1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop Resto-Mod - $69,900
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On the road, there’s always power on tap and the big V8 flings the relatively lightweight Bel Air around with ease.

Is there anything left to say about the 1957 Chevy Bel Air? Iconic. Universally loved. The ultimate symbol of an era when chrome and fins were king. Rock and roll on wheels. All of that and more make the ‘57s blue-chip collector’s items and top-notch cruisers for people who love the ‘50s. Still, none of that means that a great thing can’t be made better, and the most direct way to improve any car is more power! With a muscular 454 cubic inch big block under its hood, this gorgeous Matador Red ’57 Chevy Bel Air hardtop certainly brings the thunder. It’s also incredibly civilized with an overdrive transmission, cold A/C, great-sounding stereo, disc brakes, and all the amenities, keeping the ‘57’s soul intact but elevating everything else to a higher level. If you like to drive, this is the ’57 Chevy to own.

Built by a guy who knows Tri-Five Chevys inside and out, this hardtop delivers in every way that matters. If not for the slightly lowered stance and upgraded wheels, it would pass for a stocker, including all the wonderful Bel Air trim. It was refinished to a very high standard that still presents well today, and there’s no better color than bright red on one of these cars. It seems a little brighter than the original Matador Red, maybe a Corvette Torch Red from a few years later, but either way it looks fantastic on the iconic Chevy sheetmetal. Exemplary panel work means it’s laser straight and the gaps are good to excellent, probably as good as it was back in ’57. We can find no evidence of wholesale rust repair, so this must have been a solid, clean car when work started, and despite the serious upgrades under the skin, they kept every single shiny piece, from the bullets on the hood to the classic Bel Air anodized side panels. There will be no mistaking this for any other car. Fortunately, all that bright work is expertly restored so you have no worries there—someone else already spent the big money to make it look like jewelry.

The interior is a nice blend of original styling and modern updates that give you the best of both worlds. The seats are the original benches, now covered in handsome black vinyl that feels a lot more luxurious than it sounds. Horizontal pleats are a period-looking pattern, and the vertical pleats on the custom door panels are a neat contrast. Black carpets and a matching headliner tie it together and really make the bright red dashboard stand out. It’s instantly recognizable as a ’57 Chevy dash with its three instrument pods and band of shiny trim, but few of the components are stock. The gauges are trick pieces from Dakota Digital that monitor all the vitals in addition to keeping track of performance data in a small screen on the speedometer face. The original sliders for the heater now control a powerful Vintage Air A/C system that’s powerful enough to turn the interior into a meat locker, and a polished tilt steering column and billet wheel make it very easy to get comfortable behind the wheel. You’ll note the shift quadrant for the transmission has four forward gears, with the 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission offering a tall overdrive for easy cruising at modern highway speeds. A custom stereo looks quite authentic in the center of the dash, and it powers speakers on the rear package shelf that fill the well-insulated cabin with sound (not that you’ll need it—that big block sings best of all). The trunk is also beautifully finished with a simple carpet mat and an aluminum box for the battery.

Despite the car’s size, a big block V8 is still a rather tight fit in the engine bay. This is a 454 cubic inch Chevy V8, and it’s neatly installed with good service access and lots of dress-up. It isn’t radical, but there’s just no disguising the big hit of low-end torque that only cubic inches can deliver, and this Chevy never feels sluggish, that’s for sure! Outfitted with a familiar Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor and matching polished Performer RPM intake manifold, Mallory ignition system, long-tube headers, and a decent-sized cam inside, it starts easily and idles with authority, and the gear drive for the cam sounds AWESOME! On the road, there’s always power on tap and the big V8 flings the relatively lightweight Bel Air around with ease. There’s a custom polished serpentine belt drive system for the accessories, a giant aluminum radiator, and not one, not two, but THREE powerful electric fans to ensure this sucker never gets flustered, even on the hottest days with the A/C cranking. Wiring and plumbing are all obviously new, there’s a custom polished dual master cylinder and brake booster for the power disc brakes, and the inner fenders and firewall are finished to the same standards as the rest of the bodywork. That’s a big engine, but it runs and drives beautifully.

Underneath, it’s just as nice, with a satin black frame backed by bright red floors. Up front, the suspension is largely stock, so it still feels like a ’57 Chevy, although disc brakes and power steering make it safe and easy to handle. The aforementioned 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission doesn’t seem to mind the big block torque churning through it and if feeds a stout Ford 9-inch rear end with 4.10 gears inside to really make it feel punchy on the streets. Don’t worry, the tall overdrive makes it an easy highway cruiser, and with the X-pipe, the custom exhaust system doesn’t drone or hum at speed. Get in, turn on the A/C, and you can drive this car coast-to-coast. Traction bars give an assist out back, because there’s enough torque to incinerate the tires, and all the lines and hoses are new. There’s also a fresh gas tank hanging out back, new bushings, and you’ll note that the exhaust tips tuck up underneath so they won’t discolor the bumpers. Floors and rockers are completely solid with no signs of previous issues, and even the pinch weld at the lower edges of the bodywork shows factory spot welds. Shiny Weld aluminum wheels are a traditional performance look, and they carry staggered 215/65/15 front and 235/60/15 rear BFGoodrich T/A radials.

This Bel Air takes everything that’s great about the ’57 Chevys and turns it up to 11. More power, more comfort, great looks, and a very expensive list of upgrades. Very nicely finished, it’s ready to cruise and show and you’ll never get tired of the overwhelming response this car generates out on the road. If it’s attention you crave, this car delivers. And if you simply want a cool ’57 that just works the way it should, this is it. Call today!

Vehicle: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop Resto-Mod
Price: $69,900
Stock Number: 115127
Mileage: 41
VIN: 57B246829
Engine: 454 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 4.0999999999999996
Wheelbase: 115 inches
Wheels: 15-inch aluminum wheels
Tires: Front: 215/65/15, Rear: 235/60/15 BFGoodrich radial
Exterior Color: Matador Red
Interior Color: Black vinyl
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