Real Deal Survivor? 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

1957-chevy-bel-air-survivor

Some “survivor” claims are hard to swallow. When we first saw this 1957 Bel Air, we had a hard time believing that it was still wearing its original paint and interior. This car is 56 years old and it still looks like new! Well, except for that rust on the fender… Take a look at the auction here on eBay and let us know what you think. Is this a real deal survivor?

1957-chevy-bel-air-survivor-fins

There is just something so appealing about the tail fins on a 1957 Chevy. There are few cars with a more iconic design. It conjures up images of drive-ins and cruises for many people today and current market values reflect that fact. But, if you are in the market for an original example, this could be the one to get.

1957-chevy-bel-air-survivor-interior

The seller claims that this Bel Air has only covered 45k miles since leaving the lot in Cicero, Illinois. The low mileage and the fact that it went into storage in 1962 could explain the remarkable condition of the interior. There are a few cracks on the armrests, but the silver and black seats look great. We doubt that there are many cars built today that will still look this good inside after fifty years.

1957-chevy-bel-air-survivor-rear

We assume it has been treated to a polishing and extensive detailing to get this sort of new car sparkle. The fender rust does have us a little worried though and we are not sure what we would do with it. You could repair it and try to match the paint, but then you could not claim it was all original. Then again, you dont want the rust spreading.

1957-chevy-bel-air-survivor-v8

Here is the best part of this ’57. It is fitted with Chevy’s 283 small block V8 and a four-barrel carb on top. That made it good for 220 horsepower. There was a higher horsepower offering in ’57, but you would have had to dealt with fuel injection to get it. We love this car and want to believe all the claims. Can you find any reasons that it might not be all it claims to be?

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Comments

  1. leslie P. Porter

    Dual bowl master quickest clue. then the high pressure fuel system with the fuel vapor recovery. carb is also not a 4 barrel.

    • Pat Joseph

      Carb IS a 4-bbl.

  2. clyde

    That carb is not original , spark plug wires are not original , breather is not original , master cylinder and proportianing valve are not original , battery is not original , engine itself looks to good to be original , that coil is definately not original , evap canister not original , do i need to continue ???

    Like 1
    • doug edwards

      Thats not an evap canister, its a washer bottle. but I agree on the rest of the unoriginal stuff

    • John

      Not even the interior is original

  3. Phil

    There were TWO higher horsepower 283s in 1957. Don’t forget the 270hp dual-quad option.

    • Craig Hanson

      1 265 engine 2 bbl….162 hp
      283 engine 2 bbl….185 hp
      283 engine 4 bbl…..220hp
      283 engine 2×4 hydraulic lifters 245 jp
      283 engine fuel injection hydraulic lifters 250 hp
      283 engine 2×4 bbl solid lifters……270 hp
      283 engine Fuel injection solid lifters….283 hp

  4. Bob H.

    You’re right, very hard to believe this is original and I’ve looked at a lot of them.

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    The carb is a 4-Jet so it’s in the ballpark. Air cleaner is the right type and shape. The evap is definitely out. Spark plug wires aren’t routed properly. The first thing that caught my attention was the dual master cylinder; single system until well into the 60s. Overall, if the price was right, I’d have no problem parking this car on my driveway.

  6. Charles

    The top end has been off and repainted, carb restored, the oil filler cap and hose clamp are wrong. The radiator tank and air cleaner have been repainted and are the wrong gloss.

  7. paul

    I think your all nit picking here, you need a dual master if you are going to drive it. I have a 50 year old Corvair Spyder that I am restoring, I asked a fellow who shows his classic cars at Amelia Island if I can put a dual master, seat belts,& to get the car to run on current fuels mods to the ignition system & fuel system on my car, would they take points off if I wanted to show the car at Amelia, his answer was no. The car is original but he states that he put a new gas tank, rebuilt the carb etc., did you expect the original oil? As for if I believe the story, it’s possible but I would need to look it over for myself.

    • anymous

      No nitpicking here – the seller is merely misrepresenting the item and the question gets to be how much more is he misrepresenting. Could even be the wrong engine here. you don’t know without a personal inspection.

  8. Rene

    Did the cars have seatbelts, back then? I think not…

    • anymous

      Seatbelts were a dealer installed accessory first available in 1956 Chevrolets, so, yes.

  9. Rene

    Where are the hubcabs?

    • Jesse

      They are included. Take a look at the auction listing for more photos.

      • butterswisH

        Is it a 3 on the tree with overdrive?

  10. Steve

    I use to detail used cars for Bergl Chevrolet. I would get a different car every day or 2 “test drive ” it back to the shop, detail it and then return it for the next run. I got to drive a lot of different cars doing that including a Cosworth Vega that was not very impressive at all. My bet is that there are a lot of cool cars hidden away in Chicago and its suburban garages waiting to be rediscovered.

  11. Lemble

    Nice car , if it is original or not is up to the buyer .
    It seems that we see a new car rolling out each week that says it all original, under cover forever only driven at night when the bugs are not out and under a full moon. Still a nice car but why are so many car guys turning into used car salesman .

