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Chevrolet Muscle Car Dyno Wars

We Wanted To See What Yesterday's Classics Make On A State-Of-The-Art Chassis Dyno

1957 Bel Air Sport Coupe 245 HP (dual quad) 283
A classic from what can be called the first real year of Chevrolet high performance, the 245 hp, dual-carb-equipped 283 was the hydraulic cammed sibling of the dual-quad, solid lifter- equipped 270-horse 283. Chevrolet had four high horsepower 283s for '57, the 245 hp and 270 hp dual four-barrel engines, and the 250hp and 283hp fuel injected engines. The lower power engines had hydraulic lifters, while the high power motors had solids.

Our dyno mule for this test was Bob Hendryx's Dusk Pearl/India Ivory '57 hardtop. Bob, the founder and president of the Tampa Bay Classic Chevy Club, bought the car back in the '80s, and after years as a driver and custom '57, Bob restored the car to original specs a few years ago. He added a factory A/C system, power steering, power brakes, and some other stock factory options his car didn't originally come with. Backing up the car's 283 is a tough-as-nails Powerglide trans.

We weren't expecting the 283 to rip the dyno from the floor, and overall we were pleased with its performance. The first run was a little lower than the second; that first full-throttle pull through the rpm band worked wonders cleaning the spark plugs and combustion chambers. After that, the Bel Air's 283 started noticeably quicker, idled smoother, and made a lot more power. This was motoring at its finest for a generation of teenagers.

On the Dyno
RPM HP TQ
2,100 68.12 170.37
2,200 73.32 175.05
2,300 74.38 169.86
2,,400 77.96 170.61
2,500 82.87 174.09
2,600 88.59 178.97
2,700 94.10 183.04
2,800 98.42 184.62
2,900 103.47 187.40
3,000 108.15 189.34
3,100 113.20 191.78
3,200 118.39 194.31
3,300 121.71 193.70
3,400 126.60 195.56
3,500 129.96 195.02
3,600 133.64 194.97
3,700 135.61 192.50
3,800 139.80 193.23
3,900 145.28 195.65
4,000 145.05 190.45
4,100 147.27 188.66
4,200 153.26 191.65
4,300 153.08 186.97
4,400 157.43 186.54
4,500 156.27 183.74
4,600 158.02 180.42
4,700 155.99 174.31
4,800 157.79 172.65
4,900 155.54 166.72
5,000 153.48 161.22
5,100 154.16 158.75
5,200 150.89 152.41

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