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1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Was Stuck in a Barn for 37 Years, Original Engine Still Runs

A design icon of the 1950s, the Tri-Five-based Chevrolet Bel Air is now among the most desirable classics from that era. The two-door coupes and the Nomad wagons are far more popular than the rest, but this four-door Bel Air is an incredible time capsule that just came out of storage after a whopping 37 years.
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air barn find 16 photos
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Last driven in 1985, the two-tone Bel Air spent almost four decades in storage. And even though it wasn't kept in a heated garage, it survived the test of time rather well. As in, it's rust-free save for a few spots on the side sills and in the trunk.

And once the owner washed that thick layer of dust, the two-tone paint came back to life with a really cool patina. And that Larkspur Blue or Harbor Blue combo is one you won't see too often.

The interior looks even better than the exterior, with no issues visible on the upholstery, the door panels, or the dashboard. The cool thing is that the cabin combines three different shades of blue, with a darker hue complimenting the two that match the exterior finish. On first inspection, I'd say that the carpets need to be replaced, but everything else looks good for an unrestored survivor.

Speaking of which, the engine under the hood is also of the all-original, numbers-matching variety. Most components are covered in surface rust, but the seller says it runs "beautiful with no noise and no smoke."

The mill in question is a 235-cubic-inch (3.9-liter) inline-six, which was the base engine for the Bel Air in 1957. A Blue Flame unit related to that offered in the Corvette, it was the only inline-six offered that year, alongside a pair of more powerful V8s.

Rated at 140 horsepower, the engine is paired to a three-speed manual gearbox. While the inline-six runs as it should, the Bel Air needs new brakes and tires to become road-worthy. The good news is that it has a new gas tank.

Located in Waynesville, North Carolina, this 1957 Bel Air is being offered by eBay seller "888chevy" with a "buy it now" price of $14,900. But he's entertaining offers. For reference, 1957 Bel Airs are usually valued between $18,000 in Fair condition and $51,000 in Concours condition. But the higher numbers usually apply to two-door models. Is this a good deal?

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

 
 
 
 
 

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