Tri Five Survivor: 1957 Chevrolet 210

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Between 1953 and 1957, the entry-level and mid-range models of the mainstream Chevrolets were called the 150 and 210, respectively. Those designations were simply the production numbers of the cars (1500, 2100) shortened by one digit as part of a trend in the 1950s toward numerical automobile names. This 1957 Chevy 210 is a survivor, having had just one owner for 64 years. Located in Littleton, Colorado, it’s ready to move on to its next home and is available here on craigslist for $28,000. Thanks, Gunter Kramer, for the heads-up on this one!

The 1955-57 Chevrolets would later become known as the Tri Fives and are quite the success story for Chevy. The better part of five million was built over a three-year span, with the 1957 editions perhaps being more collectible today due to their evolution in styling. Their hood ornamentation and tasteful tailfins set them off from the 1955-56 models. The 210 would be last used in ’57 including this 2-door sedan which saw 162,851 copies made out of 1,555,316 total car production.

This single-family 210 is wearing Imperial Ivory over Tropical Turquoise, likely its original colors but an older repaint as you can see some overspray on the VIN tag. The body looks good with no immediate signs of rust (except some surface stuff in the trunk) and the paint is wearing thin on the hood and trunk lid. The chrome bumpers and trim seem to have held up well as has all the glass. The original interior has recently been replaced and “before and after” photos are provided showing that a good job was done.

The Chevy has seen its fair share of use over the years with 119,000 accumulated miles. We’re told that the 265 cubic inch V8 and 2-speed Powerglide automatic run “extremely well.” Both are original and no mention is made of any work having been done to either one. The original jack and tire iron are in the trunk, but the spare tire looks to carry a newer tread pattern. The average resale value for a ’57 210 is around $20,000, so the seller is optimistic in his asking price, placing it in Bel Air territory in the same “good” condition, according to Hagerty.

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  1. Rbig18

    This is more like a 10-12K car. 210 instead of a bel-air, not a hard top, 265 instead of a 283, needs paint and some rust repair. I tell ya, some dreamers out there on car pricing.

    Like 13
  2. Gary Rhodes

    Agreed. Lots of fishermen out to feel in a big one. 15k tops, will need 10k in repairs to start

    Like 4
  3. Bob C.

    Shouldn’t the engine be orange or red?

    Like 4
    • Mike O

      If it is original 1957 265 V8 then it should be yellow. But only early production engines got the 265 as the 283’s were not ready in time. When the 283’s were released to production they were orange. 1955 the 265’s were orange, 1956 the 265’s were red (Ads read: The Hot One is now even Hotter).

      Like 3
  4. Rbig18

    Bob. C – In my experience the 283 would have been the traditional Chevy orange and the 265 would have been yellow. In my opinion that engine has been removed and at least repainted if not rebuilt.

    Like 3
    • bobH

      Here’s a question for Chevy guys that know their engine colors, in the 55-57 era… I’m familiar with the yellow 265’s that were used in 57. And, I’m well aware of Chevy-orange. So, when did Chevy-orange start? One reason for asking, I have a 56 that I bought new. And, the engine was never orange, but rather a red. Having bought the car new, I know it was red, from day one. So, what’s the story? Was 57 the beginning of orange? If it makes any difference, the engine that came with my 56 is a power-pac. So, are 2-bbl 56 engines the same red? TIA

      Like 0
      • Rbig18

        Bobh I believe you are correct. 57 was first year. My brothers 56 dual quad (not numbers matching) was restored with every attention to detail. I mean he went crazy and his engine was painted red not orange.

        Like 0
  5. TimS

    “Survivor” is one of those terms that has broadened like “patina.” A survivor used to be an example where everything was intact, functional, and cosmetically clean, meaning it had “survived the years” relatively unaffected by time. Nowadays anything older than 20 years that has its body panels attached is called a survivor.

    Like 5
  6. Edsel AlMember

    265 engine had the oil can filter plumbed in and sat on the intake manifold….

    Like 2
    • Norman K Wrensch

      Only the 55 265 had the optional oil filter, 56 came with the full flow filter just like the 283

      Like 0
  7. Edsel AlMember

    265 would have had an oil can filter bolted to the intake manifold..valve covers on the 283 were orange also….not origional stuff here…

    Like 1
    • bobH

      Not so sure about the oil filter comment… Beginning in 56, the oil filter was on the block, like all subsequent sbc’s. Unless, of course, there was some exception for 57 265’s. So, what say the experts? I’d think no external oil filter up top, unless there was an exception for 57 265’s. The one and only 57 265 that I personally saw, and that I can remember (from 1958), came from a pickup, and I believe it did not have the canister oil filter, up top, but rather the one on the block.

      Like 0
      • David Skinner

        The 265 never offered a full flow oil filter as described here:

        A very unique characteristic of the 265 Chevy V-8 is the lack of a traditional block connection for a positive flow oil filter. The 265 engine offered a dealer installed by-pass oil filter system much like the standard 235 six cylinder, but did not come from the factory with an oil filter.

        This issue was corrected with the introduction of the 283, and all subsequent SBCs included a positive flow oil filter.

        Like 1
  8. Edsel AlMember

    what he said……

    Like 1
    • bobH

      David and Al…. your info is incorrect. And, I bought my 56 new, with evidence to the contrary of what you have posted. I suggest you further research… you will find that all 56 265’s have a block-mounted, full flow filter, canister-type, which prevailed on all sbc’s until they switched to a spin-on throwaway filter about 69.
      During my lifetime, I’ve had multiple 56-265’s, and they are all the same, block-mounted, full-flow filters.

      Like 0
  9. Dave Christopher

    P.S. The 1955 add on oil filter was an option that was often ordered with car or could be added by dealer. I found many kits at dealers when I was hunting parts.

    Like 0
  10. Dave Christopher(N0mader55)

    David and Edsel. I beg to differ. Your statement applies to 1955, 265 c.i. engines only. I have in my possession 3ea 1956/1957, 265 engines, with correct casting and stamps, that I removed from 56,57 chevy’s. back in the day. Each has oil filter casting and housing on bottom next to pan opposite starter. Also have one 1955 block w/o bottom filter and top accessory filter. All these were red. Been doing this for 61 yrs.

    Like 1
  11. Jay E.Member

    It looks like 682 Cashmere Blue/ India Ivory, rather than the Tropical Turquoise which is much darker, like is on the upholstery. Need to see the cowl tag, but it could have been a repaint too.
    Overpriced for a 210 in this condition.

    Like 0
    • Jay E.Member

      Oops, I mean 810 Larkspur Blue/India Ivory on thew ’57.

      Like 0
    • Roy

      At best it is worth 10k. Blue gm engines started in late 70s. The engine would have GM orange. Not blue.

      Like 0

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