• Rarely seen fuel-injected 1957 Chevrolet convertible
• Exceptionally well-documented – original vehicle order sheet, books and paperwork
• Restored and properly maintained
• A top-of-the-line touchstone to Chevrolet’s 1950s Factory Racing Program
• Built at Los Angeles and a longtime California-based example
• Well-equipped and striking in presentation throughout
283 cid V-8 engine, Rochester mechanical fuel injection, 250 HP, Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, power-assisted four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 115”
For much of its existence, General Motors’ high-volume Chevrolet Division produced sensible, value-rich automobiles, but all that changed with the debut of its restyled passenger car lineup for 1955. Handsome and well-equipped, the new Chevrolets boasted uncommonly beautiful styling overseen by Harley Earl and inspired by GMs’ Motorama dream cars. The all-new small-block V-8 engine, the work of Chevrolet Chief Engineer Ed Cole and his team, backed up the sizzle. Compact, lightweight, and powerful, Chevy’s new 265 cubic-inch mill quickly assumed legendary race-winning status and continued well into the 1990s.
Full-size Chevrolet styling was mildly updated for 1956 but, for 1957, GM designers went all-out with jet fighter-inspired styling that continues as one of the definitive automobile designs of the 20th Century. Chevrolet’s engineers maintained their momentum with constant development and upgrading of the of the small-block engine, from the Power Pack with its four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, through the 225-horsepower dual-carbureted unit conceived by Zora Arkus-Duntov in 1956, which powered Duntov, Betty Skelton, and John Fitch to many speed records at Daytona Beach.
The small-block grew to 283 cubes for 1957 and turned the already strong Chevrolets into true “giant killers” on NASCAR ovals. Developed by John Dolza, the Rochester mechanical fuel-injection unit provided precise fuel delivery and eliminated the usual fuel starvation and flooding normally encountered with carbureted engines. Rated output of the “Fuelie” was 250 horsepower with a hydraulic camshaft and Powerglide automatic transmission.
Another key development was the promotion of Ed Cole to general manager of Chevrolet in 1956. He acted fast, hiring Vince Piggins, the engineer behind Hudson’s former NASCAR dominance, and moved him to Atlanta where he organized SEDCO (Southern Engineering and Development Co.) as Chevy’s racing “Skunk Works” at Nalley Chevrolet. There, Piggins developed the all-out Black Widow racing cars for 1957 and wrote a detailed manual on how dealers could build their own. Despite the success of this effort, which included Buck Baker’s 1957 NASCAR Grand National championship, the AMA (American Manufacturers’ Association) racing ban halted Chevrolet’s overt and aggressive factory-backed racing program, which was forced underground but would continue its winning ways on a somewhat more limited basis.
A few fuel-injected Chevrolet road cars were built for ’57, with the $550 option price for the sophisticated induction system keeping build numbers low. This striking fuel-injected 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible is a top-of-the-line example that continues to benefit very nicely from the restoration it received roughly six years ago under the care of a prior owner. This "Fuelie" has enjoyed climate-controlled storage and care, plus limited, but regular driving, for optimal running order. Built at the Los Angeles Chevrolet assembly plant and sold new in California, it is incredibly well-documented with factory records and publications including the original dealer invoice, the original vehicle order sheet (completed in pencil), the original sale contract, and original service records, plus original manuals. In addition to its race-bred fuel-injection system, this iconic 1957 Bel Air convertible features excellent colors including handsome two-tone upholstery. Other highlights include a rare Powerglide automatic transmission, as most of these fuel-injected cars came with the manual transmission. Also included on this well-optioned car are power brakes and steering, a chrome tissue dispenser, a radio with twin rear antennae, among many others. Steeped in racing history and incredibly well-documented, this fuel-injected 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible is a rare and highly attractive cornerstone of Chevrolet’s longstanding commitment to performance. As offered, it is a true highlight of the Monical Collection.
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Fuel-Injected Convertible
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