the frame, I’d tend to approach with caution. Looking at what’s there, it’s already over what I’d be willing to pay. But I do like the black with the white paint scheme.

    Like 0
  7. David Reeves

    I would restore it to original, drop a 3-on-the-tree transmission, and drive it!!

    Like 0
  8. paul

    Funny I thought that the radiator support hold’s the fenders in place.

    Like 0
  9. Dan Skopp

    I guess this fits the deffination of a “basket case”.

    Like 0
  10. Dolphin Member

    It’s good that this is a no-reserve auction with a low start bid, because this should sell cheap. ‘Should’, but not necessarily ‘will’.

    With a range for a #2 car from $35 to 59K, it will be impossible to restore this and come out ahead. The low end of the value range probably results from the fact that Chevy made more than 166,000 Bel Air hardtops, so they’re not exactly rare. And there’s a lot to source for this car (engine, transmission, driveshaft, rad, many underhood small parts), in addition to a lot to restore on the body and frame.

    I can understand the rat rod solution, but with the front crossmember looking a bit like swiss cheese, I’m not sure this car could take the horsepower without what might turn out to be lots of frame work.

    Familiar advice: Resist the low entry fee here, pay more for a better car, and be ahead in the long run. It looks like this car is sitting in a working resto shop, and that the owner agrees.

    Like 0
  11. Lemble

    Scrap drive :)

    Like 0
  12. Kman

    White paint? What white paint? If the back quarter trim panel is painted white, this is no Bel Aire. that should be brushed aluminum with polished stripes. It should also have small 2″ gold coloured “ports” on the front fenders. The fact that it’s a hardtop suggests a Bel Aire and if it is, my choice would be to drop a 283 or 327 into it and a 4 spd. Not worth making it a true resto so a resto mod would be the way to go. Whatever engine/tranny combo was cheapest, Same for any other parts. I’d want it to look as much like a 57 Bel Aire as possible within cost limitations because I still have fond memories of a Yellow 57 4 door hardtop and have never quite got over it, So all black outer with whatever I could get inside but not black on black. Silver, white, red what-have-you. And that’s my wish car. Updated suspension, brakes etc. would all be nice too but a good running V-8 with nice paint and seats would be the essentials.

    Like 0
    • richard

      it is metal look closer. notice the other details like a long top rail in back. not short like you would see on a non bel air

      Like 0
    • kman

      I agree. I did a resto back on a ’57 4 dr bel aire hardtop back in the 60s. There were so many bel aire specific parts that would be annoying as to make it a chore rather than a joy. I do remember the day I got my little wrapper of the tiny gold ports and yest you are exactly correct about the aluminum panels. Put a crate mill and 4 spd in it and some decent seats with fresh paint. Maybe some suspension upgrades if you can get a deal. That’s it. Too many resto’s aren’t bringing back the return on investment nowadays – except Ferraris.

      Like 0
  13. William Robinson

    Remove cross memeber replace it with a custom tube unit while your in ther better suspension shouldnt be too hard. a hopped up straight six and a modern five speed. get a bunch of repop stuff from a source of your choice or go n.o.s for more mony make it clean and comfortable inside. Some steelies or classic slot mags, remove the chrome and clean it up get rid of the rot and paint it as close to that old faded black (probably flat black) with a deep dark red replace chrome and drive until it needs to be done again.

    Like 0
  14. Jeremy Adams

    this is my dream car. I dream of the day I see one in my driveway. I would put a 283 v8, 5 speed on the floor, with midnight blue paint and old school flames. Black interior.

    Like 0
  15. Ramone de V8

    Ya, I think we all have wanted a 57 Chevy at some time, and this looks like it may not be too far gone. The Hot Rod thing makes most sense. A nice late model injected small block with 700R4, or whatever you got. But what’s with the rad support? Could be a disaster, but a lot of shops are really good at these 567 Chevs. Wish I was one of them.

    Like 0
  16. Bob H.

    It says the frame is good but that front cross member doesn’t look too good. I’m leery of un-restored cars from Kentucky, too much humidity.

    Like 0
  17. Art

    This looks to me to have been a six with the three speed. No power steering.
    Rebuild it with the six and three speed. Have a 57 that is different from the multitude of others. See the 50 Chevrolet in the latest Rodder’s Journal. Dress the six with the twin carbs
    and other go fast gear.
    Art Morrison frame underneath and you will be good to go. Almost.

    Like 0
  18. joe lonzello

    Back in november of 1976 I lowered a 57 chevy convertible down a 3 story elevator shaft & a ’35 chevy coupe with bullet holes. Whole operation took 6 hours. A week or so later booth cars were stolen ! I still have some photos of cars taken before we rescued them.

    Like 0
  19. ConservativesDefeated

    Whatever I paid for it , I’d want sone change back.

    Like 0
  20. braktrcr

    Seems the photos are a bit more accurate than the sellers description. We all want the car, I happen to want an I beam front end… (straight axle for you younger guys)

    Like 0
  21. bob h

    how much more or less is a 4 door hardtop, same condition?

    Like 0
  22. Dario

    I would get a 2013 Hyundai Elantra instead.

    Like 0
  23. Catfish Phil

    What is it about human nature that compells some of us to relate ancient stories to others about a similar car you wanted? Nobody cares if your mom sold one to somebody in high school your junior year, blah, blah, blah. It adds nothing relevant or insightful about the car in question! Think about the content you’re posting- nobody cares what cars you remember in town during high school but you!

    Like 0
    • geomechs

      Actually I like reading some of those stories, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Call us different or whatever you like. It’s some of those anecdotes that helps to round out the hobby.

      Like 0
      • paul


        Like 0
  24. Spanky

    Kman,The photos presented to me clearly show the BelAir (aluminum) quarter trim.Also present are the BelAir only badges over the top that trim. I agree with Art.If the frame is as far gone as the front cross member,I’d replace the whole thing with an Art Morrison replacement. If however, the rails are good I’d just replace the cross member with a more modern weld in unit with provisions for either coilovers or shockwave air suspention. Either one with rack n pinion and discs.Drop in a late model LS and your choice of auto or manual. There is many repro outlets who handle most any trim pcs this might be missing, Danchuk being the first in mind to help get this puppy back on the road where it can bring many more miles of motoring bliss to anyone with the bucks.. I just wish it was me so that it could grace my garage next to my 57 stepside.

    Like 0
  25. lincoln log

    This looks like a “Stored out in the grass” model. Waited too long for the restoration. I would suspect a lot of welding and rust removal. Price doesn’t reflect the cost of even a moderate restor

    Like 0
  26. Your Name

    Straight axel gasser!

    Like 0
  27. bob h

    So, Was it a good deal at the price of $6,533.? Several bidders?

    Like 0
  28. Melissa

    Hi I am Dawn Blasdale I live in Leicester,England. My father sadly now deeaescd was John Ernest Blasdale born June 30th 1923. He was born in Coventry his father was also John Ernest born 1899. My father was an only child. But he himself had 6 children John, Dennis, Keith, Peter, Wendy and of course myself. I am amazed at how many Blasdale’s there are in the world. It would be lovely to hear from anyone connected with the Coventry Clan in any way, or anyone who may have known my dad and family. Please contact.

    Like 0
  29. Aidan F

    I wouldn’t straight axle it or Hotrod it(ok maybe a little) but if I chose either a manual or automatic I would choose automatic, I don’t really like manuals too much

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.