Sweet 283 V-8? 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Sedan

The ’57 Chevy has to be one of the most-often restored cars from the 1950s. You almost always see one of these at a car show. And why not? They were graceful machines that were arguably the best looking of the trio made from 1955-57. This 1957 Bel Air is a four-door hardtop, referred to in Chevy marketing circles as the sport sedan. The seller has had it for 20 years but seems to have lost interest due to an unresolved mechanical issue. It’s located in Las Vegas, Nevada and available here on craigslist for $13,000.

Chevrolet first used the Bel Air name on its top two-door hardtops from 1950-52. Its use was expanded in 1953 to represent Chevy’s finest across a number of body styles. The name took a step back in 1958 when the Impala was rolled out but continued on through 1975 as either a mid-level trim car or a fleet purchase. Today, the Bel Air from the mid-‘50s has reached iconic status, with well-preserved examples always in demand with car collectors and enthusiasts. Sales-wise for 1957, the sport sedan (like the seller’s car) was the third most popular Bel Air body style sold that year at more than 137,000 copies out of 700,000 total units. Only the Sport Coupe and four-door pillared sedan beat it out.

At first glance, the seller’s 1957 Chevy Bel Air sport sedan looks gorgeous, but up close you’ll find a few flaws in terms of body damage or minor rust. Yet, the Chevrolet Tropical Turquoise paint, which we have to believe is from an earlier restoration, still shines beautifully along with its white accents. We’re told the seller has owned the car for 20 years and it looks as though it’s spent much of that in his garage. We’re hoping the flaws presented don’t go any deeper than the surface and – when repaired – and the paint can be touched up.

With the exception of one door panel that is no longer there, the interior looks beautiful. Those see-thru vinyl seat covers that you used to find on grandma’s car have kept the upholstery in great shape over the years. There is no mention if that door panel is available to go with the car. The glass looks good and the trunk is reasonably presentable.

We’re told the car always was a runner until a couple of years ago. The seller removed the carburetor for a rebuild and the mechanic took forever getting the job done. After it was reinstalled, apparently the starter began acting up, so the car has been parked ever since. My math adds up to maybe the last 18 months. That sounds like a minor reason to lose interest in a car, but also an easy thing to fix.

This looker has a 283 cubic inch V-8 under the hood, along with a Power Glide automatic transmission. Both would be period-correct to the car, but the seller does not mention if they’re numbers-matching. A four-barrel Rochester and dual exhaust should make it a perky machine when running. The seller tells us the transmission was rebuilt at the time the carb delay took place.

The seller hopes to find someone who will treat the car as well as he has. He quotes NADA for resale value, with a low of $11,500 and a high of $36,300. So he’s priced his ’57 beauty toward the low end of the range. We hope the obvious issues won’t rack up a big bill and no unseen issues turn this from a winner into a loser.

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Comments

  1. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    I remember the first time I saw one of these was in a movie “Thunder and Lightning” featuring David Carradine as Harley Thomas and Kate Jackson as Nancy Sue Hunnicutt. The car was a black ’57 Sport Sedan with white painted steel wheels and supposedly supercharged. I never knew a 4 door hardtop could look so good. It took me a few minutes of watching the movie to even realize the car had 4 doors. Such a sad ending years later to a then young David Carradine.

    Like 3
    • sourpwr Member

      RIP Grasshopper

  2. John Farabee, Jr

    My Dad had this car in a 210…same color… Caribbean Turquoise. His was solid turquoise. It came with the 220 Horse 283 Power Pack with a 3 speed manual. I was 4 years old when he got it and remember it was very quick at the time. Brings back some great memories.He was store manager at the time for Good Year and immediately swapped the original tires for a set of “Double Eagle” captive air 825 x 14 white walls.He turned 90 this year and if he was still driving I would be tempted to buy him one !!

  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I’m sure someone will pick this one up and get it back on the road.

    Like 3
  4. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    The ’57 Chevy is a car that wore the four-door hardtop body style better than most of it’s contemporaries and still looks good today. While this car does need some work, the price seems fair for what you’d be getting. The exterior colors along with the interior combine for a very attractive look. The chrome looks a little tires but good enough unless you’re seeking perfection.

    I had a nice ’57 four-door sedan for a few years back in the ’90s. It was a 210 with the 283, Powerglide and power steering. It was a car I enjoyed very much and always attracted attention whenever I was tooling around in it. Even though I prefer Fords, the few vintage Chevys I did own were great cars that were a pleasure to own. I’d even go so far as to say I wish I had one or two of them still.

    Like 3
  5. Car Nut Tacoma

    Sweet looking 57 Chevy Bel Air.

    Like 3
  6. bevis

    My dream car; the correct # of doors, great colors; I would love to resto-mod one of these

  7. Al camino

    Four door better call grandpapabout it

    Like 1
  8. deak E Stevens

    4 doors did’nt look good on 57’s and newer.after56 they couldn’t make a 4 door that looked good at all,just my opinion.

    Like 1
    • Danny from oz

      Deak the 57 has the same body as the 56. Stay off the dope.

      Like 1
  9. fran

    “Sport Sedan” That sounds strange to me. Taxi! Oh Taxi!!

  10. Hekler

    I’m displaying my ignorance on the car for the world to see but didn’t the ’57 Bel Airs come with the gold grille?

    Like 1
    • Danny from oz

      Yes gold grille for 57 BelAir.

      Like 1
  11. Nick papanicolas

    In 1965 my wife and I sold our 1953 Chevy and bought a 1957 2 dr hardtop torquise and white sports coupe 283 motor with a perfect body and 36,246 actual miles from a friend for $ 600.00 dollars firm, lots of money then, I was working as a roofer piece work for 9.00 a square hand nailing new work doing average 10 to 14 sq s a day (long day,good weather) my wife did not drive then she 21 yrs old and I was 23 , I did not like the car because it had fins I ran it hard for two years and traded for a ’49 merc coupe lowered with hood louvre ect now I’m 78 and wife is 76 , this FOOL misses that ‘ 57 Chevy

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