Image credits: © Chevrolet. GM Corp
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air news, pictures, specifications, and information
Sold for $74,250 at 2013 RM Auctions
Sold for $70,400 at 2017 Bonhams
1957 was the second restyling of the trendsetting 1955 model bringing the styling to new heights. Chevrolet lowered the car and used smaller wheels plus several other body modifications. The nose and tail were updated with Cadillac-inspired cues, resulting in a baby Eldorado (of sorts) that has remained popular ever since its introduction.
The bored out, 283 cubic-inch V-8 engine was a popular option and was available in no fewer than six stages of tune. The top option featured a 10.5:1 compression and Rochester fuel-injection, as also seen in that year's Corvettes, offering the magical 'one horsepower per cubic inch.'
This Chevrolet Bel air Convertible is fitted with the '283/283' engine and a Powerglide automatic transmission. There are power brakes, power steering, a one-piece 'California' bumper, a tissue dispenser, tinted glass, polished 'spinner' wheel covers, wide whitewall tires, and 'Bow Tie' floor mats, among other accessories. It is finished in two-tone red and white. The finish is new but the interior remains original, as is the rest of the car. The mileage shows 9,581 with the odometer believed to have been reset at the time of the car's repaint.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2013
HardTop Sport Coupe
Ford outsold Chevrolet in 1957, but the 1957 Bel Air has been called 'the most popular used car in history.' This Bel Air Sport Coupe has the iconic 1957 Chevy color combination of Sierra Gold and Adobe Beige. It is equipped with the popular 'Power Pack' option, which added a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts to the 283 cubic-inch V8. This car is not equipped with the optional heater, which is rather unusual for a Bel Air.
Hardtop Sport Sedan
The 1957 Chevy is the car everybody knows. Maybe its the fins, maybe its because during the sixties every high school kid wanted one. Ford actually outsold Chevrolet in 1957, but the 1957 Chevy has been called 'the most popular used car in history.' That's staying power.
This Inca Silver Bel Air Convertible is a documented 16,900-mile car. Options include Powerglide, power steering, power brakes, deluxe radio and the 250-horsepower V8 with Ramjet Fuel Injection. This FI system was brand-new for 1957 and shared with Corvette. Out of more than 1.5 million 1957 Chevy's built, only 1,530 were ordered with the exotic fuel-injection option.
With its 'baby Cadillac' style and powerful V8 engine options, the 1957 really was, to quote a Chevy ad of the day, 'sweet, smooth and sassy.'
The 'station-wagon-as-a-style-statement' boom can be traced to the mid-fifties Chevrolet Nomad. The sporty, low-slung Nomad was 'the longed-for styling wedding between the production sports car and the family workhorse,' enthused Motor Trend. While a price tag higher than any Chevy except Corvette kept sales low, the Nomad's lofty status captured the imagination of the public and the attention of other automakers. The two-door Nomad was built for only three years (1955, 1956 and 1957) but especially in Southern California, it was almost instantly a 'hot' used car.
The iconic 1957 Chevrolet was anything but rare, with over 1.5 million built. But just 6,108 were Nomads, making this top-of-the-line wagon a scarce sight even when new. This Nomad is a heavily optioned car, with factory air conditioning, power steering, power brakes and 283 cubic-inch V8 engine. It is finished in the popular and attractive combination of Sierra Gold and Adobe Beige.
The Bel Air was Chevrolet's top-of-the-line offering for 1957 and the Bel Air series was equipped with what was known as the 'Gold Package,' which included three gold chevrons on each front fender, a gold grille insert and gold V-8 ornament. A popular accessory was the rear-mounted Continental kit.
Two engines were available for 1957: a six and a 283 cubic-inch V8. (The latter was available with a Super Turbo-Fire option that boosted horsepower to 220.) This car is powered with the standard 283 motor. Base factory price of the Chevrolet Bel Air convertible was approximately $2,600.
Chevrolet designers conceived the Nomad station wagon as an upscale, suburban utility vehicle. Introduced in 1955, the Nomad was admired for its looks, but was expensive compared to other Chevrolets. While the name lived on for several years in lower-priced Chevrolet station wagons, the last Nomad built in original configuration was constructed in 1957. Considered too rare and valuable to use for utilitarian purposes toady, Nomads during the mid-1950s were regularly put into service towing trailers and hauling heavy loads.
