The other month I was talking about my addiction as an automotive enthusiast. If you recall, I was doing my best to talk myself out of another car, but I'm proud to say that I've failed and purchased a 1957 Chevy.
The search didn't take long, but to be fair, I've known about this particular Tri-Five for several years. When I first saw it, even though I was really interested, the funds to acquire it just weren't there. Fast-forward three years and, as luck would have it, the Tri-Five was still available.
Rather than jump the gun and buy it from memory, I took a quick flight out to Salt Lake City to take a closer look. Pictures are great, but it's always a good idea to see what you're getting into in person.
I'm pleased to say the 1957 is very straight, has all the trim, and best of all, it's a Bel Air. The entire ride is pretty true to being factory original, but the interior sports an old-school flare with its tuck 'n' roll bench seat.
Mechanically speaking...it runs and drives. The engine is debatable; it could be a 327ci or a 350ci and transfers the power through a three-speed Turbo 350 transmission. The suspension is original and still relies on the four-wheel drums to bring it down from speed.
Did you realize that 2014 is the 57th anniversary of the 1957 Chevy?
For now, the plan is to take a road trip back to Utah with a truck and trailer and drive it back down to SoCal—of course, we wouldn't try to drive it back without a contingent plan. From there, we'll immediately address the basics, including suspension bolt-ons, and brakes. To be perfectly frank, although it runs and drives, it's far from ideal, and the 2-second safety gap in traffic hardly exists on the Los Angeles freeways, and we don't want to kiss someone's rear end with our newly acquired ride.
The plan is to build a comfortable driver that can be taken anywhere on a whim. That means no pseudo street car, and something that'll easily seat four and won't try to knock the fillings out of your teeth while commuting along our smooth freeways.
Drivetrain-wise, it runs, so I'm planning to leave it alone for the time being. That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement down the road. What do you think? Should we plan to drop in a small-block or a big-block, or possibly a modern-day LS powerplant?
On another note, have you realized that 2014 will be the 57th anniversary of the 1957? I can't think of a better way to commemorate that than by building one to celebrate its birthday. I know we all have our own ideas of how we would build this ride, and I want to hear yours. Hit me up on the email address above and be sure to share your thoughts.