2-Tone Green Tri-Five! 1957 Chevy 210

Located in Lansing, Michigan, and found here on craigslist, this clean looking 57 Chevy 210 is the tri-five sedan you didn’t know you wanted. The 55-57 Chevy 210’s make great alternatives to the extremely pricey Bel-Airs. Equally classy lines with just a little less trim makes for a price point that is much more attainable to the average collector. Thanks to reader Clark B. for this awesome sedan!

According to the owner, this 210 features a good-running straight six coupled to a manual 3-on-the-tree transmission. This car appears to have virtually no options- standard engine and transmission, 210 trim level, and plain black vinyl. The owner also says that the brakes have been fully overhauled, and I believe I spot a dual master cylinder as well- a critical safety upgrade. Apparently, the suspension has gone through a thorough checkup and replacement of ball-joints and bushings along with front disc brakes.

The paint looks like it is in average driver condition, and the majority of the problems reside in the roof. The owner says the paint needs love, but personally, I’d leave it as is. Small, stock appearing “full-moon” hubcaps and decent chrome makes for a presentable driver that any sensible collector would love. A full detail of the exterior and engine bay, combined with either boiled linseed oil or a good polish would turn this car into a classy and affordable cruiser.

The seats appear to be in very good condition, as do the paint-matched cream and green door panels. A car like this just needs to be driven. Replaced floor pans and half-decent cosmetics cry for someone to put plates on it and have a fun and cheap daily-driver. Having four doors means that the $7200 price tag may be a bit high, but you can be sure that it won’t be a bad investment either.

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Nice as it is, I think $7500 is a bit much for a six-cylinder, four-door ’57. I suspect there’s some money still to be spent on it as well, even if only for new floor mats/carpets and whatever detail items are worn out or not working. I would never trust such vital systems as brakes on a car I bought off CL.

    And I have to say, James, that if I were to shell out for this car, its first stop would be at a good paint shop. Don’t like the color, it’s not original, and there’s a big difference in my mind between “patina” and RUST. And I don’t like the color….

    • geebee

      Coming out of Michigan, it might be scary to discover what’s under that paint. I’ve seen what was meant to be a quick paint job turn into way more than what would be worth fixing.

    • Chuck Turner

      The color IS original.

      • The Walrus

        That’s not the color the car is painted… Unless it was some sort of magic paint that got much much much darker and ‘greener’ as it aged, rather than fading.

  2. CowboyChris

    Love it, be a great daily driver, my kids would have no clue how to roll the windows down. Lbvs

  3. motoring mo

    …but you can be sure that it won’t be a bad investment either.

    How could you be sure? You are not putting you money in a savings account or a CD…
    Sure this ride might be a fun purchase but the cost of keeping this classic on the road won’t be easily recouped on resale.

    • The Walrus

      Well, let me assure you that a 6 cylinder 4 door sedan, with non original interior, in need of body work with unknown traps lurking beneath the non original color is not a bad investment… it’s a terrible one.

    • blasphemy

      INVESTMENT?????? If hear that too much I will explain why cars are NOT an investment.

  4. JW

    Fun car for a daily driver but not as a investment which I don’t buy cars as investments, I buy to enjoy them. I thought that color was not original to the car as I’ve never seen one in that particular color combination. Without a closer inspection the asking price is a little steep.

  5. redwagon

    lansing, michigan is right next to east lansing home of the michigan state university spartans.

    go green!!!
    go white!!!

    repaint green w white inserts and cruise it as a tailgate vehicle. would be a cool ride.

  6. Blyndgesser

    That paint color screams “1972,” not 1957.

    • The Walrus

      In the mid 80’s, my dad picked up a ’57 2Dr Bel Air HT that had been painted a 1973 Camaro green and was similar to this color. The car needed some sorting as the previous owner ran out of money. We worked on the details, but that was the hardest car to sell because of the color. People who remembered the 50’s wanted nothing to do with forrest green paint. Painting the roof white helped but the green limited the market big time.

