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1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

dmc2dmc2 Posts: 2
There are many good cars in this topic, but none
as good as the 57' bel air. In thier day they were
one of the best and fastest cars on the road. Today
almost every movie that features the 50's has a
bel air in it.In 1957 Ford was given a real run a
real run for thier money. It practically wasn't
until 1964-65-66 when Ford came up with a car that
sold as much. Yes they did sell more mustangs than
bel airs, but this particular bel air only ran for
one year, compared to the mustangs three years.
Don't get me wrong I like the mustangs of those
years, which is something I cannot say for the new
mustangs. the 1957 Bel Air is one on the most
highly coveted collector cars with it's value going
up every year. Chevrolet called it's 57' line
"Sweet, Smooth, and Sassy" and in my opinion It
was. I have a 57 Bel Air and I would never think
about selling it most people who own one feel the
same way. Most people that do sell thiers do so out
of the financial need or they have just Lost
interest in restoring it. A 57 in perfect condition
almost always wins prizes at a car show. Once
again I am not saying I don't like any of the other
cars in this conference I am just saying that I
like the 57' Chevrolet bel air better. In fact the
only type of cars that I dislike are those raced
out little rice rocktet imports with a coffe can
exhaust that sounds like a nuculear Fart, but thats
another story.


  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Be careful! The hosts might not like that last paragraph. While I don't think the 57 Bel Aire is the best car ever made, I would have to say its the ultimate car of the Fifties. Not too overdone like the 59 Caddilac (which, along with about a zillion other cars, I would love to own), but it has everything needed, in the right amount, to be a perfect 1950's vehicle. If I were to own a 57 Bel Aire, it would be a convertable with the spare on the bumper, and given a 2 tone light blue and white paint job. Who could ask for anything more?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I've never owned a 57, but had two 55's, a coupe and a wagon. I liked the wagon the best, but of course the coupe was more popular. Over the years I tired of seeing so many 55-57's over restored at shows, etc. that I went back to mid 50's Buicks. They're very similiar in many ways, but Chev. had the advantage in engine design, the old nailhead Buick V8 just isn't the same, and I still will take a Powerglide over a Dynaflow.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    The 1957 is definitely the run-away favorite for collectors who like 50s Chevys. A professionally and accurately restored '57 convertible can bring some serious money at auction.

    Re rea98d's comment---yes, we do not like the word "[non-permissible content removed]" in Town Hall and discourage it's use, but since I can't edit line by line, I didn't want to delete the first post in the topic.

    But now you know, and enjoy yourself.
  • dmc2dmc2 Posts: 2
    I apologize if I have offended anyone by saying rice rocket, that was not my intention also I did not say rice Boy . I was merely saying I don't like raced out IMPORTS. Also rea98 my dad bought one like that brand new from felix chavrolet in LA in the fifties. He wishes he would of kept it (good color combination).
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    Unless they happened to have the ill fated Turboglide transmission!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    By god, you're right, you didn't use the "R" word, but a variation. Okay, you are pardoned.

    Oh, the dreaded turboglide--that was a turkey of a transmission. I remember swapping mine out in my '59 Impala for the Powerglide unit.
  • dranoeldranoel Posts: 79
    Hope the Powerglide you're referring to isn't the dreaded unit that was introduced on the 1950 Chevy, it was a real dud.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    No, it was a "turboglide" unit in 1959 I believe that was the bad one. I think early automatics were a bit clunky, yes.

    Quick, trivia buffs---first GM automatic offered was in what year?
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982

    If that's not the right answer, change the question!
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    if you mean fully automatic. That was the year the Hydramatic came out-right? Or was it 1939? If you mean semi-automatic, there were several. Or do you have a piece of automatic trivia up your sleeve I don't knowabout?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    The first true, fully automatic GM automatic (Hyramatic) was introduced late in the year on the 1938 Oldsmobile. So you were real close carnut, not technically correct because of the hair-splitting late 1938 date, but most people do assign 1939 as the year for the first readily-available full automatic on a domestic car.

