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CRUISIN': The fabulous '57 Chevy
In Apr. 19 issue, Russell County News
By Ron Cowell, Columnist

One of the most popular cars in history is the 1957 Chevy. Ever since 1957 it has been one of the most sought after vehicles among car club collectors.

The 57 Chevy came out riding on 14" tires. It stood 2.5 inches longer and 1.5 inches lower than the 56 Chevy. Unlike the earlier Chevys with a center hood ornament it sported two, rocket shaped windsplits down the hood. The rear of the car went from rounded fins to modest but sharp fins. But those fins were just a hint of the fins to follow in years to come for the Chevy. The 57 also was trimmed with anodized aluminum panels on the rear body sides.

The Nomad again was this highest ticket Bel Air that year. Only 6,013 were built in the United States that year. That was a lot less than the 166,426 Sport Coupes and the 47,562 convertibles. The best selling Bel Air was the 4 door post Sedan.

Under the hood you could get the long lived 265 V8 to a half a dozen versions of the 283 motor. Some of the Bel Airs were even fuel injected and went as high as 283 horsepower.

Some of the accessories in 57 included air conditioning, power antenna, autronic eye head lamps control, seatbelts and vented seat pads. Chevy changed the car completely in 1957 when it redesigned the 1957. Very few of the body parts would interchange with the 1956 model.

The 1957 Chevy was 200 inches long and sat 1.5 inches lower at the hood line. The hight of the car was reduced because of the new frame design and the 14 inch tires it sported.

It was designed so much better this year with a windshield 58.5 inches wide and seven percent taller. This made visibility much better for the driver. It also helped the driver judge distances better.

The aluminum side strip that was added to the Bel Air was to give the car a look of motion even when the car was setting still. The body changes that were made in 1957 were accepted well by the public. That's still true today, as the 57 Chevy is one of the most desirable collector cars ever produced in North America.

Chevy announced it's 1957 model as Sweet, Sassy and Smooth. It came with the new Turboglide transmission that was so smooth, and had the new fuel injected 283 that made this car outstanding. With all these changes and improvements, Chevy was still out sold by Ford. It would be years before the 1957 Chevy was appreciated for the classic car we have today.

Generations have enjoyed the 1957 Chevy. How many times have you heard someone say, "My Dad used to have a car just like that"? I remember my first ride in a 1957 Chevy as a young boy. My Uncle pulled up in front of the house and took me for a ride. I was hoping all my buddies would see me riding in this cool car.

It seems like since the day production stopped on this car it has been thought of as not only the last of the classic Chevy's, but one of the examples of the Fabulous Fifties.

Pictured is the 1957 Chevy of Mike and Phyllis Taylor. They are members of the Outsiders car club. I would like to thank them for the use of their car for the picture.

A couple of up coming events in the area is the Outsiders first Cruise In. It will be held at Lake and Shake on Hwy 80 on Thursday May 1st at 6:00PM. There will be live DJ, trivia questions and some nice prizes for give a ways. For information call 270-585-1146 or email

Then on May 19th The Old Boys toys will have a Cruise In at the K Mart parking lot on 127 at 3:00PM. The public will judge the cars. If you would like more information on this event check on line at or give a call at 270 866 6322.

On Saturday May 3rd in Whitley City Ky. McCreary Co. just off US 27 will be the Breath of Life Show, just follow the signs. All proceeds from this show will go toward a double lung transplant for 12 year old Paige West. Registration will be 9:00AM to 1:00PM. Registration fee for your car will be $12.00.

There are a lot of prizes and trophy's awarded. Live music will be provided by, STONE SUNSHINE, JAZZAMIN WOOD, WORTH DYING FOR and others. DJ of the Cars, Charlie Napier will be there also to host the event. For more information on this event call 606 354 3255 or 606 376 3032. Whether you are entering a car or just want to come out and see these beautiful classic cars of the past don't miss this one.

If your Car Club is having or know of an event coming up and would like us to let folks know about it drop me a line at

All information must be in at least two weeks before the event.
Until next time,,,, Keep Cruisin !
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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
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Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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