AJ’s Car of the Day: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

Car: Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

Year: 1957

What makes it special: The 1957 Chevrolet was introduced in September 1956 for the 1957 model year. It was available in three series models: the upscale Bel Air, the mid-range Two-Ten, and the One-Fifty. A two-door station wagon named Nomad was produced as a Bel Air model. An upscale trim option called the “Delray” was available for two-ten 2-door sedans. It is a popular and sought after classic car. 

What made it famous: General Motors executives wanted an entirely new car for 1957, but production delays called for the 1955–56 design for one more year. These changes included a new dashboard, sealed cowl, and the relocation of air ducts to the headlight pods, which resulted in the distinctive chrome headlight that helped make the ’57 Chevrolet a classic. A wide grille was used to give the car a wider look from the front. The now famous ’57 Chevrolet tailfins were designed to duplicate the wide look in the rear. Bel Air models were given gold trim: the mesh grille insert and front fender chevrons, as well as the “Chevrolet” script on the hood and trunk, were all rendered in anodized gold. For 1957 there were four standard engine options, a 235.5 cu in inline 6-cylinder producing 140 hp, a 265 cu in V8 “Turbo-Fire” producing 162 hp, and two 283 cu in V8’s: a “Turbo-Fire” twin-barrel carburetor producing 185 hp and a “Super “Turbo-Fire” 4-barrel carburetor developing 220 hp. Another optional engine was offered with two 4-barrel carburetors, the legendary “Duntov” cam and solid lifters. This engine produced 270 hp. 1957 was the first year that Chevrolet ever offered fuel injection as an option.

Why I would want one: I can’t think of one person who’s ever been into cars or even causally likes them that hasn’t desired owning a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, let alone one that’s a drop-top.

Fun fact: The car’s image has been frequently used in toys, graphics, music, movies and television. The ’57 Chevy, as it is often known, is considered an auto icon.

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