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Too Many Doors: 1957 Chevy Bel Air

1957 Chevy Bel Air

Perhaps one day, maybe soon, the extra doors of a 4 door will not be such a curse to otherwise great cars. If the rust isn’t too bad, do you think this 4 door 1957 Chevy could be a reasonable deal at $6500, even with an automatic? Remember, as a Tri-Five, you will be paying a premium over other classics of the era. I’ve noticed sellers on craigslist are more likely to be up front about condition than on eBay, maybe they know potential buyers could come see and inspect the car in person. This seller claims the floors are rust free, but I see lots of rust on the rockers, so maybe not all craigslist sellers are honest. If the floors are gone, what do you think it would be worth? The picture of it in the garage would seem to indicate it’s being sold by the owner and not a flipper. Now about that rust on the bottom of the doors and fenders, perhaps it’s only the paint holding it all together? One can only tell by inspecting the car in person and poking the soft spots. Other than the rust, this car seems to have great potential. The trim looks decent and the car is complete. If nothing else, this might be a decent 25 foot car and a good driver? Parts supply for these is great, so perhaps it could even be a reasonable restoration project. Would it be worth converting to a manual? It’s near Detroit, in the heart of the rust belt and listed here on craigslist.


  1. Luke Fitzgerald

    How in F&$@s sake can this shitbox be worth just under half of the previous mint 71 Deville? – that is screwed up – I’ll take the Caddie

  2. cory

    Yeah, no. That is some bad rust. Given that it is a Midwest car, it will be rough. This is rust that has burst free from the inside. That means it is all up inside the structure. My guess is it was patched up and shined up to get it sold, then slowly rotted back out in storage. This would be a pass for me at any price.

  3. Dave

    If the outside is indicative of whats on the inside this car is a rust bucket, if you push with your finger I think you would go right through the rust bubbles on the fenders and rockers !!! I think to do this car right would require alot of effort and cash !!! I think I’d pass !! I like how the seller tries to down play the rust by saying it has a few blisters in the paint !! Do the sellers of these rust buckets think all buyers are blind/stupid ?

  4. The Walrus

    Perhaps he thinks he has a 4 door Hard Top, when he has a 4 door Sedan. If its condition is between a 4 and 5, which it seems to be, $6500 is the 4 value for a Hard Top. The 4 value for a Sedan is $4500. His asking price is way too much for a car that can’t ever be a #1 car, as it clearly doesn’t have the original engine and trans. Someone might want a hard top to make a hotrod out of. Boyd Coddington’s famous Chezoom started life as a 4 door hardtop, for instance. But a rusty old Sedan with the wrong drivetrain isn’t an aspirational vehicle, and its unlikely it ever will be.

  5. Gary

    Agree with the Walrus on condition and value, I also think the 4 dr sedan will always be at the bottom of the chain on these shoebox rides. The rust and “bubbles” on this would have me running away fast!

  6. Modifieddriver

    This rusty crusty ’57 had a Bondo repair and Earl Schieb paint job years ago and is now coming unglued. At least the pictures are revealing. Make a good parts car, but even then, what can you use from this? The dash board?

  7. Karl

    These cars were probably no worse than other ’50s models for rust, but that can be a low bar to hop over, and when these babies rust, they RUST. Back in the ’70s when I worked in my dad’s body shop, he took in a ’57 Chevy two-door post coupe for a paint job. One of the tailfins showed bondo cracks, so he told me, “Sand that spot down until you hit metal.” So I broke out an air sander with 36 grit paper and sanded and sanded and sanded until finally I hit metal. I was puzzled why the metal was gold rather than silver until I realized that I had exposed the head of a brass screw that secured some wire mesh that was holding the bondo together. On closer inspection, the whole car was like that. Solution: rebondo the bondo, paint the car, and advise the owner (a kid a couple years older than me) to sell it soon. It looked good with a fresh coat of paint (so what if a magnet wouldn’t hold onto it?), so he kept it for a while until a large chunk fell out of one of the rocker panels. After that, he believed us and got rid of it.

  8. james

    Forget the rust,Try and find a backglass, Im almost certain the 2 door and 4 door cars dont share common glass.the front windshield maybe, BUT I am FORDMAN, i can be wrong. Input from my GM brothers?

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