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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There was an ad in the paper for a 1957 Chevy Belair 4 door Sport sedan (hardtop) for $13,000.00 or best offer. I was hoping to see the car this weekend but the seller was not available. This is a Montana car so rust is not as big of a problem as it might be is some areas. I am not an expert but I do know how to decipher the VIN. The seller assures me that this is a factory original car with the exception that it has an older paint job. According to the seller this is equipped with 283, 4 barrel, 4.10:1 posi, 3 speed on the column with overdrive, dual exhaust with power pack. The engine has the old oil bath air cleaner and the original generator. The interior is reported to be tearing at the seams but otherwise ok - good original headliner. The owner did tell me that there is minor rust but that all the floor pans and trunk were fine. No radio, which I find odd but is no problem as one of my other hobbies is antique radio restoration and I have all the parts to repair any old 57 Chevy radio that I might find on the web. My question is that if this car is as it is claimed to be, is $13,000 a good buy? The car has been in storage for 20 years so I know that I will have to replace the tires, go through the breaks, replace and repair a number of things. So by the time I'm confident that the car is restored back to driving condition (body work and paint not included) I will be into the car another $3,000.00 (just a guess). I want something to drive and not a prize winner. Not planning on Frame-Off restoration just further rust prevention where possible. Is $16,000.00 too much? I know it is kind of a dumb question because I really don't know yet if the description is accurate but let's assume it is. Thank You
 

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Hard to say without pics but I think closer to half the asking price is more realistic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hard to say without pics but I think closer to half the asking price is more realistic.
I've seen a few in the price range you are suggesting but they have been awful. I am not disagreeing with you at all and appreciate your help but I’ve been looking off and on for several years and have never seen anything for $6500.00 that wasn’t a mess. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places or that it was just hopeful thinking that this car would be the ONE. I still might take a peek at this car next weekend and if I do I will post some pictures. The owner did say “or best offer” Thanks again for your advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's TOO much, even for a 2dr. Look around more.
Looks like you are on the same page as hep1966 and I will keep looking. It just seems like the 4d Sport Sedans (hardtops) are hard to find up here. 2d are more plentiful but seem to be more expensive. Thanks Again.
 

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57 Sports Sedans are rarer than the sport coupe for two reasons. First is they made about 30,000 less sports sedans than sport coupes. Second is lots of sport coupes have been saved, not many sport sedans have been saved. However, no matter the facts of rarity, the sport coupes demand a higher price. I do think that $13,000 is probably too high of a price, but if the car is truely original with no missing parts and minor rust then it might not be.

I purchased my 57 sport sedan for $8000.00 with 2-3 year old paint and interior. I like the sport sedan as it is easy to take my grandkids and others crusin' with lots of room in the back seat!

Post some photos so we can see what it really looks like. If possible put it on a rack and check the undercarriage and floor pans for rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Texnet - Your car is beautiful and exactly what I am looking for and for the same reasons! I really love the body style and all my friends are older so 4D is much easier on the joints. You really got a beauty. Did you have to do much to the car or was it truly road worth at the selling price?
 

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That is just not realistic. As the PO said the cars he's seen and the cars I've seen in the 6500price range are not drive able. If you can get em for that price you better jump on it. Besides that, any car is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Once again, be realistic, these cars are getting more scarce every day. If you see it and like it and have the money, do it.
At 13K I would expect it to need nothing and be a turn key, clean rust free very nice car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Please help me to understand. I believe everyone that has responded to my thread is being reasonable and helpful and I truly appreciate all of your replies. What I am trying to get my head around is that everywhere I look, the cars I find are nothing but junk in the price ranges suggested by the replies. I am not new to classic Chevy’s as my 1st car (purchased in 1967) was a "57 210". I also collect and restore antique radios and I am an avid gun collector of both new and antique firearms. I understand from my other hobbies that small nuances can make a huge difference in the selling price. My point being that I’m not new to collecting and sort of know how to browse through the web. My questions are; what am I doing wrong and where do I start looking? I do not want to make a mistake and know from experience to listen to the advice of others. I am 64 and don’t want to wait until I’m too old to enjoy the car. However I don’t want to be a fool either. Where do I start looking? Thanks to all of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
BAMILLER

Beautiful car, and the body style I've always wanted because of the great roof lines. I believe the owner of the car I'm interested told be that it was yellow and white like yours.
 

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pics would help to get a better idea of price. a nice driver (4dr ht) probable is in that price range. paid about that much for my 57 (not a ht) and needed nothing. it is a buyers market. :anim_25:
 

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That is just not realistic. As the PO said the cars he's seen and the cars I've seen in the 6500price range are not drive able. If you can get em for that price you better jump on it. Besides that, any car is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Once again, be realistic, these cars are getting more scarce every day. If you see it and like it and have the money, do it.
Hardtop or not, it is a 4 door car!
I didn't say the car was worth 6500, I said it should be a very nice car for 13K
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hardtop or not, it is a 4 door car!
I didn't say the car was worth 6500, I said it should be a very nice car for 13K
I understand and certainly have not quibble with your reply. I'm just trying not to make a mistake and really do appreciate your opinion. I know that 2D hardtops are the most desirable for most but I have always liked the roof line of the 4 door sport sedan (hardtop). Plus being older and my friends the same it makes it a little easier to get in and out of. I want my next 57 to be a driver and not a show car but I agree the showerer the better! I'm just trying to gather opinions from other 57 owners. I've learned to listen to others and weigh their opinions. Thanks
 

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If a 4 door hardtop is what you really like, then... I say go for one. This said, it's been my experience those "middle" cars can in the long run cost you more depending on what you end up doing. You said there were some minor rust issues... be aware.. "minor" can cost you much more than you might think to get fixed. 13K isn't a terrible price... but... Generally speaking it costs about 3x's more to do one of these cars than you figure going in... just say'n..
 