The name 'Nomad' was the special and sporty Chevy 2-door sports station wagon. 1957 was the final build year in a three year run, though the name Nomad continued but as a 4-door model from 1958 on and sold far better than in 2-door style. There were just 6,103 Nomad models built for 1957, wîth a total three year model build of 22,375.Source - Petersen Museum
Sold for $52,800 at 2007 RM Auctions
Though the Chevrolet Nomad was aesthetically different from the other vehicles in the lineup, it was mechanically identical and had the same optional power plants. One of those engines was the same found in the Corvette, the 283 cubic-inch V8 that had a single Rochester four-barrel carburetor and available 220 horsepower.
The Nomad was added mid-year in 1955. Its front-end design was shared with its siblings, but from the cowl back it was different. It was also the most expensive model Chevrolet offered. It carried a sticker price of $2,571 and cost $265 more than a similarly equipped Bel Air Convertible.
The Nomad had two-door styling, two-tone paint scheme, slanted B-pillar, wraparound rear window, rear fender wheel cut-outs, and straight side trim.
This vehicle has been treated to a frame-off restoration with the exterior completely repainted, the interior was reupholstered, and the engine was rebuilt. It is finished in two-toned light yellow and white exterior with a matching two-tone interior. This has many options including an automatic gearbox, power windows, power steering, the original AM Wonderbar radio, and whitewall Goodyear Custom Super Cushion tires. This vehicle has traveled a mere 7,657 miles since its restoration, before it was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $50,000 - $70,000. It was offered without reserve. As the gavel fell the lot was sold for $52,800 including buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
In the 1950's General Motors color palate seemed unlimited, and this car is certainly proof of that. It wears rare original Chevrolet color number 253-90645 'Canyon Coral.' Original specification Nomads are hard to find today because they made an excellent platform for hot rodders over the years. This wonderful owner-restored car is featured in the chapter about color, in The Art and Color of General Motors.
There were 47,562 Bel Air's created. They were originally available with a six-cylinder engine that produced 115 horsepower. They came in a two-tone paint scheme and two-tone interior. As the years progressed the Bel Air was available with a variety of engine sizes, including the V8 which was normally reserved for the Corvette.
The Chevrolet Bel Air was a very dramatic and bold vehicle with many recognizable features such as the rocket-inspired twin spear ornaments inset on the hood, and the chrome outlined rear tailfins.
This vehicle has been treated to a full frame-off restoration that occurred during the mid-2000s. It is finished in Tropical Turquoise with a matching white interior and white canvas convertible top. The engine is original, restored, and the desirable Power Pack four-barrel carburetor setup, offering 220 horsepower when needed. There is power steering, power top, a Powerglide automatic gearbox and four-wheel drum brakes. It was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $75,000 - $100,000. It was offered without reserve. As the gavel fell the lot had been sold for a high bid of $71,500 including buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
The 1957 Chevy is the car everybody knows. Maybe it's the fins. Maybe it's because - in the Sixties - every high school kid wanted one. Ford actually outsold Chevrolet in 1957, but the '57 Chevy has been called 'the most popular used car in history.' That's staying power.
With its 'baby Cadillac' style and powerful V-8 engine options, the 1957 really was - to quote a Chevy ad of the day - 'sweet, smooth and sassy.'
This Bel Air convertible is equipped with the desirable 283 'Power Pack' engine and three-speed transmission with overdrive. It is refinished in its original (and rare) colors of Surf Green, matching interior and green convertible top. Options include power seat and power windows.
This car spent 20 years in a Wyoming wrecking yard before the current owner acquired it in 1988. An extensive restoration was completed in 1997.
'See the USA in Your Chevrolet' was the theme song for Dinah Shore's popular television variety show, which debuted on NBC in 1956. Ms. Shore remained a spokesperson for Chevy throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, during which time GM regularly gave her new cars for her personal use. This 1957 Bel Air convertible is one of those cars. It still wears its original one-off color and is a true survivor with only a little over 6,500 miles on it.
The 1957 Chevy, the last year of the so-called Tri-Chevys, may be the classic American classic. This series of cars go down in history as the launch vehicle for the now evergreen small-block Chevy V8. Though based on the 1955 and 1956 cars, the 1957 had sharp but tasteful tail-fins that a year later would dissolve into the low and curved rear fenders of the totally restyled 1958 Chevy.
This 1957 Bel Air Sport, a two-door hardtop, has been restored to new condition and recently has had power steering and front disc brakes installed.
