Lot Number
71
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Fuel-Injected Convertible
The Auburn Auction

CHASSIS NO: VC57S299018
• Restored, very well-presented, and highly rare Chevrolet icon
• Top-of-the-line touchstone to Chevy’s 1950s racing program
• Excellent color combination; quality, well-kept older restoration
• Recently serviced and tuned with thorough attention to brakes

283 cid V-8 engine, Rochester mechanical fuel injection, 250 HP, 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”


Following the successful debut of Chevrolet’s small-block V-8 engine and new-for-1955 full-size models, styling was mildly updated for 1956 and again for 1957, with GM designers going all-out with jet fighter-inspired styling that continues as one of the best designs of the postwar era. 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 dual-carbureted unit conceived by Zora Arkus-Duntov in 1956, which powered Duntov, Betty Skelton, and John Fitch to speed records at Daytona Beach.

The small-block V-8 grew to 283 cubes for 1957 and turned the already strong Chevrolets into true “giant killers” on NASCAR ovals. Rochester fuel injection, developed by John Dolza, 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 Ed Cole’s promotion to Chevrolet general manager in 1956. He soon hired 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 shop at Nalley Chevrolet. There, Piggins developed the Black Widow racing cars for 1957 and wrote a detailed manual for dealers to 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, finished in Matador Red. Clearly continuing to benefit handsomely from a quality older restoration, this rare Bel Air ‘Fuelie’ features good paint and bright trim, a clean underside, and very good interior, plus good panel fitment, glass, and window felts and rubber seals. Recent work includes full service with fluids and filters changed, rebuilding of the brake master cylinder, replacement of all four-wheel cylinders, and repacked wheel bearings. Steeped in racing history and ready to show and enjoy, this fuel-injected 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible is a rare and highly attractive cornerstone of Chevrolet’s longstanding commitment to performance.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Fuel-Injected Convertible
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