Stylist Harley Earl was responsible for the 1957 Chevy, and he created a car which became an American icon. His philosophy was to make cars lower, wider and longer, but he still showed aeroplane influence at this time, with the large rear fins, hood fins and large side spears. The grille looked like a huge, gaping mouth sucking in air for the engine, though that sat back some way from the front. Perhaps the most famous V8 of all time, the small-block Chevy, was used under the hood, having grown in size by then to 283ci (4.6-liter) from the original 265ci (4.3-liter). It gave the Bel Air exceptional performance, and even the handling was ahead of the competition, despite basic underpinnings of a double-wishbone front and leaf sprung live rear axle. While the Bel Air had many options, one popular one was the continental kit which extended the rear fender and re-located the licence plate.
Chevrolet Bel Air (1957) Specifications
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