Featured is a fine looking 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible. One of the most popular classic cars on the road today, the Chevrolet’s built between 1955 and 1957 have created a cult of fans, with over 50,000 members in the Classic Chevy Club International and over 150,000 vehicles on the road. The 1955 Chevrolet was considered a major turning point for Chevrolet. Everything,  was entirely new for Chevy in 1955 including design, styling and engine. As for the successful full size Bel Air models, they were produced by Chevrolet from 1950 to 1975 in the U.S. and until 1981 in Canada.

57 chevy specs
1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible

The 1955-1957 year range represented a lot of effort by GM. They spent a million dollars in 1956 alone because they wanted to make the Bel Air look like the more expensive Cadillacs. The 57 Chevy is great car and the 55-57 Tri-Fives are still very much in attendance car shows and meets.

The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

The 1957 design actually had it’s origins with the 1955 and 1956 models. Stating in 1955, Chevrolet got away from it’s more boxy design with basically a redesign from the road to roof. As mentioned, it was a new ballgame for the Chevy designers starting with the 1955 model.

The 1955 Bel Air four door model alone sold over 350,000 vehicles which demonstrated how well the public accepted the new design. The 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air also introduced a new V-8 engine. The Chevy Bel Air’s from 1955 through 1957 were designated the “second generation” Bel Air’s as opposed to the “first generation” models built from 1950 through 1954.

1957 chevy convertibleThe car was low, sleek and fancy. The fins on the 57 model also looked smaller than those on other nameplates during this age of the fin on many brands. The last of the Tri-Five Chevrolets introduced several changes, including the large tailfins, “twin rocket” hood design, even more chrome, tri-color paint and a choice from no less than seven different V8 engines.

The 1957 model year was one of the finest and most memorable years in Chevrolet’s history. After the 1957 model year Chevrolet discontinued their 150 and 210 models. Their automobiles beginning in 1958 were relatively lower, longer and heavier. The 58 Chevys also introduced the first production big block V-8.

Super Turbo Fire V8

The Tri-Five Chevrolet Bel Air from 1955 through 1957 carried the Turbo Fire engines. The Turbo Fire name was used beginning in 1955 with the small block Chevy V-8. In 55 the engine was an option on the Bel Air and Corvette models. Displacement was 265 cubic inches that moved up to 283 for the 57 model year. The 283 was called Super Turbo-Fire and the buyer would have a choice of carburetion or automatic fuel injection. The Chevy 283 delivered 185 HP.

1957 Chevy Bel Air Specifications

As mentioned above, the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air had seven different engines to offer. This included an inline six with 140 HP, a 265 cubic inch V-8 with 162 HP, a 265 cubic inch V-8 with 170 HP, a 283 cubic inch V-8 with 185 HP, and five more 283 V-8’s with 220, 245, 250, 270 and 283 HP.

Transmissions included a two 3 speed manuals and two 2 speed automatics.

Brakes were four wheel drums.

Front suspension were coil springs with rear semi elliptic leaf springs.

Overall car length was 200.0 inches, width 73.9 inches,and a wheelbase of 115.0 inches. Curb weight was 3,400 lbs.

Total 1957 Chevrolet production was a bit over 1.5 million vehicles. The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible sold over 47,000 units at a price of about $2700 depending on engine options. It’s ironic that in 1957  Ford outsold Chevrolet for the first time in years but the 1957 Bel Air is now one of the most sought collector cars ever produced

See related Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below…

1955 Chevy Bel Air

1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible

Reference material for this article includes..Tri-Five Chevrolet Data and ID Guide by Patrick Hill..Tri-Five Chevy Handbook by Jim Richardson.

chevy tri fivesThe 1957 Chevrolet bel Air Convertible Collector Car

Some will say that the 1957 Chevy Bel Air is the most popular collector car out there. The 57 Chevy is loved by both collectors and hot rod enthusiasts. 1957 was the last of the Tri-Five’s which has become a living legend. The 57 Chevys were a continuation of the basic 55 and 56 designs. These were the high roofline and short wheelbase designs which picked up the nickname “shoebox”.

chevy bel air convertible picsMechanically, the 57 Chevy Bel Air is relatively simple and the engine bay offers enough room for customization and maintenance.

Auction and asking prices for the hardtop 57 Chevy Bel Air might range from $30,000-$60,000 depending on condition, mileage, restoration, originality. The 1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertibles in very good condition might be found in the $80,000-$100,000 plus.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)