December 2006 Feature Car
I have been fascinated with 1957 Chevrolets since 1957, when I purchased my first new '57 - a beautiful black two door hard top with silver interior, power pack engine with overdrive. My wife Charlsie and I were married and had our children while owning that '57. During the late 50's, cruising the strip and drag races out in the country were an every night occurrence. Nothing could come close to out running the '57 Chevy! When the '58 models arrived, the tri power Pontiac and Oldsmobiles, with more horsepower still would not keep up with the '57 Chevy. I sold the '57 in 1963 and purchased a 1963 SS Chevy two door hard top.
I did not get interested again in the '57 Chevy until 1977 when I was at an auction in Arlington, Texas and purchased a black '57 two door hard top. I joined the Classic Chevy Club and took this black '57 to the convention in Columbus, Ohio and won second place. I then returned home to Texas and did a complete restoration over the winter. That next year I took the car to Memphis, Tennessee to the national convention and it judged worse than it did the year before! Oh well, thatís the way judging goes sometimes.
Over the years I have built many '56 and '57 Chevys, but mostly '57 Chevy convertibles with dual four barrels. In 1981, I decided to build a driver to drive to the New Orleans 1982 National Convention. I built this Matador red two door hard top with a three speed overdrive and air conditioning, the hang down kind, as in dash air was not an option then. Actually not many reproduction parts were available yet. Many times you had to hunt up NOS parts or be creative, such as purchasing a NOS silver grill mesh, send it to a plater and have it gold anodized. This '57 I built was a basket case with no front end sheet metal, engine or transmission. I did all the body work and painted the car myself. We drove to New Orleans had a great time there. That year the Show-N-Shine Judging was held in the Superdome, and I won First in the class and best paint for the original cars. The car is in itís original condition with the exception of an engine and transmission swap a few years ago. The paint and interior are the original. Then in 1995, I sold the car and then found myself purchasing it back in 1998. I have installed a Saginaw four speed with a Saginaw three speed overdrive. It runs very well with the 4:11 gears.
My wife and I are still enjoying the '57 after all these years with other members of the Dallas Area Classic Chevys car club. We drive all over the North Texas area with the club and attend many of the local car shows.
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