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Reader Ad: 1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible


Asking Price: $38,500.
Location: Chilhowie, VA
Mileage: 33,281
Title Status: Clean

Seller’s Description: I am selling our 1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible barn find. We purchased this car from the original family who bought it new in 1957. This car has been in a barn and up on blocks for the last 30+ years and is still in the exact same condition as we found it. The car was painted once in the early 80’s shortly before it was put up in the barn. The original color combo of the car is red exterior with white top and red/white interior. The odometer shows 33,281 miles. This car still has it’s original 283 Power Pack engine and automatic transmission and was reportedly running good when it was stored in the barn. I did put a battery on it and it cranked over good(I didn’t want to crank on it long so as not to suck anything up into the carburetor). Original power top, power brakes and original radio are present. Clear title. This is the first time this car has ever been on the open market for sale since 1957.

Body Condition: Very solid for the year, minimal body work needed. Being stored in a barn for decades has really helped to save it.

Mechanical Condition: Car was reportedly running before it was stored in the barn. I did put a battery on it and the engine turned over good(I didn’t want to crank on it long as to not suck anything up into the carb)

List your classified here on Barn Finds!


  1. Ben

    Maybe I should look up http://www.Leanto.com. If this is a barn that the 57 is listed as having been stored in, then my garage should be a Taj Mahal.

    38,500 seems awfully steep to me. Good luck to the seller.

    Like 0
  2. Miguel

    I hope this isn’t being represented as an original mile car.

    Like 6
  3. Steve R

    Thirty plus years stored in a barn with dirt floor and no pictures of the undercarriage?

    Steve R

    Like 13
    • Miguel

      I would be willing to bet where the blocks meet the chassis there are problems.

      Like 4
  4. stillrunners

    Nice flip on the never been offered car.

    Like 9
  5. Vance

    Is there a bag of money in the trunk that the buyer gets to keep? I don’t where people get their prices, and if that carport is the barn, run Forest run.

    Like 17
  6. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    I have some praise and as usual I have some complaint. First the praise:

    Thanks to the seller for realizing that he/she will not be able to restore this car, and in turn is selling it along to somebody who might restore it. So many cars just rust away into oblivion because so many dreamers think they’ll actually restore a car, when they have no real means to actually do it.

    My complaint is this: WASH THE DAMN CAR!!! What makes a seller think that a dusty, dirty, leaf-covered, tree sap stained, mice nest infested car is gonna show better than a washed and vacuumed car? Sure, OK… one photo of the car with all the crap all over it, then wash the thing to demonstrate that you were a good steward of the vehicle while you owned it. Up your game people!! Personally I enjoy washing my cars.

    Finally, I am convinced that there are more 1957 Chevys now in 2018 than there were in 1957, just sayin’.

    Like 57
    • Steve R

      It’s nice to assume that the seller has had the car for a long time and is selling because it’s beyond their capabilities, skill wise and financially. Unfortunately that often isn’t the case, this seller never mentions when he bought this car.

      About two years ago, someone knocked on my parents door to ask if they would sell her 1984 Honda Accord, which had 27,000 miles. Unfortunately, my parents said yes without checking with me first. They agreed to $2,000, when the buyer came back a few days later to pay for the car, he gave my mom a sob story about someone stealing his wife’s purse and asked if they would lower the price to $1,400. My mom said no, that they could hold the car until he had the money. When my dad came out with the paperwork, he gave him the same sob story, my dad took $200 off of the price. About a month later, the car shows up on eBay. The seller said it was his grandmothers car, which she bought new, and he was selling it for her because she quit driving. Within the first 36 hours the car reached $5,500.

      It’s a sad commentary, but I wouldn’t trust what this or any other random seller says unless it can be backed up with registration or a bill of sale. I would go with the working assumption that he just bought the car and is flipping it. I personally don’t have an issue with flippers, if they are honest, some are. Those that are honest tend to let the car speak for itself, they write a thorough description and include pictures all relevant areas so a potential buyer to make an educated decision. They approach the sale like a business transaction, because it is. They will often turn the car over for a reasonable price, then use the profit to fund the next purchase. Many are not looking for a car to sit until top dollar comes along.

