Same Family Since New: 1957 Chevrolet 210

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

One of the coolest types of cars we see here on Barn Finds is the one-owner automobile that’s been in the same family for five decades or more. Such as the case with this 1957 Chevy 210 (not a Bel Air as the seller says), which was Grandpa’s car for 66 years and 34,000 miles. It looks to be in good condition with a minimum of patina. It’s a running machine that may only need some TLC. This two-tone survivor is in El Cajon, California, and is available here on craigslist for $19,000. Thanks to Chevy fan Rocco B. for the cool tip!

General Motors would go on to build more than 4.5 million of the so-called “Tri-Five” Chevies from 1955 to 1957. The third year may be the most collectible due to styling changes that included just the right amount of tailfins (IMO). During ‘57, the most popular series and body style was not the upscale Bel Air, but the midrange 210 which delivered 273,696 4-door sedans for the model year. That includes the seller’s one-owner, Larkspur Blue/Harbor Blue family transport.

The VIN identifies this car as a 210 with its original 283 cubic inch V8. It is the 4-barrel edition and looks to have had dual exhaust added at some point. We’re told that Grandad would use the Chevy for Sunday drives which may explain the low mileage if that’s accurate. With a 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, we’re told the car “runs and drives” but no adjectives are used to describe how well.

This automobile is in survivor condition with the original paint only showing some surface rust, an indication of indoor storage when the vehicle was not in use. The interior looks nearly flawless, and we assume the upholstery is what the 210 was built with. As a reference to buyers in the State of California, the sedan is registered as PNO, which means “the vehicle will not be driven, towed, stored, or parked on public roads or highways for the entire registration year.” In other words, its been in hibernation mode. Who’s ready to change all that and how?

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. Big_FunMember

    I’m thinking this is a factory “Power-Pack” car; 283 4bbl, Powerglide and dual exhaust. Looking at the heads, I *think* I see the correct casting marks. Frame pictures help, too…
    Great car that you can have fun driving, and telling the ‘one family’ story, and why you kept the paint is like it is.
    Would two less doors roughly equal $16,000 more asking price in America? At this price, will this 4 door end up in Australia, being loved and appreciated?

    Like 8
    • al

      yes the 283 with powerpac came with dual exhaust and 4 barrel

      Like 2
    • Joe Kearney

      under he hood, the firewall has been repainted, the powerpac 283, was painted an orangish color, to differentiate the powerpac from the 283 witout the special cam, and I believe solid lifters….on the assembly iine, someone squirled with the extended bolts on the valve covers…..and what else? Is there a picture mising that shows the shift xhaust to flow away from the rear bumperquadrant? Powerglide was P NDLR, Turboglide was PRND GR for graderetard……tailpipes coming out under rear bumper isn’t correct…….End of stock tailpipes had a 180 degree semi-circle cut out onlower half of it to cause turbulence…to prevent the exhaust from blackening the rear bumper ends…….jpk VCCA judge……

      Like 0
  2. Driveinstile DriveinstileMember

    I think this has actually has the Turboglide automatic, not the Powerglide. Reverse is the first spot down from park, and Low range all the way down has GR ( i think for Grade Retarder but cant remember for sure) reverse ws all the way down on the powerglides. Its an interesting transmission. If that is what it is.

    Like 5
    • Big_FunMember

      Yes, you’re right! That is the shift quadrant for a Turboglide. That was a rarity new. Rare today. Ad says miles are an 34K. No mention of Powerglide, either. I bet Grandpa knew what Gr was. He was the only one to drive? Very unique ’57…

      Like 4
    • Chuck Dickinson

      The earliest TG had a HR for “hill retard”, but it was changed early on to GR for “grade retard”. I recall reading that the change occurred due to some customers confusing the HR with “high range”. Even tho’ I was around when these were new, this is only the second 57 I have ever seen with a TG. 58-up they were more common. Many TGs were changed out to a PG when the TG gave up or presented problems. They were expensive to repair, and a PG was cheap by comparison.

