July '21

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6 THE SHOP JULY 2021 t's been said that if any one car defines the 1950s, it has to be the facelifted 1957 Chev- rolet. Its styling included just the right formula of chrome and fins, all at an affordable price. It was the third version of the shoebox Chevies produced for the 1955-'57 model years, now known as the Tri-5s, and it was the boldest of the group. There were 19 different body styles for the 1957 Chevrolet product line and three trim levels: 150, 210 and Bel Air. All told, 16 different body colors were offered, along with 15 two-tone paint combinations. For the new '57 look, the assignment given to the studio staff was to be as extreme as possible while retaining the roof, doors and deck, which were bud- getary ground rules. The hood was able to be positioned lower by moving the fresh air intakes from the cowl area to screen scoops above the hooded headlights. Twin lance-shaped wind splits broke up the flat hood line, replacing the center hood orna- ment. The general theme for the facelift was to make the car have a lower, longer appearance. Capturing the magic of an American classic By James Maxwell 1957 CHEVROLET C E L E B R A T I N G T H E A Surf Green Bel Air convertible, priced at $2,611, was the premium trim model of the line. Note the lack of a side mirror, which was only available as an extra-cost accessory. All 1957 Chevrolet passenger cars and wagons rode on a 115-inch wheelbase.

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