Road And Track Pinup: 1957 Byers SR100

UPDATE – We featured this rare Byers SR100 back in October of 2017 when it first emerged from the barn. At that point, it wasn’t for sale, but things have changed and Dean has decided to list it for sale. If you’d love to give this rare sports car a new home, be sure to check it out here on Facebook. Dean is asking $16,500 and the car is located in East Haddam, CT.

From 10/30/2017 – Carcheaologist Dean Schimetschek has unearthed a rare beauty, a 1957 Byers SR100 that Road and Track magazine featured as its February 1957 Covergirl – calling it the “World’s Most Beautiful Sports Car.” I’m sure Cobra and Devin fans would find those fight’n words, but an honest look at the car when it’s all dolled up, and certainly you run the risk of becoming a convert.

I’m too much of a realist to dream of a Cobra barn find, but certainly, have created an elaborate story of finding a Devin MG under mounds of hay, or even a twin to Steve McQueen’s ’52 Siata 208S lost for decades in a Malibu garage. But Dean is living the dream for all of us, found here on Facebook, discovering what has to be one of only 25 Byers SR100’s, designed by Jim Byers in 1956, and quickly finding its way to 15 minutes of fame the next year (followed by a lifetime of admiration by those of us who cherish the spirit captured in post-war fiberglass beauties).

As you can see, with all the right cosmetics – a perfect version of an SR100 is truly a knockout. This blue beauty, from an Amelia Island, show a few years ago, shows just how stunning and sleek a prime example can be with its sloping nose, long hood scoop, and luster bright enough to light a room. You’ve probably already guessed, but yes, these models sport any available ’53 – ’57 windshield…so, that’ll set Dean back a bit if he wants to remain authentic.

Still, assuming Dean sticks to building it using classic “…American passenger car components…” as noted in that years “Fiber-craft” brochure (later changed to J. Byers Fiberglass Company), and bolts in a great period-perfect muscle engine (I’d find a ’55 Cadillac 365ci V8), Dean will have a late fifties star that’s ready for its close-up, Mr. Demille. And one that will bring well over $100k if he ever decides to part with it!

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Comments

  1. Van

    The restored profile looks similar to a BMW 507. Sweet car. How about a Hemi. I’ve seen an Allard with the caddy engine and 4 carbs. Any nubers of engines from that period could be cool.

    Like 3
  2. James HGF

    The original Byers Special on the Feb ’57 cover of Road & Track is handsome. There is absolutely no need for “the right cosmetics” (whatever that means) to improve the Byers SR100. R & T’s cover car was painted green (BRG?) and had a very special chassis with H.R.G. style front suspension and an Invicta double sliding pillar independent rear suspension. No slouch in maintaing a very low roll angle. The Chevy engine had an Edelbrock manifold with provision for three 2 barrel carburetors. No slouch in the go department either.

    The only cosmetics on the car consisted of white wall tires, full wheel covers w/fake knock offs, and the tops of three tiny air cleaners just protruding through the center rear of the hood scoop. No front bumper and rear quarter bumperettes with round tail lamps and sadly exhaust pipes through the rear body work. Overall the Byers as presented by R & T built to the Doctor’s prescription (pun intended) complemented Jim Byer’s design. Can’t say the same for the blue and silver “right cosmtics” version above.

    One important item to note is that beyond the 100 inch wheelbase a MAXIMUM tread of 56 inches was Byer’s design specification.

    There are many possibilities as to chassis and power plant etc., but keeping it simple really works. The AC Ace, AC Bristol and many Italian mid 50s designs remain timeless road going works of sculpture. Here’s hoping Dean keeps it period perfect.

    Like 4
  3. Matt Jadud

    What a great looking car !! The silver around the grille opening running into a center racing stripe is super cool. Buying such a car with two in the garage now would surely get me killed. Oh, well…maybe I could drive it in heaven, or ?

    Like 2
  4. David Miraglia

    $$$$

    Like 1
  5. Steve

    Hi I’m not sure if the 392 hemi came out in 57 or 58 but for this car I would think it would be about the best engine for this car. Wouldn’t it just scream at the NHRA tracks anywhere in the country?

  6. bdk

    The “right cosmetics” was a matter of opinion to the builder in period. Like art, some get your interpretation of beauty, others don’t, but that’s OK. The next owner is free to reinterpret based on their own vision. Many builders were better at dreaming than building, so few made it onto the road.

    Like 1
  7. chad

    I can imagine a mid engine?

  8. Rob S.

    Very sleek, sexy ride! Love the windshield! But call in it the the most beautiful sports car and comparing it to the cobra? That is a stretch!
    Lacks the muscular look of a cobrair

    • Andy

      Did you forget there was a 289 Cobra? This looks very similar to the 289.

      Like 4
      • Rob S.

        It does, still lacks the slightly larger ‘hips’ of the cobra.
        Like I said, sexy car but would walk across the street and buy a 289 cobra.

      • Pat

        Yep, I prefer the slab side cobra, this is very similar

        Like 1
      • Lefthandlugnut

        yes and every knucklehead will be either asking you if its a Cobra or telling you how nice your Cobra is then you gotta tell a story, about 10,000 times…
        cool car though

        Like 1
      • sisuman Member

        Rob S
        Sure, walk across the street and buy a 289 Cobra…for about 50 times the price of this Byers.

        Like 1
  9. George

    I’d put a Pontiac in it!

  10. bog

    My 2 pfennigs…it does look significantly like the early AC’s (so certainly first 289 Cobra comment fits), with a mild touch of Ferrari of that same period. Especially front, rearward cut of the radiator opening and hood/scoop. Were it me, I’d go new tube chassis with modern suspension (IRS), and a period lighter weight V8. So, likely a Corvette engine. (And I’m not a bow-tie guy)

    Like 1
  11. James HGF

    The original Barn Finds listing from 10/30/27: “Carcheaologist Dean Schimetschek has unearthed a rare beauty, a 1957 Byers SR100 that Road and Track magazine featured as its February 1957 Covergirl”.

    The Byers SR100 found by Dean is confirmed by Geoff Hacker as one of the 25 original Byers SR100 bodies but, not the 1957 Road and Track cover car. This is clearly noted in Dean’s Facebook advert. The chassis of Dean’s car is that of an Henry J. Original body of course and the Henry J chassis was chosen for the first three Excalibur sports cars which were designed to be sports/racing cars.

    Thanks to Geoff Hackler’s Undiscovered Classics archives here is the original Road and Track article with description and photos of the doctor’s unique chassis design:

    https://www.undiscoveredclassics.com/undiscovered-classics-archives/historical-archives/vintage-article-archive/undiscovered-classics-vintage-media-archive-1950-1959/1957-february-rt-byers/

    Like 2
  12. sisuman Member

    If I wasn’t in the middle of a Devin restoration, I’d buy it. The Byers is the best looking kit car body produced in that era.

    Like 4
  13. JLHudson

    about a dozen years back there was a Byers at a car show in Denver

  14. Rick

    If someone were to patch a car together with parts from a Berkeley, a Bristol, an AC and a Ferrari, the Byers could be the result.

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