Backwoods Bargain: ’57 Chevy Convertible

57 Chevy Convertible

Who here wouldn’t love to have a ’57 Chevy Convertible? Current values keep them out of reach for most of us though, so the idea of buying one in project form and restoring it is tempting. It’s never as cheap or easy as it may seem though. Take this rusty backwoods find for example. The rockers and floors are completely gone as are many of the parts. Absolutely everything will either need replaced or refurbished and the costs are going to escalate quickly. Bidding here on eBay has also taken off so you are going to have quite a bit invested before the dirty work even begins. With that said, I do hope that someone with the proper resources and experience sees this and rescues this once beautiful car. It will be a huge undertaking, but just think how satisfying it will be to drive the end result!


  1. JamestownMike

    Lol, looks like the only thing holding the car together is the trim! IT NEEDS E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!!!! What parts are really worth saving?? OBVIOUSLY someone is buying a clean title and vin on this deal!……but what is THAT really worth?……..the current $8,800 high bid??

  2. Chris in WNC

    if you gotta have a 57 convert. it would be MUCH MUCH less expensive to just buy a better one than this.

    this is only for someone who relishes the challenge of doing the near-impossible……

    Like 1
  3. Larry

    Looks like it might pull out in 2 pieces, looks like the frame might be rusted in half just by looking at how the body seems to “bend” in the middle. Great parts car, but to restore ??????? It’s already at to high of a price, I agree with JamestownMike .

    Like 1
  4. cory

    Yep. This is a body swap or a 4 door into a convertible conversion. Pretty much buying a vin and a cowl tag at this point.

  5. Lemble

    If they are still selling the repop bodies for these that would have to be the route you would take.

    • JamestownMike

      You’d not only need a COMPLETE repop body at a cost of $19,700, you’d also need a COMPLETE chassis at a cost of $15,000 to $18,000! Not to mention a COMPLETE interior, COMPLETE drivetrain, ALL NEW glass, etc! Not sure what everything would end up costing but what is a BRAND NEW 57 Chevy BelAir convertible worth??

      • Lemble

        Not long ago they were bringing 100,000. As always that price goes up and down. Not that I would undertake this beast , I was just pointing out the cheapest road to a good body.

  6. Ed P

    Gen-U-Wine 1957 Rustmobile. No thanks.

    Like 1
  7. The Walrus

    With just restored examples of these changing hands regularly in low 6 figures, I don’t see how, even if this pushes over 10K that it’s a terrible deal. The book says a #6 is worth $3860 and a #5 is worth $11,580. Whether it’s a 5 or 6 is entirely moot in this case, since, for either, to bring #1 money (which any purchaser is surely aiming to do), all of the same work will need to be done. It won’t take $90K to make it a #1 car, particularly if it’s a body shop that buys it.

    If you bought a #3 or #4 car as a starting point, and paid $30-$40K, you’d find yourself outlaying more or less the same resources to bring it to #1… replating all parts, making all the bolt heads perfect, making stitching on seats perfect, etc. You’d probably lose money on a better car than you would by starting with a basket case, since to do it right means doing it from scratch. In the case of a ’57 Convertible, which seems to always be a sellers market, the end would clearly justify the means.

    • JW454


      The Walrus is looking at this one the right way IMHO.

  8. David

    I can’t stand it any more!

    It’s either “need TO BE replaced or refurbished.”
    or “need replacING or refurbishING.”

    It is NOT “need replaced or refurbished.”

    • Moparmann Member

      +1000!!! Not to mention “Needs restored”! And while we’re at it, RPM (revolutions per minutes) NOT RPM’s; MPG (Miles per gallon) :-)

  9. Karl

    I think the right headlight bezel can be saved, and possibly the right sealed-beam too, although a personal inspection would be necessary to confirm that. So base your bid on replacing everything that I didn’t list, and you will have a spot-on realistic bid.

    Like 1
  10. Michael Ponsano

    so sad! what can be saved on this? from the looks of the body lines not even the frame! and now at 10K??? i just don’t get it.

    • Marshall

      Maybe some rich guy just wants a rusty relic for a garden decoration, so that he can brag to his friends, saying, “Hey, it’s a ‘57! It was too far gone to make a rat rod out of it, or even for parts. But putting it in the middle of my botanical gardens still beats the crusher.”

  11. pontiactivist

    I found one of these behind an old farm in Springboro pa 20+ years ago along with a 56 Crown Vic and a 65 fb mustang 289 4 speed car. Could have had the Chevy for $350. It needed a lot of work. But was nowhere near as bad as this. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda…….

    Like 1
  12. Chris A.

    Pontiactivist-I’ve searched all over Crawford County for restoration projects. Found some, but the individuals think with a little washing they have a Barrett-??? car. The project cars you saw in Springboro are ten to 20 times the prices back in the ’90s. Best car I’ve ever seen in the area is a 1937 Cord 810 sedan. Otherwise it’s Vettes, “A’s” and muscle cars. And Harleys. Rust has eaten most of the rest. But I keep looking and hoping.

    Like 1
    • pontiactivist

      Chris a. I think I saw their cord you are talking about in meadville almost a year ago. Can’t be too many in this area. Lol. I think my best is the 70 Trans Am I know of in Titusville. Been in this barn since the 70’s. All original except a maaco black respray 40 years ago. Lol. I am from Albion pa. Can tell ya where some stuff is.

      Like 1
  13. Harper

    If you zoom in you can see that there is no chasse. All your buying is a body that’s split at the firewall.

  14. Jay

    Something else is fishy about it. The quarters are painted in between the split trim like a 210. All convertibles were Bel Airs. And Bel Airs didn’t have the Chevrolet script on the fenders. It does have the correct long quarter fin top moldings for a Bel Air. 150s and 210s had short ones. But that is fairly easy to change.

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