The 1957 Chevy is one of the most beloved classic cars in the industry among enthusiasts. But as it turns out, this classic example of the finned revolution is also widely popular among thieves, according to USA Today’s look into a recent report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) titled “Thefts of 1957 Chevrolets.” These cars are certainly sought after and go for a pretty penny in good condition, so it’s no wonder that thieves have been targeting the classic Chevy for decades. What may come as a surprise, however, is just how many of the ‘57 Tri-Fives have been jacked over the years.
According to the NICB’s report, a total of 23,250 1957 Chevys have been reported stolen in the last 54 years. That’s an average of 431 vehicles per year. Unfortunately, many years, the rate of theft for the classic Chevys is much higher than that average, like 1972, when 3,071 were stolen and 1973, when 2,682 were stolen.
Of the states that see the largest number of thefts, California leads by a long haul, with 6,700 ‘57 Chevy thefts reported from 1958 through 2012. Other hot states for thefts include Texas, with 2,171 cars reported stolen, New York, with 1,286 cars reported stolen, Washington, with 909 cars reported stolen and Missouri, with 705 cars reported stolen during the same time span.
Since the 1957 Chevy rolled off the assembly line, it was a classic – not just because it would later become the most famous Tri-Five, but because of the prestige that enthusiasts equated with owning the car. While other Tri-Fives certainly hold high value, it is the 1957s that remain the most recognizable and the most sought after by both enthusiasts and thieves. Even famous ‘57 Chevy owners, such as Dr. Phil, are at risk of having their classic Chevy stolen. Lucky for the TV doctor, his Bel Air convertible (worth upwards of $100,000) was eventually recovered.