Since the ancient pharaohs and kings, deckin' out has always been a thing of class, status, and hierarchy. Based on the amount of jewels, gold, and other "ornamentation" one had, they were perceived as being all the more powerful. The same thing applies to cars of the past; the more yin yangs and tin tangs, the better. Chevys are no different; take for instance the '57. There is no trim in the world more recognizable than its tailfin, not to mention the hood rockets, hood V, and of course, who could forgot that grille bar? Without all that flash and pizzazz up front, a '57 just wouldn't be a '57, would it? It just screams class and style.
As with anything metal, years of moisture, rain, acid rain, and who knows whatever else, it doesn't age well. Considering that '57 ornamentation is nearly 50 years old, you're not going to find many parts that are still in good shape. Aftermarket companies, therefore, thrive, especially Danchuk Manufacturing in Costa Mesa, California. They have an extensive lineup of Tri-Five parts, among them the '57 front trim.
You name it, they've got it. Any piece of trim needed is available upon your request. The front trim on our project '57 has started to deteriorate, so we hit up Danchuk to send in replacements. For the job we recruited a grille bar assembly, grille bar support brackets, a grille clip and screw set, hood bar extensions, hood rockets and brackets, a chrome hood V, a chrome grille, silver fender louvers, bumper mounting hardware, headlight bezels, hood hinge-to-fender brackets and bolts, and a front end sheetmetal screw set. Sounds like a lot, huh? The crazy thing is that it's only a miniscule sliver of what Danchuk offers.
Check out the Danchuk parts all spread out like a magazine centerfold.
Say what you want about them, but '57 hood rockets were there in 1957, and they've been there ever since. David Stoker began by inserting the rocket bezels into the hood.
Next on the agenda was to assemble the two-piece rockets.
Once slipped in their bezels, the new rockets look ready for take off.
Headlight bezels are important, and the new chrome bezels from Danchuk are right on the money.
Slide the bezels over the headlights.
Then, with a few screws fasten the bezels down tight. Headlight bezels are about as easy to install as it is to say 1-2-3, which means they truly are a quick fix for front ends.
Everyone knows what a "V" is, and every car guy knows what a Chevy "V" on the front side of a hood is. The Danchuk replacement Vs look as if GM manufactured them.
Another aspect that defines a '57 are the fender louvers. Although many '57s have had gold fender louvers, we went with silver. Danchuk does carry both.
Same story, different chapter when it came to the grille. Once again we opted for a silver grille.
The grille is bolted up with just a few bolts here and there along the outside of it.
Besides the rear trim on a '57, the front grille bar may be the other single most recognizable trim piece in the world.
We started off assembling the turn signals that are housed in the grille bar. First, screw the lenses on the signals.
Once the turn signals are assembled place them in the bezels manufactured into the grille bar.
From the backside the turn signals are mounted using two nuts.
Place the grille bar in its proper mounting space on the grille.
From the backside, use the nuts provided to tighten down the grille bar to the grille.
Aside from the grille, the grille bar is also mounted to this support bracket that sits behind the grille.
Check that out! Ya gotta love the sleek and stylish GM ingenuity back in '57. Who else would have thought to put the turn signals into that awesome grille bar?
Rounding out the front end is a new chrome hood bar and hood-bar extensions.