I get all excited whenever I see a properly restored Tri-Five Chevrolet, especially if it’s a Bel Air. This automobile, in my opinion, is the epitome of 1950s design—beautiful, opulent, and just a few modifications away from being a fully-fledged hot-rod. Unfortunately, not every Tri-Five Bel Air has been preserved or repaired.
Many of them have been left to rot away for decades in barns or fields, like this 1957 model here. A depressing sight that won’t go away unless someone steps in to save it.This 1957 two-door sports coupe, arguably the most popular version of the Bel Air, has had a busy first eight years on the road.
Its owner drove it for 112,000 miles (180,246 km) from 1957 to 1965, when he decided to park it in a field. There’s no story as to what happened, so all we know is that the car spent 56 years in the exact same place. Unattended and at the mercy of the elements.
And they haven’t been very kind to the Bel Air, which now needs a full restoration to recapture its former glory. The black factory paint has faded away, and large areas of the body panels show rust. The tires have melted away, and the roof looks like it’s about to crumble. On the other hand, the chrome parts have soldiered on surprisingly well.
The interior is in even worse shape. While some parts look like they could be saved or rebuilt, most of them need to be replaced altogether. The seats are unusable, and there are some holes in the floor. More bad news comes from under the hood, which covers an empty engine bay. It does have a radiator, but both the engine and transmission are gone, most likely dismantled after the car was parked.
The Bel Air is also missing its original hood, which was stolen at some point. It’s been replaced with a 1958 lid, but the seller says an extra 1957 hood is included in the sale. The good news is that the frame seems to be in good condition, without signs of rust and rot. A good frame is a solid starting point for restoration.
The yard-found Bel Air is being offered by “northriverautollc” on eBay. Needless to say, this wreck will require a really deep pocket to return to its former glory, either as an authentic restoration or a modernized restomod. Fingers crossed that it finds a good home and an owner that will bring it back to life.