1957 Chevrolet Bel Air El Camino Is a One-Off Build With Edelbrock Power

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air El Camino custom build 6 photos
Photo: Race Your Ride/YouTube
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air El Camino custom build1957 Chevrolet Bel Air El Camino custom build1957 Chevrolet Bel Air El Camino custom build1957 Chevrolet Bel Air El Camino custom build1957 Chevrolet Bel Air El Camino custom build
The two-door hardtop version of the Bel Air is the most desirable version of the Tri-Five lineup, but it's just one of six different body styles. Chevy also built four-door sedans, a convertible, and a couple of station wagons, the Nomad included. When the Bel Air was redesigned for the fourth generation in 1959, Chevrolet also introduced a two-door coupe utility model, the iconic El Camino. And I've always wondered what if Chevy had offered an El Camino based on the Tri-Five? This custom build answers that question.
This one-off El Camino started life as a 1957 Tri-Five wagon. The owner says that his dad cut the roof, leaving the trunk section exposed as a truck-like bed. To cover the seats, he then welded the back section of a four-door Tri-Five roof. And this is exactly what sets it apart from other Tri-Five El Camino projects.

While most of them have vertical rear windows/panels, this one boasts a sloping roof for a more stylish appearance. Making things that much more interesting, the rear window is shaped like a Chevrolet bowtie. It's an El Camino before Chevrolet actually built one.

Mods aren't restricted to just the bodywork. Instead of the original 4.6-liter small-block V8, this chopped pickup packs a 6.1-liter Edelbrock engine. The owner doesn't provide any details or numbers, but it's probably a crate engine that packs more oomph than the original.

The video doesn't show the engine running, but there's some interesting footage of the owner's other Bel Air. That would be a two-door hardtop turned dragster and fitted with an 8.1-liter V8 with Crower stack injection on alcohol and other race-spec upgrades.

The Bel Air does a 1/8-mile test run at 6.13 seconds to go with a trap speed of 112.2 mph (180.56 kph), but the owner says it can be quicker than that. His best benchmark so far on the 1/8-mile is 5.94 seconds at 117 mph (188.29 kph). He also ran his quickest quarter-mile in 8.98 clicks at 148 mph (238.18 kph). Impressive, to say the least!

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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