A Car Collector’s Classic — The 57 Chevrolet Bel Air

The 57 Chevy Bel Air was called ‘the most popular car in history’, and given the reality that this Chevrolet was in fact outsold by the Ford Thunderbird the year of its launch, that is quite an honor.  Called amp;quot;the most popular car in historyamp;quot;, the 57 Chevy Bel Aire was not the automobile most sold in 1957.  But it is the automobile that won the hearts of people, and still continues to win them over, even over 50 years afterward.

‘Baby Cadillac’ in style the 1957 Chevrolet was described in a memorable Chevy ad as ‘sweet, smooth and sassy’. The Chevy wasn’t only part of the American dream, it was beamed into homes all over the world through its many TV appearances, for this reason it became part of a larger more global dream.

Was it the ultra-cool fins or was it the fact that the Chevrolet 57 became the car of choice for every high school kid around the world in the 60’s that made these autos the collectible icons they have become today?  The fact that there were only 47,566 Bel Airs produced, also contributes to this model’s collectibility.

How did the name Bel Aire come about, anyway?  In prior years the exclusive versions of the Chevrolet hardtops were nicknamed Bel Air.  This stuck and the owners liked it so much they launched it as its own separate model.

These Chevy Bel Aires were easily recognizable.  The new tail fins and the addition of 2 ½ inches to the car’s length gave them a longer, lower and wider look.  Decreasing from 15 to 14 inch tires in addition to a big new bumper grille combined to make them one of the most attractive autos of the 1950s.

The 57 Bel Air was originally designed in1954 for a 55 launch and was thought of at the time to be a welcome bold new appearance for the manufacturer.  It was a good deal with a initial cost of $1095, when you consider that a subscription to a first-class car magazine almost seems to cost that today.   The most famous model with the V-8 engine in 57, had a remarkable 1 horsepower per cubic inch (a first for a mass produced car at that time), giving this automobile power as well as killer looks.

The rumble pouring from the double  exhausts of the 195  became synonymous with the hum of a giant cat purring; confirming this was an ad placed in a premier Chevrolet publication at the time announcing to all and sundry that  ‘Chevy puts the purr back in performance’.  What a great slogan!

It is no small wonder that the 57 Chevy Bel Aire has since become one of the most collectible vehicles in history.  And you can even find a amp;lt;a href=amp;quot;http://www.1957chevyforsale.com/amp;quot; target=amp;quot;_blankamp;quot;amp;gt;1957 Chevy for saleamp;lt;/aamp;gt;, if you look!

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