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Tri-Five Runner! 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

“Tri-five.” “Fifty-seven Bel Air.” Those phrases just roll off many enthusiasts’ tongues with all the desire and appreciation these cars deserve. Unfortunately, most of them, especially the two-door versions, are out of reach of us mere mortals. This car, listed for sale here on eBay, might not be out of reach–but the question is whether it’s worth the needed work or not? This tri-five is located in Fort Worth, Texas, and has been bid up to $6,100 so far–but the reserve hasn’t been met. A steep buy-it-now of $19,000 is there if you want to end the suspense and own it now!

The seller has only owned the car for two years and offers nothing more than that it runs and drives, but needs work. Given the localized damage, the relatively straight panels, and the “amateur” floor replacement, I’m sure there’s a great story behind how the car got to where it is now, and I’d love to hear it. The seller does note that most of the trim is in place, but as you can see here in the front, “in place” does not necessarily mean “useable.”

However, as you can see from this shot, the body panels don’t look bad. Admittedly, we don’t see the sills, but I’ve seen far worse fenders than this. And while the rear bumper is rusty, it is certainly in good enough condition to be re-chromed. Of course, you might like this patina look that the car currently wears. Not me, but different horses for different courses.

This picture looking down at the trunk latch (the trunk is open) and rear bumper is a microcosm of how I see this car. The bumper looks solid, but while the license plate light is there, you’ll need a new lens. And while the sheet metal is straight, the rust will certainly need attention. And then there’s the messed-up wiring–which if it’s indicative of the rest of the harness, you’ll be starting from scratch.

Wow, where to start. There’s more contradictory stuff here! The seat looks to be in great condition but in another shot, some localized damage shows. Whether you like the pattern or not is another story! The dash looks complete and unaltered, and I can even live with the 1960s steering wheel. But the hastily fabricated floor patches (which are possibly put on top of the original floor) and the crude hole cut for the drag-type shifter leave me cold. And, by the way, who doesn’t include a picture of the engine if you’re trying to sell a classic car? This vintage Chevrolet may end up being a bargain, but I’d sure want to see it in person first! What do you readers think?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    That 6K is as high as I’d go for this one. It’s not quite junk but gets pretty close in my book. As said, I’d never even consider it sight unseen.

    Like 7
  2. Tbone

    The recent prices in the old car hobby make me want to wait it out. Everything is cyclical, and I don’t think the asking prices I’ve seen lately are worth it. If you can get a finished car at these prices you will probably be all right over time (especially since you can enjoy it now), but unless you are a skilled body man, paint and body prices aren’t going any where but up. With the time and cubic dollars involved, probably wise to wait for the right (finished) car. Just my 2 cents

    Like 5
    • Claudio

      I agree with you
      On the selling side , its great
      On the buying side i would also wait
      The housing market is also crazy
      Im seriously thinking of selling
      Because $500 k would make my life easier
      But dont expect me to want to buy anything now
      Its a rollercoaster and the past ups and downs should be a reference

      Like 5
  3. Ike Onick

    “The seller has only owned the car for two years and offers nothing more than that it runs and drives, but needs work.”

    And that is where I stopped reading.

    Like 8
  4. Melton Mooney

    The entire front floor is screwed in and sealed with kitchen caulk? Is that what I’m seeing?

    Kool verti-gate though.

    Like 6
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Looks like aluminum panels to me.

      Like 2
  5. George Birth

    High hopes for junk!!! Price of $6K is too high for what it would cost to fix this one to be worth the buy it now price. The repair to make this one look good would involve removing all patchwork and start over from scratch.

    Like 3
  6. Tom Kelly

    Top floor patch is original on a 57 Chevy to remove the trans bel housing bolts , not sure I remember the lower pannel

    Like 1
  7. Greg

    Too much to “restore” for what is being asked, 5 G’s at the very most

    Like 1
  8. Mean Green

    People can ask whatever they think, but good luck with that one.

    Like 1
  9. jim

    what are they smoking $19000 too much money

    Like 1
  10. Bud Lee

    I hate linseed oil .

    Like 0
  11. Jack Quantrill

    Is that poo, on the trans hump?

    Like 0

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