Grandpa’s Drop-Top: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

Except for one older repaint in the factory color, this 1957 Chevy Bel Air is said to be original – and has been in the same family since new. If you wanted a Tri-Five convertible between 1955-57, you had to spring for the Bel Air trim level as that body style was not offered with the 150 or 210 series. Needing only a minimal amount of TLC, this ’57 Bel Air is ready for weekend cruises and the car show circuit. Located in Cochecton, New York, this time machine is available here on eBay where bidding has reached $50,300, but the reserve is still unmet. You can pass/go with the Buy It Now feature at $69,999.

When it left the dealer’s lot in 1957, this Bel Air drop-top was co-owned by the seller’s grandfather and great aunt. Until his passing in the 1990s, Grandpa pampered this car and it may have gone into storage for a time after that given the 78,000 original miles on the auto today. We’re told everything is original (except consumables) other than the Harbor Blue paint which has been refreshed. That was only done to the exterior, as the paint in the trunk and under the hood are circa 1957. The interior is also as the Chevy left the assembly line and looks as though it has hardly been used.

The ’57s Chevies were the first year for the 283 cubic-inch V8, which was a slight upgrade from the 265 which was still available. This car has that motor and a 2-speed Powerglide automatic, neither of which have been gone into. Power steering was also on the checklist in 1957 and it was not a common option (yet). We’re told the vehicle runs and shifts as it should for being 65-year-old-technology. The seller says that an additional floor brace before the wheels is needed to make this into a regular driver, should you choose to do so.

Most of the Tri-Fives that we see on Barn Finds have either been restored or modified, which fortunately is not the case with this near-survivor. Of the three model years of this phase of Chevrolets, the 1957 Bel Air convertibles saw the greatest production numbers at 48,068 units. When was the last time you saw one of these that wasn’t in a museum or at a drag strip? They’re only original once.


  1. GCS Member

    That is beautiful. It’s already out of my recess money limit, but I’m happy just to see it. Looks like it’s been stored right for its whole life.

    Like 15
  2. RoughDiamond Member

    Just an incredible find and think about it, this ’57 Chevy is 65 years-old probably nearing ’66 based on when the new models came out back then. It won’t be cheap, but someone is going to get an honest car that they can most likely just drive and enjoy with normal maintenance.

    Like 9
  3. gaspumpchas

    High bidder a scammer. seller has one feedback. Do your homework and look it over good. That blue is a nice color but it doesnt do this beauty justice. Needs whitewalls. I’d drive the heck out of it as is! Good luck and happy motoring.

    Like 9
  4. Rw

    Ass end jacked up, front fenders not aligned proper, decent IMO.

    Like 3
  5. Jay E. Member

    Something is not quite right to my eye. The color is a bit off, the rear springs are replaced and the trim isnt aligned. The chrome is really worn. The front bumper is sagging. The upholstery isn’t original. Cant imagine what front brace is needing replacement with only “minor” rust. I like the story, but not sure if I believe all of it, especially the “original” part.
    I love original ’57’s but they usually have a different cohesive feel than this one does.
    At the price it would need an in person visit. Could be a fair deal, or quite a bit too high.

    Like 3
  6. Gary

    60k and will need 40k in restoration st a minimum. Pass

    Like 8
  7. Gary

    There is nothing on this car that is original. Painted at least once, the interior and top look to have been replaced way back, will need floor braces and who knows what else. Be prepared to drop some bucks on all the things that will pop up, the list will be endless

    Like 5
  8. George Theetge

    You say that 1957 bel air got a new motor the 283 in 57 but they could also get the 265. You also say that this car has that motor, which motor does this car have?

    • Norman K Wrensch

      this would be the 283 seeing that the 265 was only available with the three speed stick

      Like 3
      • George Theetge

        Did not know that. I had a 57 that was baby blue with 283 power pack & 3 on the tree. Wish I still had it, thanks for the info.

  9. Bryan D McDonald

    The colors are Harbor blue (the darker shade) and Larkspur blue (the instrument cluster color. At first glance I too thought the color to be off a little but after looking at the photos of the firewall and inside the trunk I believe it is probably just a trick of the light the car was photographed in, as those appear to have the same hue as the outside color, and it is highly unlikely during the repaint that they would have also painted those. The interior appears to be the original vinal the convertibles came with, remember the convertibles came with all vinal interiors and that bubble look inserts on the seats and door panels as opposed to the cloth inserts the hard tops and sedan Bel-Air’s had. This car seems to be quite a time capsule even with the repaint. 1955 – 1957 Chevies had a floor brace that runs from one side to the other just Infront of the rear tires and is where you will almost always find some rust even in otherwise fairly rust-free cars. anyone who knows their Classic Chevies will always reach a hand under the floorboards at this spot and grab that brace to check for rust.

    Like 7

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