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Showcase cover image for limey57's 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Sedan

General Information

Year
1957
Make
Chevrolet
Model
Bel Air Sport Sedan
In the garage is my 57 Sport Sedan. I always wanted an American classic, ever since family holidays as a boy in Norfolk in the 60s. It was full of USAF bases and the airmen would bring their cars over for a tour of duty, then swap them for MGs or Jags which they would then take home, leaving their Chevys, Fords and Pontiacs behind. The sight of these monsters crawling the narrow Norfolk lanes has never left me.

I owned various British-made substitutes (Fords, Vauxhalls, Rovers, Humbers, Hillmans), until eventually a modest inheritance (thanks Grandma) allowed me to look for the real thing. Originally I bought a boat, but lack of chance to use it made up my mind to fulfil my lifelong ambition to own fins 'n' chrome.

I settled on a tri five because of the styling (was it ever bettered?), the parts availability, and the fact that it will actually fit in my real garage - a consideration here in the UK where a standard garage is 6 feet by 18 feet, so ruling out a 59 Sedan de Ville or pretty much anything later than 1958.

These cars rarely come up for sale over here, and this one was probably in better condition (read: more expensive) than I really set out to buy, but I saw it and ... you all know how the story goes.

I am the third owner in the UK. It came in from Arkansas in 2003 at which time it was single tone green. From what I can find out, the authentic two-tone scheme would be light green for the roof. I like the ivory roof though, it suits the car.

Last June I, my brother Mark (himself a '56 model) and my two teenage sons drove the Chevy to Vasteras in Sweden for the Power Big Meet. It was a fantastic, 1650 mile road trip. Everyone said we were crazy to attempt it in a 51 year old car, but we kept the faith and were rewarded ... the only problem we had was a rear light bulb that worked loose, fixed in 30 seconds. Four up (none of us is small, we proably weigh 800 pounds between us) and with a boot (trunk) full of camping gear, at 55-60 mph, we averaged almost 22 mpg (imperial that is).

This spring I have fitted (or to be exact, had fitted) a modern power steering pump set up (thanks Jalapeno) and also repaced all the front suspension bushings, and it now drives a lot like the boat I had before! Just kidding - I love this car and my only regret is not buying it, or one like it, years ago.

One day I would like a modded 55 2 door post or wagon, but that will only happen when I can afford, and store, both. I can't imagine ever parting with this car.

Gallery

Comments

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19 Posts
Great Looking car. I think about selling my 57 once in a while, then I think, what would I replace it with. Therefore, I don't think I'll sell mine anytime soon. Keep on ridin, Harry
 
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