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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I did an introduction already but it was a few weeks ago and we were only looking for a car. As of yesterday, July 5th, 2013, that has changed. We took delivery of a 1957 Bel Air 2-Door Hardtop with a one-piece frame and one-piece bumper. It appears to be in outstanding condition. There is a hole in the trunk that looks like it was cut out. The passenger side door had repair work on it but I suspect it will require a new skin. I've pulled back most of the carpet and the floor looks great except for a few spots that appears to be surface rust. I have my fingers crossed that it truly is just on the surface. There are no through holes and the frame and braces appear terrific! The bumpers need new chrome or need to be replaced. The trim is all there and I intend to knock out the dents and polish.

What's the plan? It is all coming apart. The frame will get cleaned up and probably powder coated. All new suspension and disc brakes. The body will get completely cleaned up and I am going to repaint it myself. I am adding power windows, locks, trunk release, all new wiring, audio, air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, and a whole new interior that my wife and I plan to do ourselves.

One big unknown right now is the drivetrain. It currently has a 283 with a Powerglide. It is not original though. According to the VIN, it was originally a inline 6 cylinder. I am considering rebuilding but I have coworkers (one that builds and races dragsters) telling me it would be cheaper to toss in a 350 crate.

Here's the thing...my experience with all of this stuff is very limited. I installed LT headers and full exhaust on my 2011 Camaro. I installed a new audio setup in my 2005 Dodge Ram which included installing Dynomat onside the doors, running new speaker wire to all 4 doors, new speakers, amp, sub, and all. I also re-skinned all the seats with Katzkins. Oh yeah...I also installed Lambo door hinges on it. I've also been doing things like oil changes for years but that's it. I wanted a project and I think I have one.

I am very fortunate to have a very good job that has allowed me to build up the shop of my dreams. I have a roughly 1,400 sq ft space that has a workshop on one half and garage on the other. I installed a 4-post lift 1.5 years ago and I have been building a tool collection. I am ready to get started and I am going to try to document it the whole way as a way to payback (and pay forward) everyone that has helped (and will help) me get this far.

Here's some of the first pictures of our new toy!

A few Pics of the car.











In front of it's new home.



I got it on the lift for the first time.

 

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I've been watching this car for sometime on eBay. If it is a true laurel green 57 then is pretty rare two hardtop since they stopped painting them that color in December of 57. Also,the seat covers are rare as they are usually cut up. There were a few companies that supplied them at the time and worth checking to see if they are really gm accessories.
Crate motors are ok, easy ..for me something not off the shelf is cool and if that is the factory paint a rare motor would put this car over the top... Like you 283 with dual quads? Goodluck!
 

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Wonderful '57! Love the seat covers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone. I'm so excited to get working on this. I can't get enough of this site either.

I've been watching this car for sometime on eBay. If it is a true laurel green 57 then is pretty rare two hardtop since they stopped painting them that color in December of 57. Also,the seat covers are rare as they are usually cut up. There were a few companies that supplied them at the time and worth checking to see if they are really gm accessories.
Crate motors are ok, easy ..for me something not off the shelf is cool and if that is the factory paint a rare motor would put this car over the top... Like you 283 with dual quads? Goodluck!
Your car may still be out there. I don't believe this one was on eBay unless it was quite sometime ago. I don't believe the seller uses eBay for his business. I wouldn't rule out that he bought the car from eBay a long time ago though.
 

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Very, very nice car! You will have a ball with it! I was much like you having only done minor mods to newer vehicles before starting the full resto on my '56. So I had to learn everything, and I also decided to paint it myself. I'm looking forward to this build!

P.S. Please keep the 283. The cool factor is so much higher than a (in my opinion) boring run of the mill 350 crate motor! :anim_25:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone! Very short story...

I've been going to college for the better part of 20 years. I will graduate with my Bachelor's (with almost enough credits for 2 :) ) this December. Getting a project car was to be a graduation gift for my wife, daughter, and I. I won't have a lot of time to touch it between now and then. The thing is, I cannot wait!!!!

I can't help pulling it apart now. I just removed the door sills and lifted the carpet and there is barely any surface rust at all. The Rockers are as solid as my 2011 Camaro. Thanks for the encouragement and allowing me to share my enthusiasm.

Very, very nice car! You will have a ball with it! I was much like you having only done minor mods to newer vehicles before starting the full resto on my '56. So I had to learn everything, and I also decided to paint it myself. I'm looking forward to this build!

P.S. Please keep the 283. The cool factor is so much higher than a (in my opinion) boring run of the mill 350 crate motor! :anim_25:
I do want to keep the 283. I work with a bunch of gear heads. I talked to some before buying this car. One is telling me it's too expensive and I should get a crate, one wants me to sell him the 283/Powerglide, and the last wants me to put in some FI engine like an LS3. I love the LS3 in my Camaro so it would be nice but I don't have that kind of cash.
 

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doesn't get much better then a 2dr ht. congrats, have fun with it. nice pics and story, thanks for sharing. :tu
I think I would have driven it awhile before tearing it apart, it looks that good. my sig says how I feel. :anim_25:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
doesn't get much better then a 2dr ht. congrats, have fun with it. nice pics and story, thanks for sharing. :tu
I think I would have driven it awhile before tearing it apart, it looks that good. my sig says how I feel. :anim_25:
Thank! I considered driving it for awhile. I don't feel confident enough in it though without doing some things to it. The engine runs but (as expected from this type and vintage of motor) it likes to stall a lot. I would have to do a lot of tweaking. Also, it could use a brake job and I don't know if I want to put a lot of time and money into the drum brakes. Right now I'm just taking parts off and putting them back on to see where she's at.
 

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Aaron,

So cool that after all those years of working and going to classes to finish that degree that's it's all paying off for you now!

I am really looking forward to watching you go through the restore process with this car. It's also cool that this is going to be a learning process for you at the same time. I believe you really have the right attitude and the aptitude being a mechanical engineer.

As far as engine, the only advice I have is to consider one with fuel injection. Maybe find a 5.3L out of a late model pickup?

Roger
 

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Wow! this is a really nice car and a superb color combo! Hope you intend to keep those colors as there aren’t many of those around! Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow! this is a really nice car and a superb color combo! Hope you intend to keep those colors as there aren’t many of those around! Congrats!
I'm on the fence about the color. My wife can be quoted as saying, "it's ugly" and "they stopped using that color for a reason."

I like it but time will tell if it stays.
 

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I'm on the fence about the color. My wife can be quoted as saying, "it's ugly" and "they stopped using that color for a reason."
I like it but time will tell if it stays.
I wouldn't like the color for a restomod but would appreciate it in an all-original car that had the color from the factory.

But, color is pretty much a beauty is in the eye of the beholder thing. A very personal choice.
 
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