1957 Chevrolet Bel Air: Sweet, Smooth, and Sassy

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air: Sweet, Smooth, and Sassy

EngineV8Horsepower283 HP at 6200 rpmTorque393 Nm at 4400 rpmWeight3177 lbs | 1441 kgDrive TypeRearEngine LocationFront, longitudinalTransmission3-speed manual

In the post-war US, Chevrolet cars could not be compared with the expensive brands like Cadillac, Buick, or Oldsmobile. However, in the mid-1950s, GM decided to raise the brand’s reputation by introducing a relatively cheap model with excellent performance and a catchy design. And it was the Bel Air model.

Source: Hemmings

The 1950s are considered an era of technical innovations and bizarre designs that went far beyond human imagination. Historians explain this heyday as a result of economic recovery, liberation from generally accepted aesthetic canons, and the flowering of new youth culture of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” … There’s also an opinion that the car designs of that period, the activity of extraterrestrial civilizations and frequent “raids” of “flying saucers” were reflected … We can believe in any of these versions, but in case of mixing all the ingredients – Elvis Presley, rock and roll, leather jackets, drugs, “free love”, “Coca-Cola” and “flying saucers” – we will get the main “icon” of that era – the Chevrolet Bel Air.

The hot one!

Source: Auto Vercity

The model’s name, derived from the name of the most prestigious district of Los Angeles, appeared in Chevrolet catalogs in the early 1950 in the Styleline Deluxe Bel Air hardtop body car. In 1952, GM commissioned Chevrolet chief engineer Edward Cole to build an affordable supercar to win the hearts of Americans. The 1953 release still did not stand out from other GM models, but the foundation was laid for the construction of “that very” Bel Air, which became a legend. 1954 was marked with the introduction of a completely new V8 Turbo-Fire engine 265th (4.3l). In the same year, the model got power windows, power brakes, and an updated, stiffer suspension. In addition to the new Turbo-Fire engine, the suspension, brake system, and other important units had been improved. The most significant update was the design and comfort. “The Hot One !” – under such an advertising slogan, the new release came out in 1955. The 1955 model received an all-new design that enthusiasts loved. In the same year, the new V8 265th (4.3 l) “small block” was put on the conveyor. The engine turned out so well that it remained in production in various forms over the years.

The legendary 1957 release

Source: Pikabu

1957 was for Bel Air no less revolutionary in design and technical development than 1955. “Sweet, Smooth, and Sassy!” – claimed the advertisement. Bel Air 1957 was rightfully considered one of the most beautiful cars in the history of the American automobile industry and was put on a par with Cadillac 59. The 1957 Chevrolet was the brand’s most coveted classic vehicle and one of the top automotive collectibles. Its design was mesmerizing and did not leave anyone indifferent. The predatory grin of the radiator lining integrated into the front bumper, the unusual edging of the headlights, which were ventilation holes that provided cool air to the cabin, two chrome-plated rockets on the hood that replaced the usual “airplane”, a sloping molding line on the anodized aluminum sidewalls, emphasizing the bend upper body edges, pointed heels with chrome trim and a huge rear bumper with integrated reverse crescent tail lights – all this made the Bel Air a car with a phantasmagoric design of an alien spaceship from another galaxy.

Source: Drive2

The technical changes were also fantastic. For the first time, a fuel-injected engine was introduced. The former 265-cubic-inch “eight” was taken as a basis with an increase to 4638cm³ displacement, which was equipped with a Ramjet fuel injection system developed by the Rochester division of GM and finalized by engineers John Doltz, Donald Stoltman, and Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Dantov. It was developed for the Corvette sports car, but the company decided to send it to the masses, and it was added to the options for the Bel Air model. An alternative lightweight three-speed automatic Turboglide also was offered as a gearbox – the quietest one, by the way. Today hardtops and convertibles are especially appreciated by collectors and enthusiasts around the world.

Did you know?

Еven songs were dedicated to the legendary model of 1957. Billie Jo Spears sang in her famous “’57 Chevrolet” song: 

“The love we first tasted, the good love we’re still living

We owe it to that old ’57 Chevrolet.”

For more interesting car stories visit our Car Library section.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air: Sweet, Smooth, and Sassy

EngineV8Horsepower283 HP at 6200 rpmTorque393 Nm at 4400 rpmWeight3177 lbs | 1441 kgDrive TypeRearEngine LocationFront, longitudinalTransmission3-speed manual

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