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1957 Chevy Bel Air Exhaust System - A Tale Of Two Tailpipes

Two '57 Chevys, Two Exhaust Systems, One Custom Fabricated And One Bolt In

By Mike Harrington, Photography by Jason Scudellari, Mike Harrington

Did you know that not all '57 Chevys are the same? Let me explain, lest you think I just fell off the turnip truck. According to the install sheet on our Flowmaster instructions, the platform for the '57 Chevy was available in two different versions and from six different plants around the U.S. and Canada ... eh. That would make quite a few '57s that are slightly different from one to the next.

Now it's 50 years later and those '57s may have (and probably should have) had altered suspensions, height changes, big-block swaps, etc., thus furthering the mutation effect of the chassis. Imagine trying to engineer a one-size-fits-all exhaust system for this type of platform. Imagine no more. Flowmaster has recently hit the market with a complete "one-size-fits-all" '57 Chevy exhaust system called American Thunder.

Jason Scudellari (our Primedia Tech Center guru) does quite a bit of wrenching for many magazine titles, so we asked him just how good this Flowmaster "bolt-on" system was. He responded, "I was very pleased at how it went in. Only a couple of minor issues came up."

Jason informed us that he had to bridge the gap between the header collectors and the start of the exhaust with a lead-in pipe. That's to be expected owing to the varied amount of header manufacturers and header lengths on the market.

That's pretty good news for those who have a stock-styled '57. But what about the guy who has power-packed his '57 with a 572 big-block or an LS-based engine? Or the person who has an aftermarket IFS rear or front clip under his '57? Lions and tigers and bears, oh my, where do the variations end? Flowmaster has an affordable answer for that problem too. Known simply as the U-Fit Dual kit, this universal system will conquer the unknown exhaust issues that an altered vehicle may present. We'll spend most of this article following the install of the U-Fit Dual kit, since it's the more difficult of the two to tackle.

By Mike Harrington
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