Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Car Of The Day: July 25, 2012

Today's car of the day comes from craftymore's collection and is Road Champs' 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.

The 1957 Chevrolet is an automobile which was introduced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors in September, 1956. It was available in three series models: the upscale Bel Air, the mid-range "two-ten", and the "one-fifty". A two-door station wagon, the Nomad was produced as a Bel Air model. An upscale trim option called the "Delray" was available for two-ten 2-door sedans. It is a popular and sought after classic car. These vehicles are often restored to their original condition and sometimes modified.

Initially, General Motors executives wanted an entirely new car for 1957, but production delays necessitated the 1955–56 design for one more year. Ed Cole, chief engineer for Chevrolet, dictated a series of changes that significantly increased the cost of the car. These changes included a new dashboard, sealed cowl, and the relocation of air ducts to the headlight pods, which resulted in the distinctive chrome headlight that helped make the '57 Chevy a classic. Fourteen-inch wheels replaced the fifteen-inch wheels from previous years to give the car a lower stance, and a wide grille was used to give the car a wider look from the front. The now famous '57 Chevy tailfins were designed to duplicate the wide look in the rear. Later in the year,Bel Air models were given gold trim: the grille, front fender chevrons, hood, and trunk script were all rendered in anodized gold. The 1957 Chevys did not have a oil pressure gauge or a voltmeter. The base engine was an inline 6-cylinder called the Blue Flame Six. The engine was smooth running and more fuel-efficient than the V-8. Carburetion came from a single one-barrel carburetor.

Off brand diecast from the 1980s is becoming more appealing to me on several levels. For starters, most were were all metal and featured some working features - suspension or doors. There was an apparent heaviness to the castings that rivaled that of Hot Wheels in the day. The other really unique feature on this Road Champs is the convertible top can be traded off for the rear bonnet. The conv top isn't great scale wise but it's a cool feature. -craftymore

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