      Like 0
  3. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

    A nice ’57 Chevy even with four doors. The condition is quite good for a 66-year-old car. I have a soft spot for the 210 four door sedan having owned one for a few years. Mine had the 283 V8 with the Powerglide auto trans. It was mostly original except for the exterior color but the chrome, trim and interior were original. The only option it had was power steering when I got it, but I added back-lights, Bel Air wheel covers and the chrome paint protectors for the door handles (can’t remember what they were called). $19,000 seems like a good chunk of change for a four door but this ’57 has low miles and it seems to be a true survivor in good condition so maybe the seller will get close to his ask?

    As far as the interior goes, though the pictures show a bluish tint, it looks exactly like the white vinyl/black cloth upholstery, trim and the rubber (vinyl?) floor covering in the ’57 210 that I had. This one even has a radio though I don’t know if it is an original radio as my car didn’t have one. The condition in there looks to be in very good condition and original throughout.

    Like 5
    • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

      The Chevy 210 4-door sedan I once had. Good cruiser with the 283 and Powerglide.

      Like 1
  4. HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

    5 DECADES in the same family, and some ungrateful snots sold it? I hope gramps is standing by the pearly gates with a pool cue. Sorry, sorry, upsets me greatly when I hear the lack of values today. I doubt it was the sellers grandpa. Heck, if my family still had the DeSoto I laid across the rear package tray as a kid, I’d never sell it, especially if it was so cherished and looked like this.
    Yeah, yeah, welcome to the “20s”,, and nothing “roaring” about THESE 20s, except someone will get a nice car with none of the connection. What a great way to make $15 grand, hey?
    Okay, obviously, this car was gotten cheap at an estate sale, maybe a grand,, TOPS, they did NOTHING, and want to gouge the next person, whose OWN grandfather may have had one, and WHAMMO, going to cost you $20 grand, CHUMP, and it doesn’t even drive. ME? I’m no Saint. I’d get it running, wouldn’t take much, offer it for a reasonable amount,$5 grand? Something a young family could afford, as originally intended, and watch history repeat itself.

    Like 15
    • Raymond Smith

      I agree with you Howard. About two years ago my now deceased uncle gave me his 2002 Silverado single cab, short bed 2wd. He bought it new and it is mint. I would never, ever think of selling it. That truck gets a lot of attention and people asking all the time if I would consider selling it. I even had a guy at a gas station get very upset when I wouldn’t name a price. He said everything has a price. I told him it wasn’t for sale at any price. I will keep it for the rest of my years and enjoy summer drives thinking of my uncle. Thankfully my one daughter seems to have caught the car gene so I will probably pass it on to her someday. You just can’t put a price on memories and family connections.

      Like 21
    • Sandiegoclub

      Your assumptions and made history of this car are so disingenuous. Do you know the history? No. Have you seen it in person ? No. Cheap estate sale find? Nope. The car is well known in the area as is the history.

      Like 1
    • Tony Primo

      Unfortunately, some people live in apartments, condominiums, townhomes or the inner city. They don’t have the space to store a hand me down vehicle. The average price for an indoor storage unit in my are is $249 a month. Add on insurance, license fees and maintenance costs and that free car starts to get expensive.

      Like 16
    • Ron

      You make some wild accusations. Maybe the sellers are in a bind and see this as the solution that grandpa would approve of. You could keep some of your opinions to yourself. Don’t care how long you’ve been a member, doesn’t make you any more right in your opinions.

      Like 16
      • 370zpp 370zppMember

        Ron, you must be new here.

        Like 6
    • OldsMan

      It is an interesting conversation no matter which side you line up on. I’m currently the caretaker for my Grandfather’s 57 Ford Custom 300 2 door, Im 65- so starting to think about where it goes next (which is hopefully not for a lot of years).My cars take on a personality- become family members… so I would struggle with letting anything like this 57 Chev go; I get people that have situations that dictate otherwise, but man oh man it seems harsh…Hopefully it goes to a great family that keeps it intact

      Like 1
      • Gary

        Oldsman your Ford is my favorite of all Ford’s. Plain Jane, beautiful cars. I saw a black one that had a 312? In it, I fell in love.

