Running Barn Find! 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Wagon

This 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 4-door Wagon was said to have been driven into a barn in 1986 where it sat for over 30 years! Amazingly it still runs and even the dome light works! It can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $2,500. Located in Stony Creek, Virginia, it is ready for you to fire up your power washer and go to town! Thanks to Ikey H. for the tip on this great find.

The engine is a 235 cubic inch straight six with a 3-speed transmission. The seller states they were able to clean the points, pour gas down the carburetor and it fired up! While there isn’t much information in the ad regarding the condition of the engine, or why it was stored in the barn in the first place, having a running engine is a big plus.

Like the rest of the car, the interior needs completely refurbished. The nice thing is that it hasn’t been touched or torn apart by a previous owner. As you disassemble it, you can catalog the parts and make a list of what needs replacing, restored or just cleaned up. This is invaluable when doing a big restoration project like this one.

There are 30+ years of dust and dirt covering the car. It’s a little hard to tell what condition the car is in overall, but the seller is honest that there is rust in the usual places. Overall, this is a really cool “real” barn find and should make a pretty good project for a new owner.

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  1. H5mind

    They don’t have running water in that part of Virginia.? A rinsed-off pic or two would be nice.

  2. Djs

    I agree I wish it was washed off

  3. mike b

    How thick can you spec those WeatherTech floor mats?

  4. local_sheriff

    Finally a REAL barn find! I’m almost tempted to say the dust should be preserved, as it is in fact vintage dust…

    • Mike

      It’s not original dust from the 50’s. It’s dust from the 80’s. Might affect the value some.

  5. On and On Member

    My first car. ’57 Belair 4dr sedan 6 stk no power. Had a clock and an AM radio. Paid $1 from a relative. Had 99,000mi and a worn timing gear. That was 1967. My Dad, a mechanic helped me put a new timing gear in and I drove it for 3 years and 60,000mi. Bought the car in Chicago where I lived and sold it in San Diego in 1970. Yikes, if our old cars could talk, But the late 60’s in California? Anything was game. I miss that car. Heard it ended up in a junk yard in Santa Monica.

  6. Dave

    And nose-to-nose with another ‘57!

    • Tom Member

      Thanks Dave…..I can’t believe it took 6 comments to mention the other 57 edged into the photo? What is the story on that one as it looks just as dusty?

      Nice story but that wagon is a parts car at best. Working dome light is really the beginning and the ending on this one. 2 door Nomad = different story. 4 door and rotted with every piece and part in need of refinishing, replating, repainting, rebuilding or replacement. Ugh. I’m done.

  7. Kenneth Carney

    Sorry folks, but I think this one’s a 210. It
    has none of the quarter panel trim that
    would identify it as a Bel Air. Looks kinda
    plain looking to me, but at that price you
    could spruce it up a bit without breaking
    the bank. Nearly bought one similar for
    $200 back in ’77 but my first wife said she wanted a newer more reliable car
    than she thought that wagon was. Turns
    out I knew the guy that bought it and boy, did he get a deal!! For his money, he got
    a 29K mile car that cleaned up really nice.
    I still recall the day he brought it over to
    show me what I missed. Can still see
    him smiling as he drove away.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Kenneth’s right, this is a 210. Interestingly the ad subheading says ‘210 Bel Air’.

      Leave the ‘Thriftmaster’ six in it, tidy it up with fresh paint and an interior kit and then go out and have fun cruising in this beast.

      In response to the comments regarding the dust, perhaps the seller is trying to get a premium for the Chebbie wagon? (see photo)

  8. Mountainwoodie

    Hmm…..maybe I’m just getting lazy and even though I think every old car should be saved, the rust in the “usual places”is beyond severe. And that’s just what you see.

    I dunno………and I drove one in college that was a 210 stripper wagon but it had a V8 and grey primer from stem to stern. It was my roommates and it had no key so we hot wired it to move it around. Sometimes when I was, shall we say, having too many adult beverages, I’d move it just to freak him out. Kids!

  9. Gary

    If you were to believe the ads ran nowadays, every trifive is a ‘Bel Air’, and every wagon is a ‘Nomad’… not enough photos in this one to determine value, but it looks *very straight*. Probably a good car to build anyway you like them..

  10. Roy Blankenship

    This is the perfect project for the guy who is semi-retired. He just wants something to do and can take his time doing it, he doesn’t care about making a profit, his buddies come over and participate, he gets it to a point where he takes it to his buddy’s place for paint, puts Rallye wheels on it, and goes to the Cruise-in where he and his wife can sit in their lawn chairs, the other old dudes look at it with admiration, and everyone has a good time because WE ARE ALL CAR NUTS. I would love to have it, it is “all there” and straight.

    • local_sheriff

      BULLSEYE! You just described what I regard as the essence of the car hobby .That’s how I remember it was(and still should be) before the big buck boys entered our playground

  11. Chuck F 55chevy

    I like that there 57 chevyrolet 210 wagon barn find! But I prefer a 55, mine has factory air, although it’s in pieces in the back.

  12. Gray Wolf

    Tom, you need to watch numerous ads and see what these wagons are fetching! Long ago I would see these for sale on a trailer at swap meets. By the end of the meet the car was stripped of many parts and the cars were heading to the junkyards. These were rust free and great shape, but would not sell as a whole car! It really bothered me to see a nice vehicle get crushed. Now it is harder to get into the vintage hobby and people are turning to 4-door vehicles. I have seen some awesome 4-door builds.Simple things as a good clean-up and a set of nice wheels and tires to installing Kindig flush mount handles, disc brakes etc. Great vehicle for families, swap meets and of coarse in Ca. haul your surfboards!

    • Alexander

      Amen to that, Gray Wolf. As recent as 2011 I attended a swap meet and sure enough there was a complete (sans lift gate glass) 57 Chevy 210 wagon with an asking price of $2200. Around lunchtime I walked over to the seller and it literally was marked down in sharpie to $1700. By the time the show field was clearing out, the seller told me he would delivery it to my house for $1500. The doglegs and rear floor of this Barn Find tell only a little of what rust will be discovered but every panel is available for these cars. The wagon-specific stuff seems to all be there and in decent shape.

    • CaCarDude

      These tri-five chevy’s are getting a bit tougher to find in decent rust free condition and I do like the 4 dr wagons. I actually saw a ’57 Wagon today Red with White top turning off the PCH here in Laguna Beach, my wife mentioned she would like that car for herself,.. it had the Bel Air type side trim and complete with 4 doors. And sorry Grey Wolf there was no surfboard on the top. Nice old driver it was, surely a local car.

      • Gray Wolf

        That’s ok, I hang mine out the tailgate, it’s easier!! You may see me cruising PCH in my white ’66 Impala S/W. Throw a honk my way!!🏄👍

  13. Jack Quantrill

    Even with all that mung on the car, the front end still looks good!

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