1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Hides Supercharged Surprise Under the Hood, Sounds Mean

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air restomod 6 photos
Photo: WhipAddict/YouTube
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air restomod1957 Chevrolet Bel Air restomod1957 Chevrolet Bel Air restomod1957 Chevrolet Bel Air restomod1957 Chevrolet Bel Air restomod
The Chevrolet Bel Air is one of the most desirable classics out there, but with millions of cars built from 1955 to 1957, it's not exactly rare.
The Sport Coupe versions are arguably the most sought-after and you'll find them in just about any form nowadays. From rusty, abandoned models to fully restored or restomod versions.

Unlike the two-door Sport Coupe, the Nomad wagon is actually a rare gem. That's because Chevrolet made fewer than 22,000 of them over three model years. But while the Sport Coupe and the Nomad get all the attention from Tri-Five enthusiasts, the two-door convertible is often forgotten.

And I think that's a shame because the styling of the Tri-Five, especially in the fancier Bel Air trim, works great with the drop-top layout. The 1957 variant is particularly pretty in this layout, thanks to its long rear deck and sharp fins. And let's face it, it's the perfect classic for the summer, especially if it comes with the 283-cubic-inch V8 under the hood.

But if an original, 1950s small-block isn't powerful enough for you, you can always take the same route as Kaotic Speed, the shop that dropped a supercharged LSA under the hood of this black 1957 Bel Air. Yes, I'm talking about 6.2-liter V8 that General Motors introduced in 2009 in the Cadillac CTS-V.

Rated at a whopping 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet (747 Nm) of torque thanks to a 1.9-liter supercharged, it was Cadillac's most powerful mill at the time. The engine also found its way into the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in 2012 and then into the Holden Commodore-based HSV GTS in 2014.

The mill was retired in the U.S. at the end of the 2015 model, while Australian production continued until 2017. The LSA was also offered as a crate engine with the same performance figures as in the CTS-V and Camaro ZL1, but it has since been discontinued.

This Bel Air is most likely fitted with a crate unit, but it doesn't really matter, to be honest. What matters here is that it packs a lot of oomph and that it sounds quite dramatic when the gas pedal hits the floor.

And even though the modern wheels are a solid hit that this Bel Air isn't stock, I'd say it still is a sleeper given the lack of other obvious upgrades and the unassuming black paint.

All told, I don't know what classic convertibles you're into, but a 1957 Bel Air with a beefed-up V8 under the hood is my dream ride. Perhaps in a different color because I'm not a fan of dark hues, but I can live with black as long as there's a blower under the hood. What's your favorite summer ride? Let me know in the comments section/

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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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