The Definition Of Sleeper: 1957 Chevrolet 210

Take a 1957 Chevrolet 210, clean up the outside a bit, install a custom interior and drop an LS V8 under the hood and you have what could be the ultimate sleeper! Looking at the outside of this Chevy, you would never know that it’s packing a 5.3 liter V8 with modern fuel injection, power brakes, power steering and everything else you need to safely go fast in it. It just looks like a tired old car with some period style custom rims. And that’s why this car is the perfect definition of a sleeper! You can take a closer look at this awesome build here on eBay in Papillion, Nebraska with a current bid just under $20k.

This 5.3 liter Vortec V8 looks a bit out of place in the engine bay. It appears to be wearing the engine shrouds from an early 2000’s Cadillac Escalade and has been painted to match the car. I’m not sure if I like that touch or not, but overall, the swap appears to have been done very nicely. The intake looks a bit close to the radiator support, but hopefully, that’s just the angle of the photo. This engine is not only more powerful but will be more reliable and more fuel efficient. Obviously, power output is the most important aspect of a build like this, but having engine diagnostics and the knowledge that it will start easily year around are definite pluses!

A build like this wouldn’t be complete without a nice interior and this one turned out beautifully. The original dash, trim and seat frames have been retained but updated. It appears that they even managed to connect the 4L60 transmission to the original column mounted gear selector. That’s a nice touch that hides the fact that there’s something special under the hood. They could have cut corners and installed a universal floor shifter, but that would have looked out of place in this interior. One glance at the inside and you know this car isn’t exactly stock, but you might just assume it’s packing an old 350 V8.

There are lots of neat touches with this car that make it really interesting to study. LS swaps always fascinate me, but especially ones that the builder took the time to conceal the fact that it has a modern powerplant. This Chevy should prove to be a blast to drive and is ready to hit the street. So, is there anything you’d change or would you enjoy it as is?

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Comments

  1. TCOPPS Member

    love it

    12
  2. Dickie F

    One of my bucket list cars. Beautiful shape compared to what came a year later.
    This is what I would drive in my east to west trip.

    2
  3. TimM

    Ouch!! I guess it’s my opinion Dickie but the 58 Chevy was a one year body style and was a beautiful car!! There was a white one in American Graffiti and that car and the yellow Ford hot rod that Milner raced at the end of the movie were the real stars of the movie!! 57’s are awesome but the 58 was a great car too!!!

    23
  4. local_sheriff

    Was indeed the 210 available in HT?Never knew of that. I love sleepers and restomods ,and it’s cool the builder wasn’t tempted to upgrade to the Bel Air trim. Sure gives this 57 a clean understated look

    8
    • BlondeUXB Member

      Yes. Hardtop was an available 210 body style in 1957…

      3
    • Socaljoe

      Yes they were available in all the tri five years. 1957 probably had the highest production number.

      3
    • don

      Yes it was. I had one just like this one. Well except for the 6/stick that was in mine.

      1
    • local_sheriff

      Thanks for enlightening me guys; that is a detail I was completely unaware of . Proves we never get too old to learn something new about old !

      6
      • Roger Pence

        I would have lost a $20 on this bet. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a 210 HT.

        1
    • marty

      I love it, but hardly a sleeper, much less the ultimate sleeper!

    • Jerry Brentnell

      if you want something real rare, come up with a 57 chev 210 4 door hardtop! I have ever only saw 1 and it was donated by gm to a high school auto shop in toronto ontario, and the school had no clue what they had! and if you want a sweet 57 sedan delivery that was never built go to motion old car lot .com they have a restored belair sedan delivery 327 4 gear for sale not cheap! but it is nice they also have a 60 chev sedan delivery restored too for sale

  5. david

    Are 60 year-old anythings sleepers any more? This may have been a sleeper in 1976. Today, everyone will look your way just because it’s not a 20xx RAV4 bar of soap.

    A sleeper would be a 20xx RAV4 with wheel covers running 10s in the quarter.

