The 1957 Chevy was not just another car when it was offered late in 1956. There were a lot of changes. With its design, interior and power train, it was a new car. It was also more powerful and faster. The car was widely successful, and remains so today as one of the most popular collector cars in America.
Chevy's design changes for 1957 are not that radical from the 1956 models at first glance, but the changes were significant and led to this car becoming a classic. The Chevy switched from 15-inch to 14-inch wheels, making it a bit lower. It was three inches longer than the previous year, at 200 inches, but with larger tail fins, it looked even larger.
The front changed a lot as well, with a new grille and the Chevy emblem on the front. The bumper was made larger and combined with the grille. Front fenders went over the headlights. Overall, the face lift gave it a longer and lower look, which was very popular.
It was under the hood that the Chevy made its greatest advancements in 1957. Fuel injection was new technology, replacing the carburetor, and had only been used in expensive cars to this point, including the Corvette. But Chevy changed that by offering it as an option on its biggest engine--the 283-cubic-inch V8. It was the first time fuel injection had been offered on a lower-priced car.
The 283 engine could be purchased with fuel injection or with carburetors. At the highest end, you could get a 283 with two four-barrel carburetors, which made it very fast and powerful. The 265-cubic-inch V8 engine was standard, with its two-barrel carburetor and manual transmission. An inline six-cylinder 235-cubic-inch engine was also available.
Customers could get any Chevrolet engine with any model car, regardless of what was standard issue.
The 1957 Chevy came in three basic models, other than the Corvette. There was the Bel Air, which was most popular. Not far behind were the 210 and 150 series models.
The Bel Air was offered in a convertible, two- and four-door sedan, sport sedan or coupe, townsman four-door station wagon and Nomad two-door station wagon. The 210 had all of those plus a Delray Club coupe and two additional station wagon models. The 150 series had a two and four-door sedan, a utility sedan and a two-door station wagon.
Weight of the '57 Chevy was between 3,200 and 3,500 pounds. The 150 series was the lowest priced, from $1,885 to $2,307; the 210 models cost between $2,122 and $2,450; the Bel Air started at $2,238 for the two-door and went to $2,757 for the Nomad station wagon.
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