Live Auctions

Put An LS In It! 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

I have to tell you that I appreciate all of the comments that I collect from my posts. I read them all and am impressed with Barn Finds’ readers’ knowledge – and sense of humor. If there’s one comment that stands out, however, it’s “Put an LS in it!” OK, you asked for it and here it is, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan with a, you guessed it, an LS under the hood. Let’s see how it was done. This ’57 Chevy is located in Castaic, California and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $50,000, reserve not yet met.

Normally, I wouldn’t review a ’57 Chevy. Sure, I like them but there everywhere which is pretty amazing for a car that is now old enough to collect social security. And they are no stranger to Barn Finds, I lost count trying to figure out how many were covered in 2021 alone. They keep turning up so I have to assume that readers are still interested in this most iconic of Chevrolets. What I wonder about is how difficult is it to install such an engine in a car that was never intended to house such a creature? And if you’re looking for a primer on GM’s famous LS engine, here you go, courtesy of Motor Trend.

The seller of this Chevy tells us that he has installed an “LY6” in this Bel Air which Motor Trend states is a 6.0 liter (364 CI) V8 that originally generated 385 HP and 400 lb. ft. of torque. But thanks to some upgrades, this mouse that roared now pumps out 430+ rear-wheel horsepower. The assumption is that a kit has been used that mates the LS motor’s side mounting bosses, via engine mounts, to the ’57’s added frame mounts. I say “added frame mounts” because ’55-’57 Chevies originally used front engine mounts that correspond to cross member located frame mounts. Nevertheless, the engine looks naturally positioned as it is. Note the old-school small block valve covers, finished in orange, of course, attached over the top of the coil packs – a very nice throwback touch. A 4L70-E, heavy-duty, four-speed automatic transmission completes the lash-up between the LS engine on one end and the Ford Explorer 3.70 limited-slip rear axle (I understand this is a favorite swap for Tri-Fives) or the other.

Full disclosure is always appreciated and the seller doesn’t leave us guessing about this car’s appearance when he states, “Painted patina (fauxtina)” – it seems like that’s usually the case as too many of these examples seem to wear either symmetrically or just the exact right way. I don’t hate it or love it but I think I would get tired of it pretty quickly. The body, however, shows to be pretty sound as it has undergone a frame-off restoration. The seller adds, “100% rust free floors-trunk and rockers! Newly powder coated chassis. New rear shock relocation bar, New 500 power steering box, New upper and lower tubular control arms, New front and rear shocks, New body mounts, New rear leaf spring pocket kit“. With this much body action, it stands to reason that rot of any nature would have been dealt with appropriately.

The interior of this Chevy is beautiful – the seats, armrest, and carpet look more like a den or a family room. The dash and instrument panel has a restored-to-stock bearing until you note the gauges, they’re aftermarket pieces that have been perfectly integrated into the existing gauge binnacle. The seller advises, “Car has no horn, windshield wiper blades, emergency brakes or air conditioning. (Does have New air conditioning compressor and New condenser)“.

This one is a turnkey cruiser – get in, turn the key and just enjoy! Best of all, you won’t need to figure out how to “put an LS in it!”, that heavy lifting has already been done, right?

Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    “Needs the stock engine installed”.

    Like 17
    • Shawn Fox Firth

      Stock ? Ring up Shafiroff and have him send you an all aluminum 598 .

      Like 4
    • nlpnt

      And missing half its’ doors.

      Like 1
  2. Jerry

    This is a 210 sedan, not a Bel-air…

    Like 11
    • Terrry

      Is that why it says “Bel-Air” on the dash?

      Like 5
      • Tommy

        Aftermarket, like almost everything else. The Bel Air wasn’t available as a 2-door post in ’57.

      • Jim ODonnell Staff

        Bel Air absolutely was available in ’57 as a two-door sedan, look at the attached.

        JO

        Like 15
      • Skip

        BelAir dash insert is easy to install on any model ’57.

    • A.G.

      I have to disagree. The VIN C57N1xxxxx tells the story. This car came with a six because VINs for a V8 started with V. The C indicates this is a 2400 series model which was the top-of-the-line passenger car aka Bel-Air. An A would be a 1500 series and a B would be the 2100 series. If the VIN started with VD or just D the model would be a 1508 aka 2 door sedan delivery.

      Like 6
  3. Terrry

    That car should have enough power to run out from beneath all that rust.

    Like 2
  4. Sam Shive

    No Horn, No Wipers, No E-Break, “NO A/C?”. I Live In Florida, Leaves Me Out.

    Like 4
  5. Bo

    I’m not a huge fan of faux patina but this one is mostly well done. But it clashes terribly with that steering wheel.

    Like 4
  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    Love the car but wouldn’t pay that much for “fake”.

