My Classic Car: Rod’s 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

My Classic Car: Rod’s 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

My '57 Chevy came to me after a few “horse trades” in the late 1960s.

'57 came in a swap for a 409-powered '62 Chevy | Rod Dahlgren photos

’57 came in a swap for a 409-powered ’62 Chevy | Rod Dahlgren photos

My ’57 Chevy came to me after a few “horse trades” in the late 1960s.

I bought a ’63 Pontiac Grand Prix 421 NASCAR-optioned car and played with it for a while. Man was that a super car!

Then one of my buddies on leave from Vietnam had spotted a ’62 Chevy Bel Air hardtop with a 409 and 4-speed sitting on a car lot down in southern California. He drove the car all the way up north and decided it used too much gas to drive it back south. We traded cars! The 409 Bel Air was crazy wild! A story for another day.

Then I saw the ’57 Chevy Bel Air that one of the other local guys had just bought from the original owners. He already had the Powerglide out of it and was about to cut a hole in the floor for a 4-speed. Having broken the 409’s rear axle links off the frame once more time, I was pretty tired of welding up that frame.
I traded the Bel Air for the ’57.

'57 Chevy as tow vehicle

’57 Chevy as tow vehicle

I put a Turbo 400 in the car and left it original. I did add my American Mags and Polyglass tires of course, but kept the originals.

Since I was racing stock cars, I added a hitch on the ’57 to get to the Saturday night dirt track.

I still have the ’57 and it still has a lot of the original paint on it and looks pretty good.

— Rod Dahlgren, Napa CA

 

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