    Mercury had a clutchless transmission in 1942, called Liquidmatic, but the war interrupted further development.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Thats what I get for pulling dates outta the hat.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Oh, not ecactly pulling them out of a weren't that far off!
  • I think GM introduced power steering for the '53 model year.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    GM? No, it was definitely 1938/1939...perhaps you mean Chevrolet? The first Chevy had an automatic in 1950, called, of course, Powerglide.
  • jsj62jsj62 Posts: 1
    I'm selling my 62 BelAir, 6 cyl.90,000 orig. miles. All, originally sound, with only minor body rust spot. It has the powerglide trans. and runs without any problems.
    Can I get a ballpark amount of it's value, only a small hole between rear wheel well (inside to trunk) needs paint badly, has the original Olympic Gold paint.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    Yep, Powerglide came out in 1950. They were tough and durable. If you started out in drive, they started in second gear and moved slugglishly. If you wanted to, you could put the lever in low and shift it at around 30 MPH for faster acceleration.

    Starting in 1953, they shifted by themselves when you started in drive. Starting in 1962, Chevy wnet to an aluminum Powerglides if you had the 327 or 409 engines. These didn't hold up as well and would start slipping during the 1-2 shift. Still, they weren't bad.

    " Slip and slide with Powerglide"

    Power steering was first available in 1953. It was a VERY rare option! I've seen only one.

    The miserable Turboglide was an option (more money than a Powerglide) from 1957-1961. Usually people did what Shifty did. A changeover to a Powerglide which required changing the starter, etc.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I understand that GM did most of the auto trans development for the army for tank use. If you've ever seen and old tank, you will understand why it was important to have an automatic-there is no way the driver could shift effectively and also steer. I don't have a lot of knowledge on the subject, but maybe someone else will comment and educate us.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    I once heard that Buick Dynaflows were used in some tanks?
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    were used in a lot of tanks in WWII. Don't know about the dynaflows, but I know the Hydramatics, with their 4 forward speeds were great for tanks and some other military vehicles. Funny how the Hydramatic came out just before WWII? I have a collection of old car ads from the 20's up through the 50's. One of them is a Cadillac ad from the 40's, and shows a tank on the battlefield equipped with a Cad motor and Hydramatic. The ad line reads "Famous in peace-distinguished in battle-Cadillac-the standard of the world"-etc, etc. [I think they built a few tanks for the open road as well.]
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I think the 1959 Cadillac was heavier than any Army tank, yes, and probably more dangerous. But you DID notice it, that's true!
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    seeing a tank coming at them that looked like a 59 Cad's rear end-Hitler might have given up a lot sooner! Oh yeah-I still want to buy a '57 Chev Belair coupe-turqoise and white or red-with upgraded [350-350,etc] running gear. On topic, you know.
  • dranoeldranoel Posts: 79
    Have '57 Chevy prices peaked ? We are now 43 years past final production of the '57s. Most collector car prices eventually peak then flatten or fall off. That happened to the Ford Model "A" roadsters. My guess is we'll probably see it happen to the '57 Chevy within the next 5-10 years. What do you think ?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Oh, I think now that we're at the $60K mark for a super rare special optioned, over the top Belair Convertible that pretty soon people will jump up in bed one night and say "Hey, wait a minute...this is a Chevrolet! What am I doing here?"

    I think any mass-production, serially numbered car, American or foreign, does have a ceiling limit because there are so many of them around, but as far as rare, one-off cars or for cars where only a few examples remain, the price may continue to go up and up.
  • I don't know, I was channel surfing last weekend and caught part of the Scottsdale auction and saw someone pay $147k for a '53 Eldorado.
  • 20992099 Posts: 63
    I agree that classic car values are hard to gauge, but I think I know why the 50-60 musclecars, etc. are "hot" right now. Most of the people who grew up then could not afford a hemi-cuda or boss mustang or z-28 camaro...but now these same people have the means and that causes the demand and price for these cars to rise. Twenty or thirty years ago it was the same case for Model A's & T's which don't have the same value or demand today. I don't mean to include serious collectors or one-of-a-kind cars in this generalization, it's just my .02 worth. I do love 57 Chevys and may look for a "decent" restored one now that my two kids are out of college and married. (See what I mean!!) Great topic and great conference.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Yes, I think you're absolutely right. The value of old cars is determined ultimately by Supply and Demand, and so the people holding the checkbook bid up or neglect the prices as they choose. Of course, dealers and auctions try to artifically hype the demand with all sorts of propaganda, and this is why some people might think a Delorean is a valuable car. But once they try to sell it, they learn otherwise.

    Muscle cars are even more attractive because they put out some serious horsepower and are a kick to drive. More and more people these days want "classic" cars they can get out and drive, not store in a garage or trailer to a show. That gets old fast!
This discussion has been closed.