Tri-Five Limo: 1957 Chevrolet 150 Limousine

In general, many of us aren’t flying at the moment. And, if you’re like me, the thought of getting on a plane and going anywhere holds some appeal, especially if it’s warm and there’s some drinks with little umbrellas in the picture. But if you’re looking for a way to fill the void, may I suggest a former airport livery vehicle in the form of this unusual 1957 Chevrolet stretch limousine. Now, this example didn’t exactly bring people on holiday to and from the airport, as it was technically used by Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana before beginning a second life as a team bus for the basketball team at Northern Lights High School. Find it here on Facebook Marketplace for $10,000.

Plenty of unusual stretched American cars and trucks have crossed these pages over the years, seemingly always used as one-offs by different airport corporations. This trend continued for quite some time, with livery services sending stretched Town Cars and Cadillac Broughams to pick up private customers throughout the 1980s and early 90s. I see less of this now, as it seems Uber and other ride sharing services have become the vehicle of choice, which – like every aspect of air travel – is a major downgrade over what used to constitute the norm. Chevrolets like this were converted by Stageway into long wheelbase examples, and I’m curious if there’s an ID plate somewhere confirming this as a Stageway car.

Since it was used on an Air Force base, I have to imagine the Chevy was put into duty bringing high-ranking officials back and forth between the plane and offsite meetings. The seller points out you can still see blue paint in places that reveal its military history. After it was retired from airport transport duty, the Chevy was scooped up by a local high school to transport the basketball team! Can you imagine being a high school player and arriving to games in the back of a stretched ’57 Chevy? Seems like someone in the high school administration either was a classic car fan or felt like its star players should arrive in style – or both.

The Chevy is powered by a 235 ci inline-six with three on the tree. The seller doesn’t confirm whether it still runs, but the engine bay at least doesn’t appear to have been messed with in any way. The blue paint on the firewall is another reminder of its history with Malmstrom Air Force Base, and if that’s how the Chevy was used from Day 1, I’d be sorely tempted to restore it back to its original colors and configuration for use in the local 4th of July parade and other events that celebrate nostalgia and history. One point to consider before you peel off $10K to buy it: it looks like all the windows are blown out, so plan on spending a few bucks on new glass.

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Comments

  1. Chris

    Cool but not for me

    Like 1
    • stu

      Who you gonna call….

      Ghost Busters!

  2. AMCFAN

    It’s amazing (1) this survives and (2) the government ever thrifty ordered this mighty vessel as a base 150 with an inline six.

    I have seen several limo 57’s before but with the quarter spears never with the 150 trim. Uses for this once you blew through your IRA good luck finding a use for it. Several trips at cars and coffee the uniqueness will wear off.

    Leaving the six would be fine in a rural area but you are going to feel it (or lack) in a metro area on an interstate. Yeah, yeah LS it. No that isn’t a cure all.

    I like it. I like seeing it more than I would like to own it. I don’t have an aircraft hanger to park it.

    Like 4
  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    There’s a red one around here I’ve seen at a couple of car shows in the past. It’s different but not really to my taste.

    Like 1
  4. NovaTom

    The driveshaft has got to be 20 feet long!

    Like 7
    • K,B,Roadsend

      Drive line is likely in three sections

      Like 5
  5. Jost

    I remember seeing these going back and forth to the airports when I was a kid. Most were Chrysler but Chevy like this also. They all seemed to say in the middle.

  6. T. Mann Member

    “86_Vette_Convertible” are you West of Atlanta?

    There was such an airport limo looking 1957 Chevy in Carrollton some years ago.

    It was behind the Waffle House.

  7. George

    Hey, just what I have been looking for my entire life; A 1950’s 8 door taxi/airport limo!!!
    You see my wife wants at least 6+ children. But that straight six, not sure how that will work out with a family of 8-10 folks going up hill???

    Like 2
  8. charlie Member

    It was probably used to bring a flight crew from the barracks they stayed in when on “Alert” status to the aircraft, like a B-52. We were really afraid of the Russians back then, and the goal was to get our offensive nuclear weapons, basically carried by the B-52 into the air before Russian missiles or planes could bomb our bases. We did learn something from Pearl Harbor.
    Assuming it is not rusted out, it would have a future for a resort, or a kids’ camp, far more stable than a 12 or 16 passenger van. And a 283 would bolt right up.

    Like 3
  9. lbpa18

    Most stretches Ive seen are done poorly and use cheap side panels and roof panels. This one appears to be old enough that they still cared about doing a good job. Not sure how anyone would justify restoring it, but would love to see it used as a venue transport. Sure would beat hell out of arriving in some battery operated “Green machine”.

    Like 1
  10. ROBERT PETERSON

    rdp
    I am from Northern Montana and there never was a Northern Lights High School.. Maybe Northern Montana College (MSU-Northern) Lights team bus.
    Which by the way has a automotive department.

    Like 4
  11. Joe

    Heck, I thought this thing escaped from Cuba….

    Like 5
  12. Kenn

    Worth about half the asking. I had a stretch 48 Chevrolet in college, purchased from a church. Had a ball with it. this would be great for either a big family or a fraternity or sorority.

    Like 1
  13. Bill McCoskey

    I’ve had quite a few Armbruster-Stageway 6 and 8 door “Airporter” vehicles over the last 60+ years. I have to agree with Kenn above that this car is greatly overpriced. Kenn said $5,000, but considering it needs a total restoration, it’s more like $2,500. It needs a good $40k to $50k invested in it, and then it’s probably gonna top out at about $30k to $40k when completed.

    And there are damn few people willing to tackle something like this. GLWTS, you’re gonna need it!

    As someone said earlier, this was probably used to deliver pilots and ground crew quickly, from their quarters to the planes.

    Like 1

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