      Steve R

      Like 34
      • Solosolo UK ken TILLY Member

        Hi Steve R. I would never consider myself as a Flipper, only a dealer in both Classic and Modern vehicles, and I ALWAYS told the prospective buyer ALL of the faults of the vehicle that were KNOWN to me, (some of them were cars on consignment) in order that there would never be an accusation of hiding latent defects that could come back and bite me in the rear. I never had a buyer come back to me with complaints, only with compliments, and I had tons of repeat business. I had one fellow tell me to my face that he didn’t like me because I made money out of buying and selling classic cars but I will give you one guess as to who he brought his Mercedes 280se when he wanted to sell it? I very politely told him where toshove t his Merc.

        Like 12
      • Barzini

        While the buyer of the Honda may not have broken the law, it’s morally the equivalent of a theft from a decent, empathetic seller. He made misrepresentations and deprived the seller of fair maket value. It’s so disappointing to read stories like this.

        Like 20
    • Terry W

      I personally would like to go see the car in “as found” condition before anybody has messed with it. It’s very rare to see a car like this in as-found conditIion after it’s been hidden away for 30 years. Kudos to the seller for saving this one and they’re fortunate to have had the experience of finding it, wish it had been me. The price is a little high but I’ve found that usually somebody just throws a big price on something and sees what happens and it usually ends up selling for a much lower cash offer. My Uncle passed away several years ago and my Aunt is still sitting on his collection of hidden away classics, there’s a 56 Crown Vic and a 70 Cobra 4sp drag pack shaker car in there that would knock your socks off but they’ve been sitting for years. People have tried to buy them and she always prices way high but no one has actually brought the cash and showed her they were serious. I’m hoping she’ll take my advice and let me post them all for sale on here for her. The point is that serious cash offers go a LONG way in situations like these. I’d bet anything the above car could be bought right.

      Like 1
    • Don Holt

      Rex ,the dirt hides the dings ,and bondo🤔

      Like 5
  7. Fred H

    Why buy a car and put it up on blocks to rot ? Too think someone could have been enjoying it for the past 30 years.

    Like 13
  8. Clay

    Seller states there was one very similar on ebay(non running, rust issues) that just sold for 38k. I checked and they’re correct. Apparently it’s a different world today than yesterday when it comes to buying these cars cheap. Especially one’s that haven’t been through a bunch of redneck owners with a can of bondo and a spray can.

    Like 0
  9. Ben

    I should go to http://www.Leanto.com, because if this 57 is represented as having been in a barn, then my garage should be represented as the Taj Mahal.

    Good luck to the seller getting 38.5, because “someone else did”.

    Like 9
  10. Rich

    Why store a car like it is junk and then 30 years later act like it’s worth a fortune?

    Like 11
  11. Kenneth Carney

    It’s clear to me that the owners have an
    extreme case of Barrett-Jackson Syndrome. Only worth 10 to 12K IMHO.
    They’ll have to cut the price to get someone’s attention. Don’t think any of
    us on this site would be taken in by this
    guy. Would like to try what he’s smokin’
    though. Must be good stuff to mske him
    think someone will pay him 38K for this
    car. Not me…no way…no how!

    Like 14
  12. Reed

    I hope this seller isn’t reading these comments where he/she is getting drug through the mud for simply saving a car from rotting away into the ground. I actually think it’s better to start with cars like this one that’s been hidden away and not had countless owners who have “shade tree mechanic’ed” them to death with a backyard restoration performed with $20 worth of sandpaper and primer from Ed Earl’s parts store.

    Like 0
  13. jcs

    Barn find? Appears to be a jungle find.

    Like 5
  14. JerryDeeWrench

    I agree with all the above. Good luck to the seller.

    Like 5
  15. Jbones

    I’d love to hear the purchase price?

