Chevrolet's 1957 models were and still are very popular automobiles and are often referred to as 1950's icons. They were statements at the time of a new modern design. The 57 Chevy 210 Station Wagon featured in this article is a real beauty. Those famous 1957 Chevy tail fins add to the great look of this vehicle. These cars were noted for their sporty and stylish look. It was during these Tri_Five Years (1955-1957) where Chevrolet made major design changes and gave both Ford and Chrysler a real run for their money. In 1955 Chevy outsold Ford by a quarter million vehicles.
Three models of Chevrolet automobiles were offered for 1957. These were the top of the line Bel Air...the mid range 210 and the lower trim 150.
1955 Chevrolet Design
All of this began with the all new design of the 1955 Chevrolet whose design team was led by GM's legendary Harley Earl. This was an all new look for Chevrolet. Gone was the bulbous hood sitting between two wide fenders. Essentially, rounded lines were replaced with a straighter flatter look.
Visibility was improved with a wider windshield. Ventilation was improved greatly and air conditioning could be enjoyed for the first time as an option. 1955 was also the first year of a 12 volt electrical system. Each year during the 1955-1957 run the design was reskinned but the general design remained the same with flatter straighter lines. A good example are the famous fins put on the 1957 models.
Several Station Wagons Available for 1957`
Chevrolet actually produced several varieties of station wagons for the 1957 model year. These included the two-door station wagon (with a sloped pillar behind the hardtop door and sliding windows at the rear seat) Nomad, the four-door, six-passenger station wagon, and the four-door, nine-passenger station wagon.
Color combinations for the 1957 Chevy Wagons were ivory and charcoal, beige and copper, two tone green.
The Chevy design team for 1957 added an egg crate anodized grille to the 210 model and a gold anodized grille for the Bel Air.
1957 Chevrolet Station Wagon Specifications
There were three Chevy engine options available for 1957 but several additional configurations could boost horsepower significantly. The three engines were the 235 cubic inch Inline Six, the 265 cubic inch V-8 and the new 283 cubic inch V-8.
Horsepower varied greatly depending on add-ons. The 235 was rated at 140 HP, the 265 at 162 HP. The new 283 could be had in several Turbo configurations with top horsepower rated at 283. This top horsepower was accomplished with fuel injection. Many would say that this Rochester fuel injected 283 made the car a hot rod right off of the assembly line. This configuration came with a manual gear box only.
Four transmissions were offered for 1957. These included three speed Synchromesh manuals, one with overdrive. Automatics included a two speed Powerglide and a Turboglide variable speed.
Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drum.
Front suspension was independent coil springs with rear being longitudinal leaf springs.
Dimensions for the 57 Chevy Wagon included a wheelbase of 115.0 inches...overall length 200.0 inches, height 60.5 inches, width 70.9 inches. Weight averaged about 3.425 lbs.
New car base price for the 1957 210 wagon was about $2,400.
Production numbers for 1957 Chevrolet Station Wagons were 14,800 for the 150 trim...166,500 for all of the 210 variations and 33,500 for the two Bel Air models.
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References for this article include GM Archives and Complete Book of Collectible Cars.
1957 Chevrolet Station Wagon Collector Values and Popularity
The 1955-57 Chevys, those of the Tri-Five Years, are among the top collector automobiles from the 1950's. The 1957 model in our estimation the most popular.
Chevrolet station wagons in 1957 came in the 150, 210 and Bel Air trims. As of this writing, the top value range, according to several sources, are as follows...the Chevy 150 range is about $22,000 -$32,000. The 210 model about $24,000 to $35,000 depending on exact model, and the top of the line Bel Air about $27,000 to $40,000. The 210 wagon generally would cost you less than the Bel Air but gives you essentially the great 57 styling. The 57 Nomad is valued significantly higher at about $60,000 to $80,000 plus. Again, the aforementioned values are for fully restored top condition and/or show cars.
The Tri-Five Years were great one's for Chevrolet and made their cars icons for the decade of the 50's. When 1958 came around, the Chevy was completely redesigned and looked closer to a Cadillac than it did to a 57 Chevy. The year 1957 was also the last year for the popular Chevy Nomad Station Wagon.
(Article and photos copyright 2016 Auto Museum Online)