    • Brad C

      Yup – looks like it might be that highly-speckled flake paint like you used to see on bowling balls in the 70s.

  7. The Walrus

    There is a lot of confusion out there about the relative values of tri-5 cars because people confuse the model (150, 210, Bel-Air) with the body style (sedan, hard top, convertible, etc). The model lines offered different body styles, and some body styles were exclusive to the Bel Air. On a car like this, a 4 door sedan, there is negligible difference in value between models. From the Feb 2017 Old Cars Price Guide:

    1957 Model 150 V-8
    4d Sed- #6: $820 #5: $2460 #4: $4100 #3: $9230 #2: $14350 #1: $20500

    1957 Model 210 V-8
    4d Sed- #6: $900 #5: $2700 #4: $4500 #3: $10130 #2: $15750 #1: $22500

    1957 Bel Air V-8
    4d Sed- #6: $920 #5: $2760 #4: $4600 #3: $10350 #2: $16100 #1: $23000

    The reason the Bel Air is perceived to be so much more valuable is that there were several body styles that were only available in Bel Air trim. Notably all convertibles and Nomads are Bel Airs. These 2 bodystyles are each worth approximately double the next most valuable body style, the 2d Hardtop.

    1957 Bel Air V-8
    2d Cnv- #6: $3860 #5: $11580 #4: $19300 #3: $43430 #2: $67550 #1: $96500
    2d Nom- #6: $3220 #5: $9660 #4: $16100 #3: $36230 #2: $56350 #1: $80500

    When it comes to 2d Hardtops, these were only available as 210’s or Bel Airs… there are no 150 Hardtops. Here are the values of 210 and Bel Air HT’s

    1957 Model 210 V-8
    2d HT- #6: $2040 #5: $6120 #4: $10200 #3: $22950 #2: $35700 #1: $51000

    1957 Bel Air V-8
    2d HT- #6: $2500 #5: $7500 #4: $12500 #3: $28130 #2: $43750 #1: $62500

    Long story short, it is essential to consider body style in any discussion of tri-5 Chevy’s. There is more value in the body style than in the model line. The model line/body style line ups are pretty much the same from ’55-’57 and the relative value differences are comparable among all 3 years, with the iconic ’57 being the most valuable of the 3 model years.

    • The Walrus

      Also, here are the listed adjustments for ’57 Chevy’s. These apply to all model lines and body styles:

      Add 10% for factory A/C
      Add 15% for “Power-Pack”
      Add 75% for fuel injection
      Add 25% for dual 4 barrel carbs
      Deduct 10% for 6-cylinder engine

  8. Johnni B

    When I was 14 (1968) my step brother had a 63 Impala SS, blue inside and out. He joined the Marines and my step dad told me I could have that 63 if I continued to make the payments. I don’t remember what the payment was but I started making the payment by mowing lawns. I mowed quit a few yards. Then I decided I’d change my profession, I went to work throwing the news paper. Well the money wasn’t quit the same and I struggled to pay for it anymore. My step dads father had a 57 2dr sedan he had bought brand new so my dad decided to trade that 63 for the 57. No more payments. I was 16 then. We drove down home and swapped cars. Before we left thou, we put on 4 new tires, and painted that Chevy Pinehurst green right there in that driveway at his farm. Stayed the week and drove her home. Had that 57 for years. Lost my virginity in the back seat to my future wife (which we are still married and going strong at 45 years). Sadly someone wanted that 57 worst than me and they stole it around 1976. Had alot of fond memories in that car. Miss it. Oh and by the way that Pinehurst green I thought was the uglist color I could have painted. My wife to be sure did like the color. Wish I had another, but it sure wouldn’t be green.

  9. Jack Quantrill

    Worst color combo I’ve ever seen! Metallic pea!

  10. Ck

    #1 too much $$. #2 too many doors. #3 needs too much work . #4 not enough cylinders. Just sayin .