    12
    • AZD

      Exactly. Old Car = Hot Rod, whether true or not.

      Great car, BTW, though my favorite 57’s are all-black with the least chrome possible. This one still looks very clean without being overdone, none of that fuzzy dice, Betty Boop, chromed-everything look so many Tri-Fives suffer. A real nice build by someone with foresight and tallent.

      1
    • Skid

      Totally agree David. When I started reading this “ultimate sleeper blah blah blah….” I was expecting it to have a 1200hp twin turbo LS in it. There’s nothing ultimate sleeper about a tri-5 with an LS in it. Seems like 50% of them have that anyways, and that percentage is going up daily. I’m more surprised when I see a stock power plant in one.

      2
  6. JP

    Love those ’57 2drhdtps!

    1
    • Tort Member

      Very nice 57. Like that the bench seat was kept and also the column shift. Not 100% sure but I think the 210 HT windshield and rear window were a little taller than the BelAir. Anyone know for sure?

  7. David Mika

    Ya, the one in American Graffiti was the first-year Impala. Ron shoulda’ve kept it.

    2
    • Vince

      Ray Everham has it now.

  8. bobhess Member

    Comment on the “ugly” ’58s. First one I ever got into was a light blue with darker blue interior two door hard top with the big 348, 4 on the floor and positraction rear. Made a comment earlier on the fried Jag 120 I never forgot… never forgot the first ride in the ’58 Chevy either. It got better looking every time we broke 120 on the road… Speaking of ’57s… how ’bout that beautiful orange drag car on Street Outlaws?

    3
    • Jerry Brentnell

      you can say what you want about 58 impalas but the car that i love is the 58 pontiac bonneville 2 door hardtop!

  9. Tom Henderson

    I think you don’t quite understand the term “sleeper”. Not only does a sleeper have more under the hood than one predicts, but it looks like a Grandma car or a basic POS. This car can not be called a sleeper. Everyone is going to expect it to be fast just from looking at it.

    10
  10. Del

    Enjoy as is !!

    2
  11. David Frank

    Cool car, as are thousands of other cars advertised for sale. What does this have to do with barn finds?

  12. Jack Quantrill

    This car makes me drool, and slobber with envy!

  13. Chuck

    Late 60’s sleeper: ’62 4 dr, Fairlane, nothing special to look at except the rear tires were street slicks. Under the hood was a dual quaded 289 w/ a C7FE-6250-A cam , line bored, balanced & blueprinted, HIPO nodular iron crank, HIPO rods, 289 HIPO heads, Hooker Headers, 2.5″ dual exhaust, dual point full centrifugal distributor, hooked to a built manual / auto shift C-4 trans with a 3000 RPM stall converter and a 9″, 5.14 posi-traction rear end! The trans would automatically shift at 6800 RPM. but could be manually shifted up to 8500 RPM. And, yes, the engine would do 8500 RPM with no problem! The trans would also go into what ever gear you wanted it to at any speed. It was never on the strip, but built for street racing on Woodward Ave. I don’t care how gentle you drove it, but about 12 MPG was all the would do! The primary’s on the carbs were locked together, so there were 4 bbls open at all times. The secondaries were vacuum controlled, with weak return springs, and the check ball removed. I could hold my own against most big blocks unless they had been tweaked! The worst whipping I ever took was from a stage 1, Gran Sport !!! (:-(

    2
  14. Bob McK Member

    WOW this is one hot car! Congratulations to the builder. Nice job.

    1
  15. Pacekid

    Sounds like a good deal. But that is not a 210!

    • Chris

      Could be . I have a 210 hr. Numbers to show it.

  16. Joe Haska

    The only thing, I would do to this car, is change the name on the title,from who bought it, to mine! Sold for 21k ,what a buy.

  17. Trevor Fitzpatrick

    I built this car.Yes this is a 210 Model…The most rare 1957 Chevy that was ever built.

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