    Like 6
  7. Joe

    Why?

    Like 2
  8. BrianT BrianT Member

    Patina was cool back when the trend started. It is 9ld news now as there are thousands of cars running around with fake patina. I’m over it.

    Like 4
  9. Troy

    $50k and its all rusty? No thanks

    Like 1
    • Pugsy

      Zero rust.

      Like 2
  10. Glenn C. Schwass Member

    Nice. I would put the 210 hubcaps on but that’s because my first car , a 57, had them. That must get up and go like a beast.

  11. Phipps

    The fauxtina thing is silly to me

    Like 6
  12. Jon

    Did anyone else notice the Chevrolet script valve covers in the picture of the frame restoration and the other picture of the engine compartment without those covers in place? So which is it?
    Yes, have to agree on the faux patina. As much as it was done well, What a waste of time and money. I would have liked to see it either gloss black or the stock color that it came in.

    Like 6
  13. James A Martin

    That has to be one of the ugliest interiors.

    Like 4
    • Jon

      Especially that mismatched counsel that lays over the bench seat.

      Like 4
  14. Terry

    To go along with fauxtina paint it;s now possible to buy faux distributors for LS engines. For the money the car should have beautiful, shiny paint. Ugh.

    Like 7
  15. Steve Clinton

    I dated a girl in high school named Tina who wore falsies. Did that make her a ‘Faux Tina’?

    Like 6
    • nlpnt

      That sounds so much like “Ford Cortina” it’s impossible to finish the thought without putting on an English accent as fake as this car’s patina.

  16. Vince H

    I am so tired of everything getting a LS. When I think LS I think 454 big block. Today everybody thinks you have to put a LS in it. The money spent on the fake patina could have been better spent. I pass on this. And yes there was a Bel Air 2 door sedan in 57 I had one.

    Like 4
  17. Corvair Jim

    The spray booth photo shows that the new paint looked great! Why did they have to go and ruin it with the fake patina? All “patina” does is show that the car has been neglected. Why would someone want to take a decent car and make it look like it wasn’t taken care of? I never understood that. I like my cars to be nice and shiny. I maintain them. That’s why, at 16 years and nearly 200,000 miles, my 2006 Chevy Cobalt SS still looks new, as does my wife’s 2011 Honda Crosstour. And neither one will EVER look as terrible as this shoebox Chevy.

    Like 7
    • Jimmy Novak

      It’s so those always looking to prove things can go “LOOK at MEEEE!” when flooring Jed Clampett’s car away from a light.
      (It works best wearing bib overalls.)

      Like 1
  18. A.G.

    If it wasn’t for the Bel-Air trim, a quality paint job followed by a patinaed wrap might be a better way to go. A new owner might like the car but not the alleged patina. Being able to say the wrap can be removed might in a better result in a sale,

    WTF was this thing supposed to be when it was ‘done?’ It’s a mix of this, that a nd other crap none of which melds very well. I mean if you’re going to strip the firewall why not ‘smooth’ it.

    The extent of customization can limit the market. One man’s Madonna can be another man’s whore.

    Like 2
  19. Howard A Member

    I was pretty flabbergasted too, they paint the car, THEN add the rust? I just figured, with all these rusty appearance cars, the builder spent way too much on the car itself, and nothing left for paint. To add this foolishness only takes it to a new level.
    SO, we, as a group, pretty much don’t care for this, who are they trying to impress? I read, the only reason rusty looking cars are attractive today, is people are burned out on one pristine car after another, and a rusty one is merely different. History has shown, that’s not a good place to invest money in,,fads tend to diminish with time, and this fad will be no different.

    Like 1
    • Pugsy

      Sorry Howard, but you should speak for yourself, not the whole group.

      All cars looking the same is a boring life.
      I commend those that dare to be different.

      For investment, buy real estate, not cars.

      Like 2
  20. Jay E. Member

    I actually like it. It is so well done that I wondered why someone would dump a bunch of money and an LS into a rusty car! If thing is fast, it would really be fun at the strip against alot of cars. But you are paying for that fun up front and I can’t see the appeal to most buyers

  21. trav66

    I’m wondering why, with all of the work and attention to detail the builders invested, it doesn’t have wipers, horn or e-brake? (it won’t pass any state inspection that I know of) I’m torn between the “fauxtina” look and a solid paint job. I can see if a car was found with natural patina and clear-coated but if you’re doing such a thorough build, why not just shoot a shiny original paint scheme? It’s at $55k (RNM) with 7 hours left so there must be a niche for the fauxtina thing.

  22. Lou Rugani

    Why not go all the way with mismatched hubcaps and whitewalls and a “My kid can beat up your honor student” sticker?

    Like 1

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