Gasser Project: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

We have covered the topic of vintage gassers before but most of our subjects have a little something going on to fortify one’s interest – not as much so in the case of this 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air as it is in a “former” state. Nevertheless, a find like this from Larry D. is always deserving of closer scrutiny. This out-of-gas gasser is located in Tucson, Arizona and is available, here on eBay for a BIN price of $4,000. There is a make an offer option too.

The first thing about this Bel Air that leaps out is its convex stance, the lift up front clip is definitely pointed earthward, but the rear section gives off that same directional tilt but it may be an illusion due to the rear wheel openings. Some of the front-end mystery is explained as follows, “The front end has been pinned on and bolted together to make a 1 piece front end. It will need front support and possibly some other fastening as well“. There is some rust present in the rockers and quarters but the seller adds, “but for the era, it is not terrible“, not exactly a ringing endorsement but this sale sounds like a flip so the so-far investment in time and effort may not be well represented.

It is mentioned that the gasser conversion happened in the ’70s but that trend was flaming out by then. I’m not doubting the authenticity of the comment but if that’s the case, this ’57 was probably set up near the end of the gasser era’s popularity. True to form, it has a tube straight front axle and a differential described as a “Rear end is from a Pontiac and I was told it was a spool with 5.86 gears” (the “I was told” comment is what makes me think this car is just passing through the seller’s stewardship). As I recall, Oldsmobile differentials from the ’50s frequently found their way under mods like this Chevy; I don’t recall a Pontiac unit being part of the mix.

As stated, this Chevy is a bare shell with front and rear glass, no wiring, and not much else. There is, however, a roll cage present but much of the metalwork has been cut away and will probably have to be replaced to make this Chevy usable, for pretty much any application.

It is suggested, “This would be an excellent start to a vintage race car, restore or run as is with some updating“. I can’t see a stock restore happening and as for running it as-is with some updating, that isn’t really that much different than trying to return it to vintage race car status. I am hardly an expert on race car builds but I know some of our readers have quite a bit of experience on that front. That being the case, what would you suggest, a full-on vintage gasser vibe, maybe a Two-Lane Blacktop sort of personality, or…?


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  1. robj Member

    Dual square headlight conversion? No words…

    Like 31
    • piston poney

      thats what i was thinking

      Like 4
    • Steve Clinton

      Stacked, no less!

      Like 6
    • Jay E. Member

      “Hideous” would sum it up.

      Like 1
  2. bobhess bobhess Member


    Like 12
  3. Shawn

    Looks like there’s a bunch of good parts that could server other cars, but as far as saving or doing anything with this one, it just wouldn’t be worth it. And as for those dual square headlights, who ever thought that was a good idea should be shot.

    Like 13
  4. CCFisher

    The gasser era is long over, and atrocities like this are why. Nothing about this was done with any care or skill. It’s a hacked-up mess. Save the trim and burn the rest.

    Like 14
  5. Johnny C.

    This poor car has been wronged in so many ways… sad, just very, very sad…

    Like 7
  6. SebastianX1/9

    It’s feeling more Road Warrior today in these pages than usual.

  7. Bc

    I thought cars didn’t rust out in Arizona

    Like 1
  8. Long Dogs

    The Oldsmobile rear axles, were identical to the Pontiac and Buick rear axles from 1958 to 1964. All were considered to very strong and the go to axle for drag cars of the 1960’s. They are front loading center sections like a Ford 9″.

    Like 4
  9. jay

    what a disaster….

    Like 3
  10. Steve R

    There is a good chance this car was never finished. The “easy” work appears to have been done, the hard work is fabricating the sheet metal panels, wiring, plumbing, etc., what’s left is a grind and time consuming. There are more than a few “race cars” that reach this stage of completion that are ultimately abandoned.

    Steve R

    Like 2
  11. Steve Clinton

    They should remove this pile of junk and spotlight the vintage airplane graveyard in Tucson they used as a backdrop, it’s an awesome sight to see.

    Like 4
  12. Daniel Wright

    I have heard a comment that the hood and fenders are from a Fairlane…?

    • ninja3000

      Yeah, there’s definitely something about that front clip that says “not Chevrolet.”

      Like 1
  13. bog

    After I saw the Fairlane comment, I had to look at the bigger (not better) pix on the selling site. Not Fairlane (as I had one). Those are actual ’57 Chevy fenders and hood either bolted or spot welded together. The normal peaks above the single headlamps were sheared off and plates were welded/braized in to make the rectangular opening for the stacked lights. Ugh. Try as I might, there are no motor mounts of any sort to be found. This may appeal to the buyer, as they can do whatever they wish. I personally don’t think it was ever finished, nor raced.

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