        Like 1
  5. bobhess bobhessMember

    Did a Bel Air 4 door for a couple in the ’80s and by the time we got through with it we all agreed it was one of the best 4 doors around.

    Like 5
  6. Doone

    Turbo glide was a constant velocity transmission. Grade Retarding was in place of low gear. I had it in a 61 impala, the only negative was that mine kept leaking T fluid because of a weak tail housing seal. If this one has the same issue a new seal should be first on the TLC list.

    Like 2
  7. Jack Quantrill

    Friend had a ‘57 with that GR , he called it grrrr gear from the sound it made when accelerating, not retarding.

    Like 1
    • Chuck Dickinson

      If he was accelerating with the lever in GR, his Turboglide was very short-lived. That’s what gave the TG a bad rep. Guys drove ’em like a PG, but the TG doesn’t work that way, and will fail quickly if abused. Driven normally, they were not problematic. I owned two 61 w/TGs, and never had any problems w/either. One was in the 60s, the other one in the 90s.

      Like 2
  8. Chuck Simons

    Looks like the car in the movie Hidden Figures

    Like 0
  9. Paul

    These types of classics enchant me the most. The untouched family sedan that had gentle use and is still all original. Going to car shows and seeing souped up 2 door ’57 Chevys are a dime a dozen and bore the crap out of me. This car is rare and far more intriguing to me. I think this would be far more fun to pile friends and family into to go for a spin. I have a 4 door ’65 Imperial LeBaron that is great for doing just that. The 2 door ’69 Olds 98 I had before it was a pain to get anyone in or out of the back seat.

    Like 4
  10. Paul D Jordan

    Howard A (since 2014) and Raymond Smith..I totally agree with you both and love your humour, Howard. Even the two extra doors would not discourage me from buying this BUT one turn-off is the lack of power-steering. I sold a pretty good original 2dr HT Belair I bought from an 85 year old gentleman (he owned it for 20 years) mostly because of that lack of power steering.The other problem was that here in Canada, Covid has made getting parts very difficult. Mine did have the power-pack option and power-glide. The biggest turn-on with this one here (for me) is the fact of original paint! Whoever buys it, PLEASE keep it that way. It can never ‘go-back’. My Dad (RIP) bought me a nondescript 2012 Mazda 3, brand-new. Soon after he passed, I sold one of my vintage, ‘keeper’ Corvettes (a 1961) and that very ’12 Mazda took its spot in my four car garage. My other Corvette, again, I never thought I’d sell it, a 63 convertible, was sold so that my wife could park the Mazda 3 we bought from my father’s estate, a 2015 (again, nothing special, 4dr, air, windows the regular…no sunroof) to take up another place inside the garage.Family is important to me, however, due to having both of my hips replaced and advancing years, driving those cars (both 4 spds) was uncomfortable for me and I realized I wasn’t driving them. Now, we both enjoy using the garage as it was intended, never again scraping ice and snow from them. The best news was that I drove them both! I wore out 3 sets of tires on the C-2. Both were driven all over Canada and the US, coast to coast and on the best roads…PCH, Tail of the Dragon, US #1 into Key West etc.Those old cars only have five diget odometers so no one was concerned about how many miles I put on them when I sold them after 20 plus years of ownership.

    Like 1
    • al

      no power steering in high school I had a1956 bel aire convertible 6 cyl power glide power brakes but no power steering lots of people in mid 50 scared of power steering father bought new 1956 Ford and remember him saying no power steering it’s not safe can’t feel the road how things change

      Like 0
      • Jack Quantrill

        No PS. That’s why the big steering wheel!

        Like 0
  11. John Phillips

    I thought thee chrome Vees on both ends meant 265 and 283s had gold Vees. The sixes just had the Chevy emblem.

    Like 1
    • Rw

      Gold was Bel Air nothing to do with cubic inches.