This 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible Coup is equipped with 40 factory options. It has the optional 283 V-8 power pack with Rochester four-barrel carburetor, dual exhaust, Powerglide automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, parking brake signal, two-speed wipers, windshield washers, and autoronic-eye headlamp control. There are optional dual antennas, continental kit, bumper cushions, bumper guards, backup lamps, outside rear view mirrors, license plate frame, locking gas cap, rocker moldings, gold kit, tinted glass, door handle shields, radiator insect screen, trunk lid edge molding, spinner hubcaps, and white wall tires. The list continues with factory air conditioning, signal-seeking radio, tissue dispenser, heater and defroster, electric clock, courtesy lamps, non-glare rearview mirror, vanity visor mirror, inside visor, and cigarette lighter.
It is painted in Tropical Turquois with a white convertible top.
In 2008, the car was brought to the Hilton Head Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by the Worldwide Auctioneers. It was estimated to sell for $135,000 - $150,000. Bidding failed to reach those estimates, its reserve was not satisfied, and the lot was left unsold.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2008
High bid of $52,500 at 2014 RM Auctions. (did not sell)
The design of Chevrolet's Nomad Station Wagon first appeared as a Corvette at GM's 1954 Waldorf Astoria Motorama; it was introduced to the regular passenger line 1955 with 8,386 examples built that year. Over the three-year lifespan, production remained steady.
The design originated in Harley Ear's styling section at General Motors, in a special studio headed by Carl Renner. The show car was built on a 1953 station wagon chassis, with the body rendered in fiberglass. It had a forward-slanted B-pillar, and seven vertical chrome strips. The top had subtle crosswise flutes, which was the work of Renner himself. Production as part of the regular passenger line required steel construction and a higher beltline. The show car had an electrically lowered rear window, while the production Nomad had a liftgate that had a die-cast frame, which allowed for thinner pillars resulting in better visibility.
The full cutouts of the show car were retained for the production model's rear wheels, and they were prominent, as the side trim was limited to a short molding from the headlight into the front door.
In 1956, the Nomad's side trim had a forward slant, matching the slop of the door windows. The rest of the 1956 line had a reverse angle at that location.
For 1957, side trim from the Bel Air was used in its entirety. In total, just 6,103 examples were built. 1958 spelled the end of the Nomad as a separate design, although the name was appropriated for later, more conventional wagons.
This Nomad is a restored example that was in long-term ownership in a Florida collection. It is well optioned, with power steering, brakes, and windows. Power is from a 283 cubic-inch small block V8 that is equipped with four-barrel, dual-exhaust Power Pack option, which given it 220 horsepower. The transmission is Chevy's Powerglide two-speed automatic. The car is finished in India Ivory over Tropical Turquoise, and rides on period-appropriate whitewall tires, and it has a jack and matching spare tire.
This Chevrolet Bel Air has the optional small block V-8 with a rare accessory oil filter and mated to a Powerglide 2-speed automatic transmission. There are dual exhausts with chrome tips, power steering, power brakes and 4-barrel carburetor. It is finished in two-tone Gypsy Red and India Ivory paint, including rare factory optional wire wheel covers and wide Whitewall tires, front grille guard and wings, door edge guards, stainless rocker moldings and gravel shields and the original Continental kit. Inside is a red and white interior with many accessories including a power soft top, power windows and power front seat, a Wonderbar radio, tissue dispenser and traffic light viewer, and under-hood and trunk courtesy lights.
This Bel Air has earned the Chevy Bow Tie Award of Excellence, scoring 998 points. In August 2002 it was awarded a second Chevy Bow Tie Award of Excellence in the Senior Class and its second Gold Spinner award at the Chevrolet Western Nationals.By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2014
Sold for $115,500 at 2010 RM Auctions
Sold for $121,000 at 2015 RM Auctions
The Chevrolet Bel Air achieved successful sales in 1956, and Chevrolet was to keep the enthusiasm alive, so they upgraded the model with new styling for 1957. It was lowered by 1.5 inches and became 2.5-inches longer than the 1956 model. In the front was a restyled grille and new front bumpers. In the back were taller tailfins. Several engine options were available, with the most desirable being the 283 cubic-inch V8 that was fitted with Rochester fuel injection and delivered 283 horsepower.
This particular example currently has fewer than 40,000 original miles on its odometer. It is equipped with the fuel-injected 283 cub-cinch engine. It was purchased by collector Milton Robson in 1989. He acquired the car from an individual who had purchased the car from the estate of the original owner. At that time, the car showed just 39,000 miles from new. It was stored for many years prior to be given a full restoration. Upon completion it was finished in Canyon Coral and India Ivory.
The current owner acquired the car in 2010. Since then, it has been driven less than 150 miles.
