Original V8: 1957 Chevrolet 210 Townsman Station Wagon

With the values of classic station wagons growing at an alarming rate, the day will come where the more desirable examples could climb out of the reach of most enthusiasts. They will face two choices. The first will be to raise the white flag and go hunting for an alternative. The second is to find an affordable car and set to work creating the wagon of their dreams. If tackling a potentially affordable project is on your wish list, this 1957 Chevrolet 210 Townsman Station Wagon could be the right car in the right place at the right time. It is a complete car that still houses its original drivetrain. It needs some work, but with the bidding sitting at a mere $3,500, it has the potential to tick the “affordable” box. If you are tempted to pursue this one further, you will find the Wagon located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and listed for sale here on eBay. If I haven’t already tempted you enough, the fact that this appears to be a No Reserve listing could be enough to push you over the edge.

There’s no point sugar-coating it. This Matador Red Chevy has rust that the buyer will need to address. It has managed to sink its teeth into most of the lower body extremities, including the rockers, lower rear quarter panels, and doors. The owner also mentions issues with the floor. When you combine those factors, the buyer will be intimately acquainted with their grinder and welder before they can even consider applying a fresh coat of paint. That person will also need to decide whether that paint will again be Matador Red, whether the original Surf Green is more to their liking, or whether a different shade takes their fancy. From a positive perspective, all of the steel is available to address these rust problems. When we reach the point where we start to consider this Wagon’s potential value, it should be worth the effort and expense to perform any repair work to the highest level. While it seems to have been doom and gloom to this point, it is worth noting that this Wagon’s frame is structurally sound, with no evidence of rust or prior repairs. Some of the trim is missing, but the glass looks like it could be in good order.

For enthusiasts considering a faithful restoration, the news is all positive when it comes to the drivetrain. This 210 features its original 283ci V8 and two-speed Powerglide transmission. With 185hp at the driver’s disposal, the Wagon should be capable of dispatching the ¼ mile in 19 seconds. The owner says that the V8 starts and runs well and that the transmission shifts through the gears okay. Eagle-eyed readers will have noted the updated intake and carburetor. These will have unleashed a few additional ponies, but the original components are included if a faithful restoration is the ultimate goal. We receive no concrete information on the state of this wagon’s interior, but the brief glimpse that we get suggests that a complete restoration of this area will also be on the radar for the buyer. Once again, how this is tackled will depend on personal preference. Many upholsterers could create custom trim if that is the goal. Reproduction trim kits are also available and generally retail for around $2,000. I’ve previously stated that restoring an interior can seem expensive, but it does represent a one-off expense. Treated with care, a high-quality restoration could last for more than fifty years without needing to be touched.

Restoring this 1957 Chevrolet 210 Townsman Wagon will be a significant undertaking, but we’ve seen worse cars cross our desks in the past here at Barn Finds. However, it does have a few positive attributes that potential buyers should consider before dismissing the Wagon out of hand. The first is that it does appear to be essentially complete. The structurally sound frame gives the buyer a solid foundation from which to build. The original drivetrain also leaves the door open for a faithful restoration. If the buyer performs the work to a high standard, it is a wagon that could command a value beyond $50,000 once complete. The bidding currently sits at $3,500, which has to make this an auction worth watching closely.


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  1. JW454

    How do you put oil in the motor? Jus’ askin’….

    Like 1
    • Terrry

      Through the opening in the other valve cover.

      Like 2
      • Crud

        The valve covers have been changed both covers are for the left side of the engine there is no place on them to add oil

        Like 1
      • Johnny

        Better look again. Their is no opening in the other valve cover.

  2. Jon Hilker

    Correct me if I am wrong but that is not the original engine given there is no Chevrolet script on those valve covers unless they were changed when the intake was updated.

    Like 1
  3. Jon

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe that is the original engine given that there isn’t the Chevrolet script on those valve covers, unless they were changed because there is no oil fill tube in that updated intake manifold.

    Like 2
  4. Kman

    DD Speed Shop. DD Speedy Shop. DD Speed Shop.

    Like 1
    • Jon

      And just what was this referring to ?

      Like 1
      • Keith

        A true five chevy. Check out his channel

        Like 1
  5. Jon

    @Keith and Kman. Already subscribed to his channel. A bit of a hack when it comes to building a Tri-5, but iI guess thats alright. To each his own.

  6. Sam Shive

    That would be a lot of OVER KILL To Have A Carb That Big On A STOCK 283. Hell it could be a 265. …… https://www.automobile-catalog.com/make/chevrolet_usa/full-size_chevrolet_4gen/full-size_210_2gen_townsman_wagon/1957.html

    Like 1

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