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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys/Gals,

I am working on a 57 Bel-Air hardtop and looking for some ideas. I have a general idea of what I'm going for, which is a 60's style ride with a few minor saftey upgrades, but would really like to know what an early 60's ride would look like to you.
A description of what you think is a must to be period correct would be nice, and pics of anything you've seen would be even better.
Being that I am only 35 years old, I didn't have the pleasure of the experince myself but hope to cature the era in the build.

Thanks in advance,
KK
 

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Hey Guys/Gals,

I am working on a 57 Bel-Air hardtop and looking for some ideas. I have a general idea of what I'm going for, which is a 60's style ride with a few minor saftey upgrades, but would really like to know what an early 60's ride would look like to you.
A description of what you think is a must to be period correct would be nice, and pics of anything you've seen would be even better.
Being that I am only 35 years old, I didn't have the pleasure of the experince myself but hope to cature the era in the build.

Thanks in advance,
KK
I like to think of my 56 as an "Old School" mild custom of the early 60's... Click onto belairdave's garage for a few more pics... Later, Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dave. I've had looked at your car several times already and it is really a sharp ride. :tu

I'm looking for more specific touches that make a period correct car. Anything like finned valve covers, a tach being on the dash board, slotted mags, tuck & roll interior or anything in between. It can be a very minute detail that you remember from that time that I'm looking for.
I know the reigon you were born in would reflect different styles (just like it does now) but all suggestions are welcome.


Thanks again,
KK
 

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This is the back seat thats in the 56 I just got.I have no idea how long its white tuck & roll has been on it.
Unfortunately it didnt come w/a front seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is the back seat thats in the 56 I just got.I have no idea how long its white tuck & roll has been on it.
Unfortunately it didnt come w/a front seat.
That is too bad. The back looks really nice.
I'm thinking of doing the all white interor (just like that), but not sure how hard the white vinyl is to keep clean.
Does anyone here know?
 

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That is too bad. The back looks really nice.
I'm thinking of doing the all white interor (just like that), but not sure how hard the white vinyl is to keep clean.
Does anyone here know?
If you wear jeans, and most folks do of one brand or another, the blue will wear off them and on to the seats. Beyond that, the material will wipe clean with just about any of the good products made for it.
 

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That is too bad. The back looks really nice.
I'm thinking of doing the all white interor (just like that), but not sure how hard the white vinyl is to keep clean.
Does anyone here know?
Mind you the seat in my windowed Delivery was not covered in it, but the rest of interior was white vinyl. I made the door & side panels myself in 1981. Up till last month, the interior was white.

I think at least 5 times in the past 29 years I dyed the panels to keep them looking nice.
 

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It should be lowered in the front for early 60's, but raised to a gasser stance by the mid-60's. Wide whites for the early 60's like I have mine. Reversed steel wheels painted black with a baby moon caps. Mild reworked engine, three 2's or 2x4 etc. and 4 speed floor shift, tach on the column. Full tuck and roll of course if you had the money.





 

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Hey Guys/Gals,

I am working on a 57 Bel-Air hardtop and looking for some ideas. I have a general idea of what I'm going for, which is a 60's style ride with a few minor saftey upgrades, but would really like to know what an early 60's ride would look like to you.
A description of what you think is a must to be period correct would be nice, and pics of anything you've seen would be even better.
Being that I am only 35 years old, I didn't have the pleasure of the experince myself but hope to cature the era in the build.

Thanks in advance,
KK
Here's one you probably havn;t heard of, Back then, before stereo, we used to have a "reverb" unit installed in the trunk. It was a metal box with a spring in it, and somehow, it simulated the big auditorium sound. The funny thing was if you drove over a bump it would twang. I also had 14 inch wheels on the front and 15's on the back, with the back jacked up. I couldn;t afford craigers so I had baby moons on it. If you had full hubcaps,and say your car was blue, you would have the wheels painted red so there was a red line around the hubcap. I also had tootsie roll headrests attached to the back of the seats. I grew up in Detroit and graduated in 67 Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
CJS, I hope that mine turns out half as nice as yours. Really like the looks if it.

Pistoncan, I don't know about having a reverb unit in there, but that's the kind of wierd, unheard of stuff I'm looking for. I surely don't want a twang when I hit a bump. lol Plus I'm hoping you can't hear a radio over the engine.
The different color on the wheels is a neat idea, I might use that one if I run full caps on it.

Thanks for the tips so far, and if anyone else comes up with anything, don't be shy.
 

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I'm sitting in my office reading this and looked up at a photo of my deceased older brother, standing in front of his 55. The picture is taken around 1965. The 55 is jacked up at all 4 wheels, it's in dark gray primer with no front bumper and the front license plate wired onto the grill. The most remarkable thing about his car is the installation of the teardrop bubble hood scoop. Just about everyone here in NY had one of these on their cars back then. Sorry I don't have a scanner cause I would love to post this photo of my Brother (about 17 years old at the time) with his white muscle T shirt, tight jeans and sneakers and his big pompodor hair cut. A true greaser- John Millner look alike:cool:.