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do not worry about what other people say if you like it grab it .i would snap it up in a heart beat if i did not have my 4 door,and i have also found while i have been hanging with other car enthusiasts they do not give a dam how many doors it has they just love cars,it seems just the tri 5ers worry about the doors[probably because they wre family cars back in the day ]
 

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regardless of what price you settle on, you need to poke around for rust areas. Corners at front fl'r pans. Rear truck areas. Rockers bothin and out. Door bottoms. You a small pick to get thru any undercoating if there is any. Everybody says a little rust mmmm Little rust where?

Body mounts are they in good shape. Check for bondo covering rust. Pic' of the redo is always a good thing. A nearly perect car in a four door HT could be worth maybe 18 to 20 K. Four doors just don't get the price that 2 dr's bring in the same condition.

It cost he same or more to rebuild or upgrade either car. Without looking at the car from description above you will put 6 to 8 K in the car.

I am rebuilding a 2dr, it aint cheap o make them rust free. Change most everything out.

Just some of my thoughts
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I agree with everything every one said about rust. I have had two 4Ds before so I am familiar with a rust problem even in our dry Montana climate. Rust doesn't bother me too much except if it affects the integrity of the car. If it is (as I hope) a minor problem then I have a good body shop that can help me repair and prevent further damage. I know that almost any 50+ year old car is going to have some rust problems. Both of my previous 57’s had rust problems but I was able to stop more damage myself and drove it as my daily driver for many years. It was well known at my office and Ski Hill (yes, I drove it winter and summer). Most people in town just referred to it as the “blue 57”. My son still drives it on the Marine Base in NC. The car has a lot more rust now but is drivable. That being said my whole point of this thread is that I do not want to make a foolish purchase and most of the replies indicate that the asking price is too much. If this is so, then where in the world do I start looking for more modesty price 4D hardtop?
 

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I am sending you a pm.
I agree with everything every one said about rust. I have had two 4Ds before so I am familiar with a rust problem even in our dry Montana climate. Rust doesn't bother me too much except if it affects the integrity of the car. If it is (as I hope) a minor problem then I have a good body shop that can help me repair and prevent further damage. I know that almost any 50+ year old car is going to have some rust problems. Both of my previous 57’s had rust problems but I was able to stop more damage myself and drove it as my daily driver for many years. It was well known at my office and Ski Hill (yes, I drove it winter and summer). Most people in town just referred to it as the “blue 57”. My son still drives it on the Marine Base in NC. The car has a lot more rust now but is drivable. That being said my whole point of this thread is that I do not want to make a foolish purchase and most of the replies indicate that the asking price is too much. If this is so, then where in the world do I start looking for more modesty price 4D hardtop?
 

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Texnet - Your car is beautiful and exactly what I am looking for and for the same reasons! I really love the body style and all my friends are older so 4D is much easier on the joints. You really got a beauty. Did you have to do much to the car or was it truly road worth at the selling price?
When I purchased my 57 the seller wanted $15,000. No way was it worth that so I offered $7500. He wouldn't take that but he delivered it to me for $8k. He was about 1.5 hours away so I accepted!

The car had been repainted twice in its life. It was originally like Bill's car (bamiller). The first time it was painted, not sure when that was, it appears they did a great job and painted it bright red. The guy I purchased it from had painted the car in the last 4-5 years and he did a good job, but not a great job as he left most of the trim on. It is a custom metal flake paint job, dark red base then clear with heavy metal flake mixed in. The interior is fine, it was replaced a few years ago and shows a little wear but I am good with it.

He had overhauled the original 283 and powerglide but they didn't last but about 300 miles after I got it. I think the car had been sitting for a while and he didn't break in the cam properly so it lost 4 lobes in 300 miles and the pg started to slip. I overhauled the 283 and installed a 700R4.

A few things I have done just to make it a nicer car: Repainted the dash, polished the dash trim, rebuilt the gauge cluster, installed a aftermarket radio, new (used) spare tire well, new tires, new wheels, new inside mirror, new wiring harnesses (others were ok but brittle), front disc brakes, power brakes, new trunk mat, new exhaust, new grill, new grill bar, replaced most of the outside chrome and have all the parts to replace the rest of the chrome. The side molding needs a few dents removed.

Things left to do: Replace a couple of body supports, install new weatherstripping, install rest of the chrome, straighten a few pieces of stainless and detail a few items.

I have spent another $10k on the car and am very happy with it. Some may say I will never get my money back out of the car but that is NOT what I bought it for!!! I bought it because I wanted a 57 and I am happy! My wife and I have driven it about 1100 miles since I installed the new engine and drive train and that has been in just a couple of months.

If you like the sport sedan that you have located then I say GO FOR IT!!! but try to get it as cheap as you can because you will put a lot more money in it!

Sorry this was so long :anim_25:
 
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