Initially, General Motors executives wanted an entirely new car for 1957, but production delays necessitated the 1955-56 design for one more year. Ed Cole, chief engineer for Chevrolet, dictated a series of changes that significantly increased the cost of the car. These changes included a new dashboard, sealed cowl, and the relocation of air ducts to the headlight pods, which resulted in the distinctive chrome headlight that helped make the ‘57 Chevy a classic.
Fourteen inch wheels replaced the fifteen inch wheels from previous years to give the car a lower stance, and a wide grille was used to give the car a wider look from the front. The now favour ‘57 Chevy tail-fins were designed to duplicate the wide look in the rear. The Bel Air models were given gold rim … the grille, front fender chevrons, hood, and trunk script were all rendered in anodized gold.
This car (Christine) was released in 1957 and manufactured in Janesville Wisconsin USA and sold for the sum of $2,200. She is only one of her series that was produced totalling 651,358 of which is is No 225,209.
Christine spent most of her time in Nevada then shipped to Perth WA in 2007 before being delivered to Canberra in 2012. She gained her name affectionately as Christine because …(she) … from day one, tried to let me know she’s the boss and continuously gave me trouble each time she was driven.
After eight months of constant attention I think she now knows that I’m taking care of her and slowing giving her the makeover she’s been waiting for. Christine is now fitter that she’s been in years having had many operations under the hood and a new interior giving her the nip and tuck to make her look young again.
Christine’s vital statistics: 8 cyl 5700 cc Chevrolet engine with a 4 barrel Holley carburetor.
Transmission: 3 speed Turbo 350 Auto
New rack and pinion power steering.
Christine faithfully takes us far and wide to all types of car runs and shows, most recently Yarrawonga. She is proud to display herself as part of a drive-in cinema theme with both door trays adorned with burger, fries and Coke. To compliment this she has a set of original working speakers from the Sedalia drive-in from Missouri, which constantly plays 50s music which people seem to enjoy and on occasions onlookers stop to have a jive.
She may never be a prize winner any more but everyone seems to enjoy her rounded curves and the memories she brings to them.
Phillip and Jan Hopkins.