Don
 

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I started driving in the mid-60's.
My 57 hardtop was bright red with 5 spoke mags or black wheels with baby moons.
It had air shocks and shackles in the back as well as 60 series tires.
No front bumper and was raised in the front but not as high as the rear.
Inside,I had 12" red metalflake steering wheel with a tach on the column.
64 Chevy bucket seats and a 4 speed Muncie on the floor.No console.
The upholstery was red rolled and pleated everywhere except the headliner was the original vinyl.Red carpet.
The latest thing was an 8-track player I mounted under the dash.I used a Budweiser beer tap handle for a shifter.
The engine was a 283 bored to a 292,with TRW pop-up pistons.Holley 650.I don't remember the cam or heads,but it was a pretty high compression engine.
Hard to get a 327 back then and a 350 was just a dream!
And,I had a chain made of beer pull-tabs hanging on the inside mirror!:D
Mike.:)
 

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One of my best friends in high school('63-66) had a '57 convert his senior year. He had 14" chrome reversed rims on the front and 15" on the back, converted the 3-spd column shifter to a floor mount, Fenton conversion if I remember right. He also had an under dash 8 track with an auxillary reverb unit...remember the "twang" well:) he also jacked up the backend with shackle bars...low in front, high in the back was the "in" thing here back then. He also had Cal Custom finned valve covers and a Chrome air cleaner on the 283. We drove to Nogales, MX during spring break our senior year and he had the interior tuck & rolled at an upholstery shop there with "genuine Naughahyde"(who knows?) for $125 US dollars in turquoise and white, the car was the same color. What a road trip!:)
Oh yeah he also put in a dash mounted Sun tach and a three gauge cluster under the dash, SW?...(he worked hard for every dime he put in that car)
Last time I saw the car was in '67 when I came home from California, where I was going to college, on Christmas break. He later wrapped the car around a telephone pole one winter night driving drunk, he survived but was pretty messed up and it effected him for the rest of his life. We kept in touch over the years and he passed away about 10 yrs ago. He was a character...:)
 

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Got my drivers license in '65. If i could have afforded this car the hood and trunk lid would have been shaved, blacked out grille, paint would have been competition orange, wheels would be American 5 spokes with big 'n little black walls, dumped a couple inches in the front, raised an inch or so in the back, with a couple of nice chrome tips exiting under each side of the bumper.

Interior would have been black tuck n' roll with black carpet, a Sun tack on the dash, SW auxiliary gauges under the dash, chromed window moldings and a black rimmed Covico steering wheel.

Mechanicals would have been a 327, bored .60 over, decked, align bored and balanced with fuelie heads and some type of a way to radical camshaft and a Muncie 4 speed with Hurst shifter. Carburation would been three deuces. Exhaust would have been headers with twin glass packs.
 

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One of my best friends in high school('63-66) had a '57 convert his senior year. He had 14" chrome reversed rims on the front and 15" on the back, converted the 3-spd column shifter to a floor mount, Fenton conversion if I remember right. He also had an under dash 8 track with an auxillary reverb unit...remember the "twang" well:) he also jacked up the backend with shackle bars...low in front, high in the back was the "in" thing here back then. He also had Cal Custom finned valve covers and a Chrome air cleaner on the 283. We drove to Nogales, MX during spring break our senior year and he had the interior tuck & rolled at an upholstery shop there with "genuine Naughahyde"(who knows?) for $125 US dollars in turquoise and white, the car was the same color. What a road trip!:)
Oh yeah he also put in a dash mounted Sun tach and a three gauge cluster under the dash, SW?...(he worked hard for every dime he put in that car)
Last time I saw the car was in '67 when I came home from California, where I was going to college, on Christmas break. He later wrapped the car around a telephone pole one winter night driving drunk, he survived but was pretty messed up and it effected him for the rest of his life. We kept in touch over the years and he passed away about 10 yrs ago. He was a character...:)

I can only speak from my experience which started in 1970 with a '55 Chevy owned by the brother of a girl I liked in school.

Your friend's '57 sounds a lot like how I built my first car starting in 1972. My Hardtop had been used as a parts car. The first time I saw it, half the 235 6 cylinder someone installed......... was in the trunk. :eek:
My dad asked the owner how much to make the engine run and was told $50. Making the total cost of the car $150.
Someone had painted the dash silver. To make it look like chrome I guess????
There were "Hang Ten" feet decals on both quarter windows. (they were one of the first things I got rid of, when the car finally came to my house)
It had one aftermarket extended shackle on the pass side, and the original factory shackle on the driver side. I guess whoever did the aftermarket install didn't know it is 100% possible to remove and install the factory shackles with the body still on the frame and gas tank filler neck still in place.
The car had two non-Chevy hub caps on the front and silver painted stock wheels on the back with no hub caps.
The front seat was an original '55 Chevy bench seat. Cause the guy my car came from kept the factory bench seat out of my car for his '55 since my car came with a factory power bench seat. (wish now I'd have insisted the factory seat go with the car, or no deal on buying it)

I wanted the car to have a 327, headers, 4-speed, Cragar S/S mags, bucket seats, traction bars, and a few other things I'd been exposed to I liked. And that's pretty close how the car was.

I also later found out the guy my parents bought the car from, paid $15 for it himself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm sitting in my office reading this and looked up at a photo of my deceased older brother, standing in front of his 55. The picture is taken around 1965. The 55 is jacked up at all 4 wheels, it's in dark gray primer with no front bumper and the front license plate wired onto the grill. The most remarkable thing about his car is the installation of the teardrop bubble hood scoop. Just about everyone here in NY had one of these on their cars back then. Sorry I don't have a scanner cause I would love to post this photo of my Brother (about 17 years old at the time) with his white muscle T shirt, tight jeans and sneakers and his big pompodor hair cut. A true greaser- John Millner look alike:cool:.

Don
Don, I appreciate the post. I would have liked to see the picture myself.
Even though the teardrop was more of a Ford thing, I like them on most other cars as well.

Thanks again,
KK
 

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'55 with 60's mild custom look:

 

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Love that light blue 55 2 dr post custom! One of the few tri-fives with customizing to the body and interior that actually works as well or better than stock.
 

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Love that light blue 55 2 dr post custom! One of the few tri-fives with customizing to the body and interior that actually works as well or better than stock.
Have to agree CJ.....IMHO, Less is better on a TriFive.
 
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