1957 Chevy Bel Air - Dreaming In White

This '57 Has Been In A Lifetime Of Dreams

Tony Kelly Sep 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0109_01_z 1957_chevy_bel_air Front_view 1/7

Les Davidson, now of Riverside, California, grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when he was 18 years old, he test drove a '57 two-door sedan from a local used car lot. It was a three speed with the four-barrel carb, 283 ci, and the 220hp Powerpack engine, and it spoiled him for his own stock six-banger '53 with a Powerglide. Davidson made a deal for the car and was able to learn the previous owner's name and phone number. When he found out that the car had won several drag race trophies, Les picked up where the old owner left off. After accumulating lots of his own trophies, Davidson traded the '57 for a brand-new '62 Super Sport Impala with a 327 engine, which was later replaced with a 409. He then drove the Impala to California and did what most of us have to do; put the cars aside and start making money to support a family.

Sucp_0109_02_z 1957_chevy_bel_air Rear_view 2/7

After a short stint as a police officer, Les branched out into his own business, a security company which he still operates today. He never forgot the '57 though, and the dream became stronger as his client list grew to include companies such as B&M, Mallory's, Sig Erson Cams, and American Racing. Davidson owned several Corvettes and at one point manufactured wooden dashes that he marketed through Eckler Corvettes, who later bought Les out. Eventually, though, the untimely death of a good friend convinced Davidson that he should reorder his priorities and begin enjoying life. Shortly after that, our feature car was rescued from a junkyard, and Les began turning it into a modern-day version of his first '57. He assigned the body and paint work to D&P in Huntington Beach, California, and the running gear to RV Specialties in Riverside. The color was chosen because Davidson always believed the "good guys wear white." Ron Mangus of Custom Automotive Interiors suggested the interior color and design, using a Glide seat with a fold-down armrest.

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This is a car that symbolizes a defining experience from the past. It has won numerous awards at Super Chevy Shows this year and represents what a person can do when he holds on to his dream long enough to make it come true.

Vitals

Owner Les Davidson, Riverside, CA
Vehicle '57 Bel Air two-door hardtop
Engine ZZ4 crate motor with roller cam
Transmission 700R4
Suspension Stock with front disc brakes
Chassis 21-gal polished, stainless steel gas tank
Wheels American Racing Torq-Thrust, 15-inch, polished
Body White, by D&P Classic Chevy, Huntington Beach, CA
Interior Cream leather by Custom Auto Upholstery, Bloomington, CA

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