  12. Roy Smalley

    Obviously the exhaust has been replaced. If the mileage is true than the interior most likely is original. I can tell you from personal experience with three Chevy’s new 56-7, that multicolored material is tough. In fact I had my old beater 54 Ford seats recovered in that same material to match my Dad’s Turquoise and white 4dr BelAir 220 power pac, NO options.
    The paint could certainly be original if stored inside. There is a 57 BelAir (original) 2drHT, standard, 220 Power Pack on blocks not far from me stored out side, black with a white top. Just a little polish and it would look as good as this car. All and all, lots of bidders believe it is the real deal.

  13. DRV

    It has the things done needed to make it safely drivable which works for an original. The interior and chrome is original, but hard to tell on the paint without being there. I know the wheels are repainted and the tires could not possibly be 1960 unless they were coated with vasiline all those years. I do think I see some paint fogging on the inner seams but hard to tell. If you find a more original one in this desirable package it would be very rare.

  14. Barzini

    I would have liked to seen more about the car’s remarkable history. There must be a great backstory on how it was preserved.

    As for the rust in the front fender, you have no choice but to fix it. I love original cars but it would be crazy to let that get any worse.

  15. J. Pickett

    It’s easy to believe the paint is original if it was kept inside, That old GM lacquer paint would buff up real good with the right man on the buffer. Poof goes the oxidation. Just make sure you watch the peaks and thin spots.

  16. Dolphin Member

    The eBay listing says that the car was: “COMPLETELY SERVICED , NEW BRAKE LINES, GAS TANK, COMPLETE EXHAUST, CARB WAS REBUILT. A SAFER DUAL MASTER CYLINDER WAS ADDED”.

    All that’s fair enough, since it would need most or all of those things plus hoses to run, drive, and stop, and also the seatbelts added for safety. But looking at those perfect tires with no cracks in the rubber, the perfect wheels, and the aftermarket lug nuts all say that the car is not as original as the description claims. Not reassuring. This is a typical case where you pretty much throw all the claims out the window and go on the basis that you are buying what you see. Look very carefully!

    It will probably make someone a nice Bel Air HT driver, but it’s no better than #3 condition and is currently bid to about the right price for a #3 car ($26K). But the reserve hasn’t been met, and with the strong claims made for the car by the seller, I won’t be surprised if the car is a no-sale.

  17. Foxxy

    I tend to believe the story, there are a few of you that make comments about things that were covered in the story, so you must not have read the thing before you commented. Also just a few miles up the road from my house is a black ’57 hardtop that has all of the gold tone trim on it.. I has never been sold to anyone except the guy that owns it now. He bought it from a chevy dealer that had just kept it all of those years and never selling it. When the guy bought it in ohio it came with an MSO and no title. He got a WV title when he put it in his name. He has never drove it at all I only has under 15 miles on it from being moved around the dealership over the years. He had a big patio on the end of his house and he put the checy in the patio and built it into a room on his house. there is no way to get it out. He bought it in the early 90’s and it has been in his house since. I would have to say that it is the most original 57 there is. He has many other 57’s and drives them all except the one in the house. He has never started it or put gas in it. just a little story for ya. Love this site, and look forward to the next find. -peace-

    Like 1
  18. BP

    Why is it that the same guys knit pick every barn find that is on here? They are 50 and 60 yeat old cars. Should we check the antifreeze mix before listing here? I think it might be 70/30 NO WAY THAT CAN BE ORIGINAL!!!

  19. AMCFAN

    The tires being from the early 1960’s is not hard to believe at all. I purchased a custom 1941 Ford Truck built in 1963. It was stored in the basement of the owners house for years. The dual thin white walls were code dated 1964 and were perfect. There were no cracks and no age (also no DOT) The tires on the 57 appear to be exactly what the seller claims. I think it is a fantastic car. It is in my opinion everything you would want with a 57. The sellers claim of “Completly Serviced” would equate to a mechanical restoration. Everything you would have to do anyway only now you don’t. Great find. As far as collector values it is never a sin to pay over book price. There is always that vehicle that sets the bar…..Like the time a friend had to pay $30K record money for a 440 Superbird in 1990!

  20. braktrcr

    To spend this kind of money, spend a bit more, get on a jet then rent a car and check it out. Then decide for yourself, and ask the seller questions face to face

  21. Scarecrow

    I find it absolutely unbelievable how much these old cars cost in the states even when they’re like new.. I’m from Slovakia; we have our fair share of muscle cars around here, I realised that all of them are imported from the US, but the money the sellers always want for them is ungodly :D

    Like 1
  22. FRED

    I WAS NEVER A BIG FAN OF THE 55,56,57 MODEL CHEVY. I WOULD RATHER HAVE A 58 CHEVY. THIS BEING MY FAVORITE COLOR PUTS IT UP THERE WITH CARS I WOULD NOT MIND HAVING IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT.ALSO BEING THAT IT IS NOT ORIGINAL MAKES IT FAIR GAME TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO IT. BIG BLOCK FIRST NEW TRANNY W/HOLE IN FLOOR,AIR RIDE SUSPENSION, FIX THE RUST AND A SET OF BLACK CHROME WHEELS AND I MIGHT EVEN TAKE IT OUT ON A WEEKEND FOR ALL TO SEE.

    • Pat Joseph

      ha!! no thanks!!

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