Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tribute To the Fins Of The 1957 Chevrolet

Tribute To the Fins Of 

The 1957 Chevrolet

   -Alan Arnell

What can you say to pay tribute to arguable the the most famous single year car that was ever built. Even my Grandmother knew what a '57 looked like. Now your non-car guy or gal can sometimes recognize an old Ford, Cadillac, Pontiac, etc. but everyone knows the 1957 Chevy. Gallup may prove me wrong, but I go further to say that more people world wide can identify the make and model year of the '57 Chevy more than any other US made car.

What makes the Tri-Five Chevy the car which set the pace for all other older cars? Why has this car
received so much attention and recognition, even more than the 1957 Ford, which out sold the '57 Chevy? Well if you don't know by now, you may never know. Everyone knows that the '57 Chevy is the greatest general use passenger car (This man's opinion) of all time is because of its styling, engineering, performance and the millions of people like you and me that love the fabulous 1957 Classic Chevy.

Who can deny that a '57 is a very stylish piece of machinery. As today, as well as yester year, the '57
turned heads in every corner of America and the World at large. Who could ever forget the fins, the hood rockets, the front bumper with Dagmar bumper guards, the grill and the diamond shaped rear quarter panel side trim of the Belair and 210, just to name a few things.

The '57 was engineered to be reliable and durable by 50's standards. The proof is in the pudding as seen today with how many have lasted now close to 60 years. The new V-8 engine was first installed in the 1955 model year. The new 8-cylinder engine was revolutionary to the point of the SBC is still being used used 60 years later. In 1957 Chevy bumped up the V-8 to 283 CI. The engine was offered with several carburetor set ups. Including a 4 barrel, there was a 2 x 4 barrel dual carbs setup and a Rochester fuel injected (FI) model. The FI version used in the Corvette produced an amazing 1 HP per CI, a horse power to CI ratio unheard of at the time coming from a US factory built engine. The FI was so good in fact, that NASCAR banned the engine because it was deemed to be an unfair advantage.

One of the great engineering features that came in 1957, if not as great as the Rochester fuel injected
engine, but nothing to sneeze at either, was the turboglide transmission. The automatic transmission was the best thing to come for the the masses since electric starters. Yet, in my day we said, “Slip and slides with Turboglide.” We also said to the guys with 4-speed transmissions, “If you can't find it grind it!”

All in all, performance had finally became the buzz of car makers and the buying public alike. The 283 was another big step in Chevy's development of the still popular engine, arguably, of all
time. The car was so fast that many of its racing drivers went so quick around a quarter mile track they would forget which side of the track they were on to drive to the wrong pits during the race. Along with the NASCAR '57s being painted black, the '57s were so fast they were called “Black Widows.” A shortened name from fast fighter aircraft of WWII called “Widow Makers.” For the average mom and pop the car's performance was measured by the miles of reliable transportation with relatively low cost of

Now for us Hot Rodders and Classic Car aficionados alike, the main reason that the 1957 is the 50's highlight car, is that the '57 car enthusiasts have always wanted, loved and cared to keep '57 alive and on the road.

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Texas Classic Chevy Experience will post blogs about: Hot Rods, Chevy, Chevrolet, Drag Racing, Car Shows, Classic Cars, Custom Cars, Muscle Cars, How to Tech. posts, Dallas Area Classic Chevy Club, Texas Muscle Car Challenge, Tri-Five Nationals, Lone Star Chevy Convention, Class Car lists, Classic car links, Spotters guides, Car Shows, Swap meets, Book reviews and more.

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