1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Looks Like a Show Car, Has the Setup of a Dragster

Chevrolet Bel Airs are highly regarded cars in our day and age. The ones of the early generations, with their 1950s styling, often enhanced by custom work, are enough to get collectors' blood pumping and the money flowing.
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 12 photos
Photo: Mecum
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In the vast majority of cases the Bel Airs that do that are built to impress, showing up on the lots of various auctions or sales events as shiny, Concours condition machines that are meant to wow the crowds with their beauty more than with their road or track capabilities.

Even if most of the time they pack impressive engines under the hood, the Bel Airs doing the rounds today are mostly just for show. Not this one, though, an example specifically bred for racing down the strip in the quest for the best quarter-mile time.

That's immediately obvious thanks to the blower sticking out of the hood, the fat wheels at the rear, and the wheelie bar sticking out from between them.

The supercharger is placed on top of the 496ci Chevrolet engine that's hiding under the hood, pumping its power to undisclosed values, but clearly high enough to make the Bel Air a serious contender on the strip. An automatic transmission is tied to it for the perfect shifts.

The engine's power is sent to a set of Weld wheels that are wrapped in Mickey Thomson tires. We're not told how many times they spun before the Christmas tree, but they look used to the thrills of racing.

The interior is as drag-spec as you'd expect, with a pair of racing bucket seats in gray and red. The center console that separates them is fitted with switches and, closer to the dashboard, additional gauges.

A red roll cage wraps around the entire cabin to ensure proper protection against unwanted events. And so does the battery shut-off installed within easy reach.

For what it's worth the Bel Air's interior looks a lot more eye-friendly than what we're used to seeing from a drag car, and it's a perfect extension of the exterior. If it weren't for the blower and rear wheel setup, this would have been a show car Bel Air like so many others we get to see, flaunting a red and silver body with the perfect amount of flame detailing for anyone to see.

The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air in this configuration is listed for sale by Mecum during its Fall Special event taking place in early October in Indianapolis. The car is one of the stars of the event, but there is no mention of how much it is expected to fetch. We will of course keep an eye out for more details on that and report back if something worth mentioning happens.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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