  11. Rustytech Member

    I thought I had seen this color combination before so I looked it up. This was called Surf green over Highland green, and is original to 1957 Chevy’s. I like this, at least it’s not the typical red/white, and no one felt compelled to try to make it a Belair. The 6 cyl isn’t going to be a barn burner, but was a dependable, not a show car, but could be a nice driver. Of course a thorough inspection would be appropriate. Maybe not worth $7500 but I think $5k to $6k would not be too much if all checks out.

    • The Walrus

      Highland Green was a color. That’s not it… Highland Green was much lighter and more ‘grassy’. Surf green is a bit turquoise, not avocado.

  12. John B

    I’ve seen more luxury on a yellow school bus. Just a neat old car, but not really inspiring…must be that gooey green.

  13. Jim

    I think the price is too high for a 6 banger. I paid 2500.00 for my 210 4 door sedan complete with 283 powerpack engine and it’s Carter 4 barrel carb and oil bath air cleaner. The seats are not stock in this one

  14. Rustytech Member

    I have the color chip for this color combination, if this ain’t it, it’s so close I can’t tell the difference with the pictures side by side. If this was a re-color, it was a good one as even the inside door jams and fenders under the hood were done. But at 60 years old who cares.

    • Chuck Turner

      It is the color.

  15. MRE2ME

    Still see a few 4door sedans here & there at the side of gas stations rotting away-IMHO they are just plain ugly. They are absolutely transformed in to an elegant vehicle in the rarely seen 4 Door Hardtop Model.

  16. Christopher L

    For those wondering about this 57 four door I am the current owner and I must say thank you for you lot being too picky and for leaving this lovely old lady for me.

    Yes she needs a proper floor pan and some new driver side body mounts but that’s the worst of the rust. After that there’s a line of thru rust on each wheel well in the trunk (not huge, easily patch-able) and the passenger side bottom fender as mentioned in the add, the old man the previous owner got it from looks to have bondo’ed over a spot and the bondo has releases from the bottom curve so it sticks out. But again thats the only real issues i can see body wise.

    And now to fill you guys in on a few things that the add nor this article covered, the icky highland green / surf green you see here is NOT the original color as after running the numbers i discovered she originally was turquoise blue with an ivory white top.
    The interior is correct as the numbers say it came with a charcoal black and ivory white interior, of which the headliner is gone and the worst parts of it is the back shelf bit under the rear windshield where its gotten raggedy and where the radio mounts as you can see someone tried putting in an aftermarket radio. The door panels could use a good scrub and the seats are near perfect without a single tear or mark on them, just need a good scrub is all. All the gauges work (temp, speedo, fuel) along with the sunpro gauge cluster that was mounted at the bottom of the dash for a more accurate temp gauge (runs at 130-140 all day long at 55-60) and a oil pressure gauge (40psi all day). The only annoying thing is that the speedo is 5 off (doing 55 when the gauge says 60). The heat and fan work very well indeed and are nice to have since its getting chilly here in northern michigan.

    Now for under the hood, its an original straight six three on the tree (and from what I can tell and know its the original drive train) with a good strong running 235 although when I can I plan on having it rebuilt due to some noticeable ring blow by (white smoke from the valve cover breather when its shut off after driving) and some slight lifter ticking that i hear once in awhile, plus it doesn’t have hardened valves and valves seats of which are a must nowadays. The 3 speed shifts very well and the clutch is solid so points there, i’m not sure what gears it has in the back but by how it drives it’d say your typical highway gears.
    Like the add says the brakes have been gone through and the suspension as well of which i must say she floats down the road like a dream and stops on a dime with the discs on the front.

    All in all this 57 four door is a damn good car and I love it to death, I’m currently daily driving it from work and back and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. At the moment the only thing that really needs attention is the wipers as the cables are shot, motors fine just the cables have let go which happens and wasn’t surprising.
    Once that’s sorted I’ll be on the hunt for a good body shop to get that spot on the fender sorted and some fresh paint on her (nothing fancy, flat black most likely till i can afford to do her up how I’d like) to keep the rust at bay. And before you all lose it no I wont be driving it in the winter, shes in good hands don’t you worry :)

    Like 2

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