    Like 5
  16. Camaro Joe

    As the seller says, the “way worse than this one” sold for $38K on eBay. It was on here around June 30. I’d like to know if the buyer of that one actually paid for it, or looked at it and ran. It was in Dade City FL, but it must have been a northern car, or was washed in salt water daily. The body was complete but junk with lots of holes and the frame was suspect at best. The guy who “bought” that one should have gone after this one. Compared to that one, this is a steal.

    At least this one has a chance of being decent, but I’d look really close before spending $3800 on it. I have a couple cars and one rebuilt with parts that a friend found in Southern VA got me, they’re all solid, but that was the 1980’s. If this was under cover it has a chance of being decent.

    The only way this kind of money makes sense is if you’re going to throw $300,000 at a resto-mod, then $38K isn’t big money for a starting point.

    As Rex Kahrs said, there are probably a lot more 57 Chevy convertibles around than there should be. It’s now possible to buy everything you need to take a 57 4 door and turn it into a convertible. The wheelbase is the same, just change quarters, doors, etc. It’s costly, but 57 convertibles are really pricey.

    The title will still show a 4 door, but I heard about a guy how went around in the 1970/80’s buying rotted 57 convertibles for the VIN tag and titles. If he transplants the VIN tag onto the 4 door and changes the body work, it looks like a real convertible. It’s WAY illegal where I live, but as several people on here pointed out, it’s been done.

    Like 7
  17. Camaro Joe

    Kenneth Carney is 100% correct, the “Barrett Jackson” syndrome is insane. I was at Palm Beach in April with two friends. None of us wanting to buy anything, just a bucket list thing. We’re all out of garage space.

    The people sitting in front of us Friday were a couple in their 60’s, but they’re sitting 4 rows off the stage but not paying attention to what’s going on. We’re there to see the show, so we don’t understand it.

    Near the end of the day a 67 3000 Austin Healey rolls up on stage. That’s a nice restored car, $70K car all day. The lady in front of us jumps up and starts taking pictures of it; we figured out it’s their car and they’re there to see it sell.

    The bidding goes by $100K and ends at $144,000. They got 10% less after the Barrett Jackson’s commission, but that’s a whole bunch more than they expected. I’ve never seen anybody that had $55K or so dropped in their lap before, the reaction was impressive. Good for them.

    That whole thing was worth the price of admission. Gott’a love Barrett Jackson

    Like 2
  18. Superdessucke

    For some strange reason, this car reminds me of…

    Like 9
    • 79malibu


      Like 1
      • Superdessucke

        Well, I mean… c’mon. Anyone considering bidding on this heap should mind the wise words of Michael Brady, who thought $100 was too much..


        Like 0
  19. Duncan

    Red & white was not an interior color combo offered on ’57 Chevy convertibles so the interior is not original

    Like 0
  20. Gaspumpchas

    Minimal Body work needed?? Wink wink. You can’t tell anything by the picture. And IMHO the High price will scare off prospective buyers, but there is still some crazy money out there. Sure keeps Joe sixpack away from his dream car.

    Good luck to the new owner..

    Like 2
  21. cmarv Member

    Lot’s of sour grapes . If you buy a car and both parties agree to the price , then you sell the car and the same happens and you make a buck , that’s fine . I have a neighbor that has a 58 Belair 2 door hardtop 283 2bbl powerglide , in his garage that he bought new . The car hasn’t been on the road since 89 . I have offered him more than it’s worth ($40k cash) and I have offered to take it to my shop and get it running and driving for my cost on the parts , no charge for towing or labor , but it stays put . I feel bad for the car . He will own it till he meets his maker , that’s fine too . If you own it so be it . JMO.

    Like 4
  22. Russell Casey

    Following. just my brother has a 57 coupe and 57 Nomad. :)

    Like 1
  23. Donald T

    “This car still has it’s original 283 Power Pack engine and automatic transmission and was reportedly running good when it was stored in the barn.”..if that’s true, why was it put in the barn & up on blocks?..

