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Restored Black Widow Tribute: 1957 Chevrolet 150

In 1957, the Automobile Manufacturers Association (including Chevrolet) banned factory-sponsored after a nasty crash in the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans left 80 people (including spectators) dead. To get around the ban, a former race engineer started a business called SEDCO that produced several race cars dubbed the “Black Widow.” This is a replica of one of those hot rods with a standard Chevy 150 restored as a tribute. Located in Roseville, California, this detail-accurate beauty is available here on craigslist for $54,500. Our appreciation goes to Gunter Kramer for this superb tip!

While factory-supported NASCAR racing was now taboo in 1957, that didn’t stop automakers from working behind the scenes to get competitive products on the track. Chevy hired a Hudson race expert to set up Southern Engineering & Development Co. (SEDCO) within Nalley Chevrolet in Atlanta (it was privately held so GM brass couldn’t complain). SEDCO took 150 sedans and turned them into fuel-injected wonders with 283 cubic inch V8s good for one horse per cube. These cars had 3-speed manual transmissions, six-lug wheels, larger gas tanks, and no options or back sides.

We understand that SEDCO even created a manual that other Chevy dealers could go by to build “Black Widows” (as they were called) on their own. In 1957, the Black Widow was a clear winner, helping Buck Baker to win the 1957 NASCAR championships and several races overall. On the high end, it’s estimated that no more than 20 of the SEDCO Black Widows were ever built.

As a tribute to the Black Widow, this 1957 150 was redone to emulate one. We can’t tell if the vehicle comes with or without numbers and lettering, which we assume are just decals anyway and could be removed. The seller says the restoration is “correct” and everything about the car matches what # 57 would have looked like (we assume the car number is the model year, not a specific driver). It’s been driven 4,000 miles since being redone, so we assume it’s street-legal (headlights?). We’re told the price has recently been reduced (from what amount?) and that this should easily be a six-figure car (so why sell it so cheap?).

Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Looks pretty accurate to me, and must be a ball to drive.

    But I’d rather have a Fabulous Hudson Hornet. With, of course, the Twin-H-Power “7X” engine.

    Like 9
    • Lance

      Ray I can attest they are fun. The Hudson race expert in question was Smokey Yunick .

      Like 6
      • Andrew Golt

        No back SEAT… Typo

        And who would want a car without power steering or brakes??? Except ME?!?!

        Like 0
  2. Mark F.

    Tribute is the key word here because it’s not a clone. It is missing several key items, as I actually just recently read an article about the one original that survived. Missing are the vented fenders and hood to elevate under hood pressure, the seat belts that held the hood down because this was before there were hood pins, and this car still has the spare tire well which was removed in the originals to allow for a larger fuel tank.

    Like 4
  3. Bill Wilson

    These look like 2 different cars to me. The one with the stickers/decals doesn’t have the rubber bumper guards in place, the plain car does.

    Like 3
  4. robert parks

    This is a scam he is showing two different cars the one with the writing on it was featured on the internet two weeks ago with the same pictures

    Like 1
  5. Jay E. Member

    What a great recreation, you definitely will not see another parked next to you. Great price, but it isn’t everyones cup of tea. As RayT said, it must be a blast to drive with a 3 speed and 4:11’s. Without some kind of overdrive it is not a highway car…

    Like 3
    • Mark F.

      With 4:11’s it’s not a circle track car either unless it is set up for a short track. Definitely not a Daytona/Talladega type high speed car. Of course the reason for the vented hood and fenders was because without them the cars couldn’t hit 100 mph. The under hood pressure was too high for the fuel injection system to handle

      Like 0
      • Dennis6605

        Mark F…. I would imagine it would do well over a hundred in stock condition. My ’53 Chevy 6-banger would do 98 mph, but of course it took me about a mile to a mile and a quarter to get there. It use to piss my buddy off who had a straight 8 ’53 Pontiac when I could beat him in 1/4 mile. It was kind of a slow motion drag race.

        Like 4
      • Mark F.

        That car in motor trend was an original Black Widow car converted to drag racing duty after the program ended

        Like 0
  6. MarkF

    Dennis6605, they did do well over 100 with the vented fenders and hood. Like I said the under hood pressure at speed made the fuel injection mess up. It hit a wall at 90+ mph before the vents and they had to make the modifications to get them up to speed.

    Like 0
  7. Mark F.

    Dennis6605, here is the like to the article about the black widows, in the first picture if you look close enough you can see the fender vents. That particular one was converted to drag racing duty after Nascar. https://www.motortrend.com/features/black-widow-1957-chevrolet-gasser-sedco-black-white-drag-racer-982-1615-46-1/

    Like 0
  8. Chris In Australia
  9. Dennis6605

    Mark F. I didn’t have any experience with fuel injection as a kid because we couldn’t afford it, but I do know that stock V 8’s could do well over a 100. Thanks for that article it was a nice read.

    Like 0

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