St. John's

27 July 2013

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Lot 177

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe

  • Chassis no. VC57S203585

Sold for $82,500

350 hp, 350 cu. in. small block V-8 engine, 700R automatic transmission with overdrive, independent front suspension with coil springs, live axle rear suspension with leaf springs, and front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115 in.

  • Iconic Candy Apple Red ’57 Bel Air
  • Updated 350 small block for effortless cruising
  • Extensively documented restoration to show standards

Chevrolet proved that the third time was the charm in 1957, with the third restyling of the trendsetting 1955 model bringing its styling to new heights. The ’57 Bel Air is one of the most attractive and sought-after collector cars in the world. It was a runaway sales success, selling over a million and a half cars. The universally appealing good looks of the model can largely be credited for the car’s lasting popularity. However, for many new car buyers, it was the seemingly endless list of factory options that made the 1957 Chevrolet their choice above all others. It was these factory accessories that could make a new Chevrolet as opulent as a Cadillac or as sparse as one needed, which made the car appealing to every budget.

The Bel Air was 2.5 inches longer and stood 1.5 inches lower than the previous year’s model. The ’57 also featured a distinctive new grille integrated with new front bumpers. Gunsight ornaments fronted the new wind splitters on the hood. At the rear, distinct new tail fins ended in sharply defined chrome caps, and the gas filler was concealed behind the left taillight. The top of the line Bel Air also had chrome sills and distinct ribbed-satin-finish wedge panels on the rear fenders. Bel Airs were available in seven different models, and they were trimmed with anodized aluminum on the rear body side panels.

This particular Sport Coupe was purchased by the consignor in 1995, with the intention of creating a world-class ’57 “resto-mod.” Beginning in 1996, and recently completed in 2011, the restoration was performed to the highest of standards. Though the car was purchased in excellent condition, the owner decided to start from the ground up. Placed on a rotisserie, the entire car and frame was media blasted to remove all the paint and any potential imperfections. It was discovered that the Bel Air retained all of its original body parts, and the underlying metal was in exceptional condition and free of corrosion.

Once stripped to bare metal, the frame, rear end, and leaf springs were powder-coated black. The body itself, including underneath the wheel wells, was finished in the iconic hot rod shade of Candy Apple Red. All of the windows, the “California” front bumper, the rear bumper, and the stainless trim are original and only need to be polished accordingly.

Beneath the hood lies a 350-cubic inch Chevy small block powerplant, which is mated to a 700R automatic transmission. Power steering, front disc brakes, and vintage air conditioning have been added to improve the driving dynamics and passenger comfort. Notably, the car was originally delivered with A/C and accordingly utilizes the original vents. The front driver’s seat is also power operated. After the painstaking five-year restoration, which was thoroughly photo-documented, this pristine 1957 Bel Air was ready to be shown off.

And impress, it did! Shown twice since completion, the Bel Air was awarded the Best General Motors Car in Show at the 2011 Performance World show in Toronto, as well as the coveted Best in Show Award at the 2012 Cam-Am Nationals. The fortunate new owner of this iconic Bel Air will surely continue to do well at car shows or simply turn heads while cruising the avenue on a Saturday night.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more