Tri-Five Sleeper: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

The Bel Air Sport Coupe was one of the most popular of the “Tri-Five” Chevies of 1955-57. This ’57 edition has only had three owners, comes with an interesting story, and has been treated to a newer engine and transmission, among other things. It sports a great patina, but some issues will require attention, This Chevy can be found in El Cerrito, California, and is available here on eBay for $24,000 although you can exercise the Make Offer option. Thanks for the Bowtie tip, Larry D!

As the story goes, the seller tried for years to get his hands on this car without success. Notes left on the car would go answered. Until one day when the phone rang and the owners who had been high school sweethearts years earlier had finally decided it was time to let the Chevy move on. The car had seen a lot of real estate in their care, including spending time in Mexico, Canada, and even Woodstock (1969).

This Bel Air also spent some time at the local drag racetrack, which is when it acquired a 350 cubic inch V8 and a floor-shifted automatic transmission (Turbo-Hydramatic?). It’s said to be a strong runner and enjoys a cooler for the tranny, an auxiliary fuel pump, and two kill switches to prevent theft of the fine car. While in the possession of the seller, a new black interior was installed.

But some things will require work, even if you like the patina look. The left rear tailfin is a little dented, there is rust on the roof, the rear bumper has a case of the sags, and the passenger side rocker panel is ready to be replaced. This car was black originally and there is some filler in the right front fender that may date to when the color was changed. This Chevy looks like it would be a peppy pleasure to drive, even if your interest isn’t to race it.


  1. Rw

    Tell me Russ what makes a old hot rod 57 a sleeper? I’m sure it sounds hot rod also.

    Like 2
    • Russ Dixon Russ Dixon Staff

      Looks tame but is not.

      Like 6
    • RKS

      At least they didn’t call it a survivor.

      Like 6
  2. Rw

    Look at custom front fenders and hood ,cool stuff, not sleeper.

    Like 2
    • Dave

      Those are factory parts.

      Like 2
  3. Rw

    Front fenders have the 3 gold trim pieces removed and filled smooth,hood bullets removed and holes sculped, look a little closer you will see, also hood V and script removed.

    Like 3
  4. DON

    Nothing says “sleeper ” than a 66 year old car sitting next to you at a light ! -Seriously, this would stick out like a sore thumb restored, sleeper, or just a daily driver

    Like 3

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