      Like 1
    • Wayne from Oz

      Chrome V’s for all V8s, except BelAir which had gold Vs, plus gold grille and 3 gold fake louvres on the front guards, (fenders), for you yanks,

      Like 3
    • Joe Kearney

      Naw, 210’s and 150 models had chrome V’s and trim around Chevy emblems, grills on Belairs were gold colored not cheaper models……jpk VCCA Judge

      Like 0
    • al

      all cars in the 50s had big steering wheels even ones with power steering

      Like 0
  12. Troy

    I’m betting that the seller isn’t a car person and that the odometer has rolled at least once, so $20k for this one or $5,000 more and you can buy the silver two door currently available on GSA auctions and that one also runs and drives and comes with spare parts.

    Like 1
    • 210Man

      Miles have not rolled over on this car. Geez, SMH

      Like 0
  13. Gunter

    Before taking it across country, replace scuffed upper radiator hose and re-route fuel line. Check picture under https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/sucp-0904-chevy-engine-parts-detailing-guide?galleryimageid=fbb28433-8500-4131-a6c8-bf3b1900aca2

    Like 0
  14. Bob P

    Back in high school (1971), I turned down 57 Chevy’s like this. “$50? But it’s a four door… no thanks.” God, how young and foolish we were back then.

    Like 2
    • Jack Quantrill

      You too, are a member of the “If ida “ club!

      Like 1
    • Gary

      One of my dad’s buddies had this exact car, drove it everyday up into the late 90’s and got rid of it. No one knew how to set points or adjust carbs or chokes any longer and it was getting to be a hassle to keep it in tune. He was not a “Car Guy” but his sister made up for it. She had a 396/375hp four speed Nova she bought new and she was a terror. The salesman thought he was going to embarrass her, figuring she couldn’t drive a stick. My dad said she told him that the guy about crapped his pants on the test drive. He dad told her to take it back and she just laughed. Another buddy had a field full of 55-57s back in the late 70’s, mid to late 80’s. He must have had thirty or so two doors, wagons, convertibles, four doors. People just gave most of them to him as he was know to be the Chevy guy. He also had a 35? Rolls Royce with a 427/auto. Nice car, the purists hated him and he relished it. Even the grille shutters worked correctly. Beautiful car that looked stock but really moved. He also had his high school (1960 graduate) Ford A coupe. Chopped 4″,channeled 4″ and sectioned 2″. Louvers on all four fenders trailing edges, decklid, top insert, hood top and sides, splash aprons. Candy Green/white interior. Updated in the 70’s withJag suspension all around, 350/350 trans. All dad’s buddies have passed on except one, and he is thinning his collection out. Sad to be 80+ years old and have to sell your babies because it is so hard to work on them any longer.

      Like 3
  15. Al

    The first thing that jumped off at me was the black engine? Was this unique to the 210 and everything else was orange or if a 6, blue?

    Like 0
    • Pnuts

      Engines we’re orange. No matter which horsepower version or 265/283. I’d “assume” the engine was out for a rebuild sometime in the 80s when GM was painting their small blocks black. The car wasn’t high dollar then and originality wasn’t an issue and they assumed the black would look more modern. Just a guess of course.

      Like 0
  16. Jay E.Member

    I’m not buying the 34K mileage claim, it is just too Patinad” up. It is easier to accept 134K easy miles though. The speedometers on these can be set anywhere you want. I wouldn’t base a purchase on the mileage. The TG is different. Not a hardtop, not a Bel Air, price might be a bit high, but still a lot of ’57. Can’t really tell the value until you drive it and see and feel the condition of all the 60+ year old parts. A bit more buys a LOT more car.

    Like 3
    • 57FI

      The car sat outside for many years. The miles are real.

      Like 0
  17. Pnuts

    Hmmm. Wonder who, why, when someone thought it would be a good idea to paint the engine black? Lack of overspray indicates it was out of the vehicle at the time. Rare car. Probably a decent deal but I see no one ahs bought it yet.

    Like 0
  18. 64 Bonneville

    Must be a late build to have the TurboGlide transmission. Several things I noticed after going thru the photos on CL ad, no data plate on the firewall, and didn’t see a VIN plate on driver side A pillar. May pose a problem to tag in a different state? I don’t know.

    Like 1

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds