Parked Under The House: 1957 Chevrolet 210

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

For the past 20 or so years, this ’57 Chevy has been hiding out under the owner’s house in their basement garage. The story goes that the seller’s husband bought this car from his father, who happened to be the original owner. It was driven up until the late ’70s and has inspection stickers showing the mileage at the time. Sadly, about 20 years ago, they passed away leaving the car to their widow. She just couldn’t bring herself to part ways with it, but the time has come to let it go on to a new home. So it’s now listed here on eBay in Murrysville, Pennsylvania with a current bid of $1,300 and no reserve.

The listing agent is a friend of the owner and runs a car dealership, so they volunteered to help with the sale. They provided lots of photos of the car and as much information as they could. There’s no word on the the condition of the engine, as they haven’t tried to start it or even turn it over. The last inspection was in 1977 and that’s a long time for a car to sit, so it’s hard to say what kind of condition the engine is in.

The interior is all there and looks to be in decent condition. It definitely needs a good cleaning, but chances are it will clean up nicely. The odometer shows 59k miles, but there’s no way to know for sure if that’s correct or if it’s 159k. The condition of the interior would suggest it is accurate, but you just never know without having a closer look.

If this were a two door, it would be one heck of a good deal at the current price. If you don’t mind having the extra set of doors though, it would be a great buy if bidding doesn’t go up much. It’s going to need work, but it doesn’t look too rusty and is very complete. If the engine can be made to run without a full rebuild, it would be fun to clean it up and preserve it as is!

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Comments

  1. slickb

    How could you live with yourself knowing something this grand was hidden under your house???

    10+
    • Steve R

      Because it’s a four door. There is nothing grand about it. If they sold it when he passed away there is a good chance it would have been parted out.

      Steve R

      17+
      • Tom

        You are probably correct in saying it might have been parted out but there are folks that like a four door so someone might like to take a crack at it.

        24+
      • Metoo

        Yep. Two doors good, four doors bad. Especially when it comes to 57 Chevy’s.

        12+
      • Kevin Hall

        Down under we love 4 doors. I mean 2 doors are great as well but we don’t stress when a cool car is missing a couple of doors.

        6+
    • Dovi65

      To the widow, it was a connection to her late husband, & F-I-L, and had no interest in flipping it for cash. Seeing it/knowing it was there gave her some measure of comfort. A part of those men were still with her. I understand that; I was fortunate enough to inherit my late father’s ’04 Impala. Yeah, it may not have the value of a ’57, but the emotional connection is undeniable.

      33+
    • Davey

      I agree. What is wrong with some people? I don’t get it.

      10+
  2. Oingo

    I never understand I can’t part with it reasons for keeping it. So never using it or caring for it while in your possession and then waiting until it is derelict somehow is important. Its just a car, if you really had any feeling for the owner you would have sold it to a new owner right away hopefully ensuring that it survives to allow another to enjoy it and possibly pass it down to their family intact.

    17+
    • Davey

      Here here Oingo.

      3+
      • OIL SLICK

        No, it’s HEAR HERE. Sorry one of my pet peeves

        1+
  3. Mark

    The whole “sentimental attachment” excuse for decades of neglect is growing thin. It’s a thing. Use it, sell it, or scrap it to bring another back to life. I’m sure we all have a story about the local hoarder- our local nut was into motorcycles, although he never rode them (figures, right?). He snatched up hundreds of Japanese and euro classics and NOS parts. Would never sell a single one. Naturally, the old curmudgeon passed on and those bikes went to the scrapper. The moral of the story? Don’t be that guy.

    27+
    • Metoo

      You would see this all the time on American Pickers for cars and motorcycles. Some guy in his late 70’s saying “No, I’m going to restore that”. Only if you’re reincarnated old man. Your heirs will sell it and the rest of your junk for pennies on the dollar when you kick the bucket.

      21+
    • KEN TILLY

      A friend of mine has over 40 cars that he won’t EVER sell because he is going to restore them. Well the last one he restored, a 1934 Ford V8 Phaeton, took him 10 years so working on that time frame he will be at least 400 years old before they are restored. His wife says that if he dies before her she will call the scrapyard within 2 days of him being buried and sell them for scrap metal.

      14+
      • Patient Bob

        I knew a guy like that too. Among other cars in the barn he had a 1955 BelAir 2 door Hardtop that was in pretty good shape for its 30+ years. It had been in there since the late 60s or early 70s. Not for sale in 1988. Or ever.
        About 1991 I convinced him that it wouldn’t hurt to let me care for it a little until he could get around to restoring it. So for the next 19 years I visited every couple of months or so. I kept the critters out of it with peppermint oil and moth balls and later, Cabfresh. I kept the tires inflated. then put it on blocks when they deteriorated. Early on I turned it over and squirted some oil into the spark plug holes. Drained the rad. sprayed oil on the chassis and underside wherever I could reach. I aired it out often. Worked the doors and hood and trunk and windows. Lubed the hinges. Covered the seats. I put an old tarp over the roof, hood and rear deck to keep the pigeon crap off. His wife knew I loved that car. She told me it was mine after the funeral in 2012. It’s restored now and I drive it all summer. In the winter it goes back to the same barn where it is properly stored and is now the only car there. All the others were sold or scrapped.

        16+
      • glen

        Convince her not to scrap them, assuming they can be saved.Find buyers for her, buy some yourself. Don’t let them be crushed.

        6+
      • russell spreeman

        How about a photo of your 55, Patient Bob?

        0
      • Patient Bob

        Russell,
        Here is a pic of Daisy still under restoration

        6+
      • Patient Bob

        Russel,
        Better angle.

        3+
    • glen

      We can only hope the scrapper didn’t destroy them.

      2+
  4. mike D

    let me be the stick in the mud here.. by the looks of it, the paint ” should” buff out , or at least so it looks nice.. if not, repaint the 283 engine is easy to work on, , so, if that is beyond repair , easy to replace chromies, duals, replace anything suspension wise disc brakes .. if the price doesn’t go up too much, low buck start, leaving more $$$ for ” improvements” .. this was probably the family grocery getter back in the day .. at a show, or cruise in, park it next to a 57 Tudor bet the 4 dr gets more looks

    15+
    • Metoo

      Bet it wouldn’t.

      12+
      • mike D

        Have been to the NYS nationals, out of at least 8K cars, you’d see at least 1K fordors anything that is rare or unique gets the looks , after all how many tudor 57s that are tricked out can you look at ??

        12+
      • Davey

        Agreed. That guy is cracked.

        3+
  5. Michael

    I don’t understand the sentimental attachment for objects like cars either. The youngest son of a friend of mine passed away 15 years ago. Last I heard, the son’s Nissan truck is still in his garage.

    Fond memories and photographs work just fine for me.

    2+
    • russell spreeman

      When you can sit in the same place you used to with that other person, it’s a very real connection to them. That’s not always easy to just sell away.

      4+
      • CATHOUSE

        There is a fairly recent, within the last year or two, country music song about this very subject. One person still has a passed family members truck and the song tells the story of the survivor taking the truck out for the occasional ride. I never really figured out if the story was being told by the father or a brother. As I recall the story says the passed person died in the service of his country.

        I think that all but the most cold hearted among us would hold onto to something that reminds us of a passed loved one. Whether that object is a piece of jewelry, a knick-nack, or a vehicle makes no difference. Whatever the object is it probably is something that the passed person held very dear to them. And now it is a connection to them by the survivor.

        1+
  6. fahrvergnugen

    Is it my screen or is the front missing? Maybe that’s why it sat.

    0
  7. Mike B

    20 winters of clearing the snow off the car parked outside.

    3+
  8. Madmatt

    I agree with most of the people in comments,
    somehow we as humans have placed
    an importance on “things” in our minds,
    that really shouldn’t mean anything to us,but they do!
    Everyday I try and envision getting my dad to sell off all his
    stuff,as I don’t want to deal with it all anymore! not now,
    …..definitely not when he someday passes on,he’s 80.
    I will shed tears when certain vehicles are sold,but I will always
    have my memories.I want some one else to enjoy them and fix them,
    keep em going,as I have for 40…of my 50yrs.
    Iam starting to think most of my “stuff” should be going soon too.!
    We are all just short term caretakers..!

    11+
  9. Jamie Shannon

    Could be a fun project if the price doesn’t get too high. It would be nice to know if it at least rolls. No biggie to pop 4 new tires and wheels on but it is a bear to get on the trailer if the bearings/brakes are seized.

    8+
    • Jamie Shannon

      Well THAT ship has sailed. Bids are over 7G with 3 days left to bid.

      1+
      • CATHOUSE

        Back down to $4651 now. Two bids were retracted.

        1+
      • Jamie Shannon

        Still a good project at that range.

        0
  10. redwagon

    it would be a lot cooler if it were a hardtop instead of a 4 door post sedan.

    1+
  11. Tom V

    Am I the only one that notices evidence of flood damage here? The area around the garage door, foundation and especially under the hood seem to indicate that possibility . Then there is this: http://rabblevid.com/video/heavy-rains-bring-flooding-pittsburgh/

    1+
    • Myron H.

      There is absolutely no doubt that it was and is damp in there. The concrete at the door is wet and probably stays that way most of the year. The surface rust everywhere, even on the dash sure seems to speak to crazy high humidity, condensation and lack of air flow. But I’m not convinced that it has been in a flood that went above the door sills as the fibreboard on the door panels does not appear to be warped as it would be if immersed, although what appears to be a high water mark on the right kick panel gives me pause.

      8+
      • Bill McCoskey

        Not a flood car, Interior & trunk areas indicate no siltation. I suspect the property is down a long dusty dirt road, and what you see on horizontal surfaces in the engine compartment is dust settling on parts. Being stored in a moist location, makes the dust harden & adhere like a light coating of silt.

        I’ve restored several high dollar vintage cars that were in floods, and I learned to spot one quickly. This one isn’t a flood car. Just neglected. Not only is it a 4-door, but it’s a 210, not a BelAir. Rubber floor mats suggests no floor.

        7+
  12. Righteous Bob

    I know a guy who has a 57 Vette sitting in his garage for the past 40 years, its got so much piled on top of it you won’t know its even there…This was a running driving car when parked, Will he sell it “No Way”.. We are in Wisconsin and you just know what that thing looks like with the condensation..

    7+
    • arizman2

      Sounds like my 2 solid and running ’63 thunderbird converts that I parked in the garage 20 years ago with so much stuff stacked on them that you can only see the rear bumpers (less the condensation that does not exist in Arizona)

      2+
  13. RNR

    From pics on ebay: Last oil change in 1962 @ 42K miles, last inspection sticker expired in 1977 with 59K showing…..15 years/17K miles between oil changes?

    1+
    • russell spreeman

      Not everyone gets an oil change sticker with an oil change. I just changed oil and filter on two of my vehicles and they didn’t get any stickers.

      2+
  14. lee packer

    well for all those who comment and don’t even have a car —its the right colcr

    1+
  15. arizman2

    If the seller will kick in the Johnson GT High Performance outboard lubricant I might be a bidder.

    0
    • Loco Mikado

      Where’s the outboard motor? Must have been a big one judging by the number of cases stacked there.

      0
  16. Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

    I can certainly understand why folks do things out of sentiment. Especially as they age – perhaps not necessarily thinking as clearly as they once did. Given the trajectory we’re on with autonomous vehicles, I shudder to think of what my heirs will do with my vehicles. I suspect it will be easier for everyone if I sell them before I go the great, big Tesla dealership in the sky.

    2+
  17. carsofchaos

    I can understand the sentimental value attached to something. Absolutely. What I do not understand is neglecting said item until it turns into…..well….this type of car.
    Anyway, sitting 20 years in a dank garage in Pennsylvania…good luck to the new owner you’ve got a lot of long and frustrating nights ahead of you working on this.

    1+
  18. Paul

    Working on it is the fun part….paying for parts and labor is what will make things frustrating.

    1+
  19. Patt

    This was my Dad’s last ’57. He passed in 2002 and my Mom kept it until December 2016 when she gave it to my brother. It is not a 2 Dr which was his favorite but it was his last. We have done lots of work to it but it still turned over just fine after sitting all that time. Still lots to do though.

    1+

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