1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Looks Better Than New, Hides Modern Surprise Under the Hood

Introduced in 1955, the Chevrolet Tri-Five became an instant hit and moved more than five million units over three model years. Come 2022, and it’s one of the most desirable 1950s classics, despite not being a rare automobile.

The range-topping Bel Air version is by far the most popular with classic car enthusiasts, especially in the two-door Sport Coupe trim. They’re quite expensive, too, with all-original, numbers-matching examples going for as much as $100,000 with the right options and drivetrain layout. Then we have the more radical restomods that sport brand-new components under the shell and change hands for six-figure sums.

The 1957 example you see is somewhere in between. It looks like a completely stock Bel Air inside and out, but it hides a modern powerplant under the hood.

Located in Opa-Locka, Florida, the Bel Air is described as “an original,” which probably means the sheet metal hasn’t been altered. But the paint looks too good for an unrestored survivor, so this Chevy was probably refreshed a few years ago. In fact, the Sierra Gold over Adobe Beige finish, which isn’t very common, looks flawless.

The two-tone interior is just as gorgeous and looks fresh from every angle. Again, it was probably restored rather than maintained for more than 60 years because there are no signs of wear and tear. It’s a nice place to spend time in, and the beige/gold combo is tasteful, to say the least.

Moving over to the surprise hiding under the hood, the owner ditched the unnamed original mill for a more modern 350-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) V8. There’s no info on whether it’s a crate engine or an older mill sourced from another Chevy, but the sticker adorning it reveals a 300-horsepower output. And that’s notably more than the stock 1957 Bel Air, regardless of powerplant. The mill mates to a 700-R4 automatic, also a solid upgrade over the original two-speed Powerglide.

There’s no info if the 45,000 miles (72,420 km) shown on the odometer are true, but we do know that the Bel Air was driven for only 2,000 miles (3,219 km) with the new drivetrain. According to the seller, the vehicle “runs great and was mainly used for car shows.”

How much does it cost? Well, the Bel Air is being auctioned off by eBay seller “som970” as we speak, and bidding has reached $23,600 with six days to go. The reserve hasn’t been met, though. How much do you think is this lightly modded 1957 Bel Air worth? 

Related Posts

10 Almost Forgotten Things About the 1970 Dodge Charger that Everyone Wants to Know

In the beginning years of the ’70s, carmakers were trying to figure out how to meet the upcoming emissions and safety regulations without losing a ton of…

Top 10 American Classic Cars are Underrated in Terms of Quality And Style, No One Seems To Care

Before John DeLorean invented the time-traveling car we all know from Back to the Future, he created the modern muscle car with the Pontiac GTO. But even…

2023’s Hottest Collectibles: 10 Cars That Just Became Instant Classics

Chances are, somebody, somewhere, sometime this year, was cruising down the boulevard in their 2003 Pontiac Vibe when “Unwell” by Matchbox Twenty came on the classic rock…

10 High-Profile People Who Swore By The Mercedes S600 Grosser, Especially Model Number 7

The Mercedes-Benz W100 Grosser was one of the last cars Mercedes built without budgetary constraints – a true icon that demonstrated what cars could be if manufacturers…

The 10 Most Popular Classic Ford Mustangs Today Make Everyone Want To Own One

The GT350 was Carroll Shelby’s answer to Ford when asked if the car could be made to be more of a sports car and less of a…

Global V-8 Legends: 10 International Classics That’ll Rev Up Your Heart

When we talk about high-performance V-8 engines, American carmakers are, typically, the first to come to mind. While this engine layout is almost synonymous with American Muscle…