Auction Watch – Restomod 1957 Bel-Air Ragtop Brings Almost $150K

Whether you like auctions or not, they’re a good finger-on-the-pulse barometer of what hot rods, restomods, and kustoms are selling for. Each week, our “Auction Watch” column here at Rod Authority brings you some of the coolest cars and trucks offered around the country from some of the biggest and most recognized auction houses.

 

This week we’re checking out a beautiful restomod 1957 Chevy that recently sold at Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas. Fifties cars with modern running gear are all the rage — and increasingly,  run-of-the-mill — but this example is spectacular and when the gavel fell, it brought, $148,500.

According to Barrett-Jackson,  “Lot #724 – An iconic American classic with modern technology, this 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air underwent a complete frame-off, rotisserie restoration that was completed in December 2015.

“It was built with a brand-new Chevy Performance 430 hp 6.2-liter LS3 engine mated to a 4L65E automatic transmission, and sits atop an Art Morrison chassis with RideTech adjustable coilover suspension.

“The engine, transmission, and chassis have all been painted in beautiful Sierra Gold, the same color as the body, which was stripped completely down to metal and resprayed in this show-quality color.

“The firewall was smoothed and painted as well. The hardware on the Art Morrison chassis is chromed. The Continental kit, fender skirts and dual antennas finish off the highly optioned but factory-look on this restomod. This Bel Air is also equipped with 6-piston front and 4-piston rear Wilwood power disc brakes with stainless brake lines, Strange rear end, and upgraded front and rear sway bars. From the John Staluppi Jr. Collection.”  

$150, 000 for a 1957 Chevrolet?  Yup, and you probably couldn’t build it for that much.  This car is very nicely executed, even though the wheels really don’s strike our fancy. Rolling stock is easily changed and this car would look really good with body colored steelies and ’57 dog dish caps, even though they’re hardly appropriate for Bel Airs.

The color is a refreshing change from red, silver, and black. With the top down — and essentially a new car underneath — this would be an enjoyable car to drive.

Some folks loathe these high-end builds and usually dismiss them with the usual back-handed compliment, “Well if I had a couple of hundred grand, I could build that too…”

Maybe so, but we still like keeping tabs on these builds because they’re a showcase for all the latest heavy artillery from our extremely robust aftermarket industry.

I was talking to the owner of a well-known electronics company the other day and he lamented that, “nobody builds their own car anymore…”  I suggested that rod building these days is mostly final assembly as you can buy fully built systems from aforementioned aftermarket that handily beat most home-fabricated components.

That could be debated too. The point is, as hot rod fans, we have a bountiful harvest of specialty parts makers that have never been more clever or prolific, and it’s fantastic to see a build like this ’57 take advantage of the abundance.

What are your thoughts?

About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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