When the 1957 Bel Air went on sale, no one – not also Chevrolet – expected to make history. Rather, it became one of the landmark pictures in American popular culture; one of the most identifiable cars the world has ever known.
Today, automakers still hailstorm the 57 Chevy as a perfect instance of excellent design and terrific timing mixing.
What we call the 57 Chevy was actually 19 distinct models. All 19 designs were based upon a single frame or platform, the standard structure of the auto. The 1957 versions were the last year in that structure’s life. It had been the foundation for Chevrolet’s version line for the 55, 56 and 57 design years. The only other auto Chevrolet offered then was the Corvette.
Ford and Chrysler had all brand-new frameworks and styling for their 57 versions. They ought to have wiped the floor with the matured GM version, however Chevrolet outsold Ford by 126 autos in 1957. It offered 1,522,536 units of the different 57 Chevy designs and 6,339 Corvettes.
The best-selling 1957 model was the Two-Ten four-door sedan, with a base price of $2,174.00. The least pricey was the $1,885.00 One-Fifty Energy two-door car. The most pricey 1957 design was the Bel Air Wanderer two-door station wagon after a $2,757.00 base cost. It was Chevrolet’s lowest-selling design. Chevrolet sold just 6,103 Nomads that year, trailing the Corvette by 236 sales.
A few of the alternatives for that year consisted of, safety belt and a racing-style over-the-shoulder safety harness. Other choices consisted of a cells dispenser, electrical razor, wheel spinners, backup lights and a gas filter. The cars came in 16 solid shades and 15 two-tone mixes.
Many 57 Chevy’s featured a prism on the dashboard. It was planned to refract light from traffic signals so the motorist could inform when the light altered without discovering onward under the almost upright windscreen.
The automobiles featured an option of seven engines; a conventional 235.5 cubic-inch 140-hp straight-six; 162-hp 265 cubic-inch V8, and eight variations of the 283 cubic-inch V8 after energy varying from 185 to 283 horse power. The 57 Chevy was the initial American car after gas shot. The optional 283 cubic-inch fuel-injected V8 created 283 horsepower. It was the 2nd American engine to establish one horse power per cubic inch of displacement, coming a year after the 355-hp 354 cubic-inch Chrysler Hemi.
Ten assembly plants constructed the 57 Chevy Household: Atlanta, Baltimore; Flint; Janesville, Wis.; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Norwood, Ohio; Oakland, Calif., St. Louis, and Tarrytown, N.Y.
Many developers and auto enthusiasts claim they believe the 1955 Chevy was the finest looking design, yet the 57 design year brought a lot more determined tailfins, bullet-shaped bumper protectors, bombsight hood accessories and various other components that gave the bargain-priced Chevrolet simply sufficient zing to get customers’ fancy.
The 57 Chevy had design, the buzz born of competing excellence and demographics on their side. They got on the used-car market equally as early child boomers got motorist’s licenses and went seeking affordable wheels.
The 57 Chevy symbolized the spirit of Chevrolet, terrific looking, groundbreaking and cost effective.