November 24, 2017

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

Posted on March 11, 2011 by in Classic Rides

Car Logo Photo

Last Sunday I took a drive down Hwy 6 and spoke to a fellow named Norman Johnson who owns this pristine example of the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air two-door hardtop. This car is a custom version of the original with many modern upgrades and unusual custom features. Starting at the front this yellow beauty features the grill out of a 1956 Buick that looks like many chrome teeth. Under the hood sits a 383 cubic inch stroker motor pushing over 450+ horsepower with (Nitrous Oxide) enhancement. The engine bay has lots of chrome and stainless jewelry that gleam in the sunlight. The side flow radiator and its components are stainless steel while the engine itself is an assortment of chrome and stainless pieces. Behind the engine is a 350 turbo automatic transmission with a 2500 rpm stall converter. The rear end is geared at 3.50.1 to transfer the engine’s abundant power to the pavement. The exterior door handles and the trunk latch have been shaved and now the doors and trunk open with electronic locks. There is a custom designed billet dash with an Ididit steering column and billet steering wheel and door sills. It has a Dakota digital dash that displays all of the necessary information to inform the driver how this yellow [Show-n-Go] Chevy is running. The front bucket seats are from a 1971 Mitsubishi and the rear seats are out of a 1968 Chevy Camero. There are custom consoles both front and rear on this interior and overhead it features stainless steel 1957 Pontiac Roof Bars that add a touch of class to the light gray roof material. The beautiful tail fins of the 57 Chevy Bel Air are brightly chromed and two chrome slash cut exhaust tips protrude out from under the rear bumper. The driver’s side two radio antenna’s have been “Frenched” into the fender just behind the door and the Texas antique car license plate that has been “Frenched” into the trunk. This custom 57 features front disc brakes and 17” American Racing Mag wheels. The overall stance of the car has been lowered for that low sexy look. Mr. Johnson said that he has been working on this beauty for six years. He has won three awards at 2010 car shows. This car is scheduled to be featured in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Houston on March 12th. I appreciate all of the hard work that Norman Johnson and his lovely wife have put into this Classic Ride and I hope you enjoyed viewing it too. On the way to photograph this car I spotted a 1957 Chevy Two-Door body, sans engine, all ready for paint for sale on the side of the road. I wonder if the Boss will sponsor it if I have, “Read the Santa Fe Good News Magazine” emblazoned across each side of the tail fins? Hmmm!Known as one of the Tri-5’s, the 1957 Chevy’s styling looks to me like someone took a right triangle and tried to draw a car with very few curves. Tail fins were in vogue and this year Chevrolet was right on the money in their design. Considered a classic design, this tail finned beauty set the standard in automobile design for many years afterwards. The 1957 Chevy as it was called was first introduced to the publicin September 1956, two months before I was born. It was available in three different series; the Bel Air, the 210, and the 150 series. The famed and highly sought after Nomad two door wagons were produced in a Bel Air trim package. There was also a limited upscale edition called the Delray available at extra cost.The 57 model had an entirely different dashboard, sealed cowl, and the relocation of air ducts to the headlight pods, which resulted in the distinctive chrome headlights that helped make the 57 a classic. The 57 had fourteen inch wheels that caused it to have a lower stance that 55 and 56 models and a wide grill that made it look wider in the front. The famous 1957 Chevrolet tail fins were also designed to make the car look wider in the rear. The V-shaped trim on the tail fins were filled with a ribbed aluminum insert exclusive to the Bel Air. The driver’s side tail fin had a chrome section that opened to allow access to the gas tank. I recall as a child, my mother had to call my older brother to get him to tell her how to put gas in the car because the service station attendant didn’t know where to put it and neither did she. Of course that’s back when a lady wasn’t supposed to know how to put gas in a car because no gentleman would ever allow such a thing. Till next time make sure to either refurbish that classic sitting out in the hayfield behind your grandpa’s barn or at least advertise it in the Santa Fe Good News Magazine and we’ll sell it to someone who can make it a Classic Ride.

Juniors Boy

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