After decades of winning the sales race with a doggedly conservative but ruggedly reliable six-cylinder car, Chevy chief engineer Ed Cole came up with a hot, low-slung V8 car powered and styled to put competitors in the rearview mirror. All this earned the 1955 Chevrolet a Time Magazine Cover, high honors in that era.
The mid-year introduction of the Nomad sport wagon was icing on the cake. The Nomad's unique design had its roots as a 1954 GM Motorama show car station wagon that was based on the Corvette. It was designed to outstyle the increasing popular Ford Country Squire wagon.
This Nomad wears the popular 1955 color combination of Gypsy Red and Shoreline Beige. It includes many options and accessories such as the Turbo-Fire V8 engine, and wire wheel covers.
From 1950 through 1952 Chevrolet hardtops in the Deluxe model line were dubbed the 'Bel Air'. It took a few more years before it would become its own distinct series. In 1953, the Bel Air became its own model and was applied to Chevrolet's top-of-the-line model range. By 1955, the cars were offered with an optional V8 engine which greatly improved the cars performance.
In 1953 Chevrolet had three new models and 17 body styles to select from. This was the company's widest range of offerings in its history. The introduction of the Chevrolet was stirring press for the company, but so was the Bel Air, considered the company's Crown Jewel.
The Bel Air Series consisted of a two and four-door sedan, sport coupe, and a convertible coupe. Everything that was standard on the lower priced series was standard on the Bel Air, plus so much more including comfort, convenience and styling options. There was a one-piece curved windshield which added superb visibility. The luggage compartment was massive and the 115-inch wheelbase provided plenty of interior room for its occupants. The 115-horsepower Blue-Flame six-cylinder engine was new and the most powerful engine in Chevrolet's history.
In 1954, the Bel Air was launched as a 1955 model and brought with it a fresh new, elegant look for Chevrolet. With bold features that included hooded headlights, tailfins, wrap-around windshield, and rear fender skirts, the Bel Air was able to out-style the competition. The base engine was a six-cylinder, 115 horsepower power-plant. At a base price of $1095, it was a bargain. It is considered America's first low-priced 'hardtop coupe'. The most famous of the Bel Air engine options was the 283 cubic-inch V-8 small-block, with Ramjet Fuel injection. It delivered one horsepower per cubic inch, a first for production cars. Along with style, the Bel Air was a fast machine. Chevrolet quickly ascertained a reputation for building performance vehicles.
A full-width grill, redesigned front and rear fenders, gas cap behind the left taillight, larger rectangular parking lights, and sweeping side trim were just a few of the changes that set the 1956 Chevrolet apart from the 1955, which had taken the country by storm with its all new body re-design.
For the performance-minded public, the 1956 Chevrolet offered three 265 cubic-inch Turbo-Fire V-8 engine options: base 170 hp, 205 hp 4 bbl and the 225 hp dual 4 bbl.
Chevrolet produced 1,574,740 cars in the 1956 model year, of which 41,268 were Belair Convertibles. The 3,320 pound car cost $2,443 with the base V-8. You could literally load your new Chevy with factory options and accessories and stay under $3,000.
In 1957, the Bel Air grew in length by 2-1/2 inches and received a wider and taller grille. Additional options became available including two-tone interior, power convertible top, shoulder harnesses, tinted glass, seat belts, tissue dispenser, and ventilated seat pads.
In total, there were seven body styles to select from. In 1957, a two-page Chevrolet magazine ad proclaimed that 'Chevy puts the purr in performance'. This Bel Air Convertible, with the optional 245 HP 283 CID small block V-8 equipped with two four barrel carburetors, would certainly deliver on the promise made by the ad copy noted above, delivering a hearty purr from its dual exhausts.
Over the years these popular cars became an icon for the entire generation and they have gone on to become one of the most desirable and collectable post war cars of all. 47,000 Bel Air convertibles were produced in the 1957 model year.
The Chevrolet models grew in length in 1958 and increased in size. The Chevrolet Impala became their top-of-the-line model, followed by the middle-range Bel Air. The front end featured a broad grill with quad headlights.
By the later part of the 1960s, the Chevrolet Bel Air moved into the territory of a fleet vehicle. It was a basic machine built on Chevrolet's large platform and outfitted with few thrills or options. It was a good car though it lacked the prestige of times gone by.
The 1964 Chevrolet Be Air (Series 1600) was Chevrolet's mid-priced line between the basic Biscayne and the Impala.
The Biscayne was discontinued after 1972 and the Bel Air was moved into its place, becoming Chevrolet's low-level model. Production in the United States continued until 1975 though production continued in Canada until 1981.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2007
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