    Like 1
    • 79malibu

      Like someone else said. Boomers buy that car they always wanted put it away to “get to it”Then never do. Just means on the next 5-10 years we will see so many cars like this come up. Also, The motor turns over. That is a plus. I had my grandmothers olds in my garage for 10 years. Why? Cause I had kids that were 7+4 so I covered it up and it became a storage platform. after a decade, I just had to sell her. The only difference for me is. I left the window down and a broom stick on the front seat, I started it and let it run for 10 minutes once a week. Had a battery maintenance charger on her and changed the oil once a year. When the guy saw it and drove it, he offered me $500 more than I was asking. The only thing not original besides maintainence stuff was the left frt fender chrome . she ripped it off backing out of the garage. So, u had to fix the fender and paint it, but I worked at a bodyshop that had a laser color matcher so I was able to match the fade. I panel painted it and put new chrome of it. So long story long. That is why people have the best of intentions, but something gets in the way of getting it done.!

      Like 3
  24. bull

    This car is like SO MANY MORE you will see come up for sale in the next 5 years.

    The “Boomer’s” are old, retiring and dying. That’s a fact. It’s also a fact that many of them had “Dreams” of that special car just like all of us do. They acquired that “Dream” car many times in average running condition with dreams of a restoration that never happened. The car got put “In the Barn” so to speak and sat there.

    NOW many years later they come to the realization that “Dream” is now only a “Fantasy”! Life, age, health, changes in living conditions/locations (Downsizing) and death are all contributing factors as to why LOT’S of these type of “Old Cars” will once again be for sale in the next 5 years.

    If those long term owner’s are smart they will sell their Fantasy before they die. If not their “Heir’s” damn sure will sell that “Fantasy” for a LOT less than the owner would have had he/she still been alive.

    I like buying old cars from the Heir’s! They are ALWAYS a lot cheaper that way!

    Got a special old car that you desire such as this one? Just stick around as you will be AMAZED at the number of “Special Old Cars” that will be for sale in the next 5 years!

    Like 10
  25. Howard

    Donald T beat me to it. I’m sure everyone takes a nice running Chevy convert and puts it up on blocks for what reason? And I”m sorry, but there are a lot of car nuts out there that wouldn’t know “running good”…….. I’ve been over the fender of many of them with a dead cylinder, lifters clattering and blowing oil to hear the seller say See how nice it runs?

    Like 1
    • Superdessucke

      Common sense really isn’t very common anymore. I’m just amazed at how much these beaters are selling for. I think the buyers either don’t know or have forgotten how much it costs to fix a damaged or neglected car. Both in terms of time and money.

      Like 2
  26. bull

    Yes Howard you also put a “Car in the Barn” when quits running, your broke, your don’t have the skills to fix or whatever other reason you can think of!

    Either way there are LOT’S more cars such as this 57 Chevy that will hit the market in the near future.

    Like 0
  27. 79malibu

    Beautiful for being outside! Needs a deep clean inside and out. Get her running, Chabge the fluids hoses etc. new top and drive it as a survivor! Just a beattiful!

    Like 0
  28. Wrong Way

    The most amazing thing about this car is the original air filter cover on it! Back in the day almost all of us would take the cover and put some kind of coustom air filter on our cars! Why, I don’t know

    Like 2
  29. LunarDog LunarDog

    Price is $32,500 on craigslist, buy it there! Better price!

    Like 0
  30. Terry

    $32,500 please. You can get a Real Steel 57 convertible body for $19,000 and a Roadster Shop Spec chassis for $15,000 and you have state of the art body and frame for the some money. From the looks of the inside you would have to replace everything anyway. You know mice have ruined every wire on the car. You can get a Pacific performance engine and tranny for about $6,000, not new but a heck of a lot better than what is in that car. You can find just about every part for a 57. I agree, it is not worth half of that price. Restomod the new stuff and you have a great car.

    Like 0
  31. Lawyer George

    I think the 57 Chevy convertible is worth no more than $7500. Even then a great number of the average Joe’s who want one to keep could not afford the restore it as the price of parts has landed on mars. If a person is going to put out $250 to 300K the result should not be a Chevrolet.

    Like 0

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