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From around 1956 until the mid 1980s, Dodge, Plymouth and even Chrysler squads were the most ubiquitous police cars in North America. In fact, the biggest department, the NYPD, used Plymouth and Dodge squads almost exclusively until the rear-drive M body car was finally axed in 1989.
The no-frills Savoy two-door sedan was home to another engine of considerable repute, the infamous 413 Max Wedge, a Super Stock monster block Chrysler introduced in the spring of 1962.
Classic Car Overview
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 2 Door Hardtop The Chevrolet Bel Air is one of the most recognized and beloved classics of all time. Its clean lines, tasteful trim and excellent proportions make for the 1957 version to be a favorite of the Tri-Five fan. The fins were just right, grille proportions correct, and it is undoubtedly the most desirable of the Tri group. For consignment the highest end car offered in the Tri-Five lineup is the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. This year it felt that it hit its mark right on the bullseye with the shapes and proportions. This beauty has undergone a recent fuel line and delivery system update, some new coil over shocks, and a new headliner. Some other upgrades for mechanical convenience and longevity, and all rust free right out of 1957 GM plant. Exterior Matador Red drapes the straight steel panels of this car, with a beautifully shined trim spear just below the belt line which flares into a larger panel on the rear quarter in stainless prior to ending abruptly on the rear fin. Speaking of trim, the remaining fender toppers, B pillar trim and window wraparound trim are all somewhat faded and dimpled with some slight rust within chromed and polished stainless condition. All paint is patina, dulled and has an abundance of areas where wear off has taken some of the paint off the metal, but not rusted. Wrap around glass for the front windscreen, and slightly on the rear create a passenger bubble with frames of chrome. In front we have the lower smiling grille wrapped in a wide curve above and a bumper below which curves around the front quarter. Within the center of this bumper/grille is a gold egg crate design correct for 1957. Single headlights for either side flank a curved down hood that sports twin chromed rockets jetting from the windshield. 14-inch standard Bel Air red rimmed and chrome trimmed wheel covers are on all 4 corners. Gaps are all minding their spaces between each other well, and steel is straight and rust free all around. Interior A more squared off dash instrument cluster for this year presents itself in red and has symmetrically placed round gauges embedded within it. Just below all this gauge cluster runs a band of screen chromed metal mesh, which houses all the knobs and pulls as well as the ignition. Moving along this mesh area, is a GM AM radio and some badging above the red matching lower dash band which houses the glovebox. Keeping going in that direction we see Bel Air badging in your grandmothers handwriting in gold and a rectangular inset clock...(very 50s!) Snazzy black insert with patio stone pattern and red bolster vinyl cover the front split back bench and rear bench. The front bench has a cover in it. Deep black carpet floods the floors and has some areas of fading showing on the passengers side. Shifting is done from the original tree topped with the red plastic and chrome horn ringed steering wheel. A few areas of paint wear off and slight plastic peel on the chromed surrounds on the dash are noted. Drivetrain All 1957 under this hood with a 235ci inline 6-cylinder with a 1-barrel carburetor atop. A 2-speed Powerglide transmission is on back along with a 3.36 gear ratio rear axle. Engine bay shows some nice aging with paint chipping, patina, and a new master cylinder. Undercarriage The frame and suspension are all solid on this car with an overall fine coating of surface rust. Floorpans look good and solid as do rockers with just more coating of surface rust, but totally structurally sound. Body hangers appear structurally sound near the mid rockers as does the frame. New disc brakes for the front, and rear drums have been recently installed as well as new lines. Bottom end of the engine is drip free and looks nice. A new fuel tank is mounted on back. Drive-Ability A quick starter, and after a short warmup it was off to the test track where this car performed well as we took it through the paces. A bit of excessive body roll when going into the turns, but good handling, good acceleration and a thumbs up to the brakes which worked very well. The radio proved inoperable, as was the speedometer which the consigner states the cable was damaged near the muffler, so it can be fixed. A good looker, and a cooker on the street, this very partially restored car with good mechanicals and maintenance. A few upgrades and new parts. A 1957 very desirable Bel Air with some work to be done, but its all rust free and all there for the taking. Just race on down to Classic Auto Mall and drive her away into the Matador Red sunset! Happy trails to you... VIN DECODE C57S217589 C-2400 Series BelAir 57-1957 S-St. Louis, MO Assy Plant 217589-Sequential Unit Number TRIM TAG STYLE NO 57 1037D-1957 Bel Air 2 Door Hardtop BODY NO S10653-St. Louis Body # TRIM NO 676-Black & Red Cloth & Vinyl PAINT NO 819D-Matador Red & India Ivory EZ1-Tinted Glass
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