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1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Has a Mysterious Racing Past, Hideous Square Headlamps

The second-generation Chevrolet Bel Air is a car of many layers. A design icon of the 1950s, the range-topping model of the Tri-Five line is gorgeous in just about any form. Whether restored to original specs or turned into a restomod with modern underpinnings, a 1957 Bel Air will most definitely take your breath away. This thing is so beautiful that will turn heads even as a junkyard wreck. And it might be just me, but I also love it as a gasser conversion.
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project 14 photos
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project1957 Chevrolet Bel Air gasser project
The Bel Air didn't get a lot of attention from drag racers when it first came out, but it became a popular choice when the gasser craze hit the U.S. in the 1960s. Many of them are still around in solid condition, but enthusiasts are still converting Bel Airs into dragsters five decades since gassers stopped being popular. The car you're looking at was put together sometime in the 1970s, but its racing past is rather mysterious.

Looking more like a project car rather than a full-blown gasser, this Bel Air recently surfaced the Interwebz looking for a new owner. The car is being advertised as a "vintage gasser" but the seller doesn't know much about it beyond the fact that it was converted in the 1970s.

If this is true, this black coupe morphed into a race car at a time when gassers were no longer in fashion. This means that either it wasn't raced or saw very limited time at the drag strip, most likely outside professional events. Whatever the case, the Bel Air is now just a shell with a rather ugly pair of square, quad headlamps.

Yup, someone went through the trouble of cutting out the area around the stock, round headlamps to make room for rectangular lights. And he wasn't happy with just one, he installed a pair of them on each side. To make matters worse, they're stacked. Seriously now, who would do such a thing?

But that's not the only issue with this 1957 Bel Air. The front clip is weirdly pointed downward. The seller explains that it has "been pinned on and bolted together to make a one-piece front end," adding that it will "need front support and possibly some other fastening as well." No doubt about it, especially since part of the floor and the firewall have been cut out as well.

The interior has also been stripped out. Yes, this car comes without seats, door panels, and a dashboard. It does have a roll cage, but it looks like it may need reinforcement to actually make a difference in the event of a crash.

But that won't happen anytime soon since this so-called gasser doesn't have a heart. Both the engine and the transmission are missing, with just a rear-end standing as proof that this Bel Air used to run at some point.

All told, we're looking at a stripped-off Bel Air body bolted onto a bare-bones chassis. It's not much, but at least there's not a lot of rust to worry about. It's something you could worth with if you're looking for a dragster project and it would probably make a cool rat rod too. Assuming you replace those hideous headlamps, of course.

Located in Tucson, Arizona, the Bel Air is being offered by eBay seller "73chargerse400" with a "buy it now" price of $4,000. It seems a bit expensive given the lack of everything, but there's the option to make an offer. Would you save this Bel Air shell?

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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