Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Car Pr0n #57

I think there's only one car that could possibly have been today's pic.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. The quintessential '57 Chevy. Well, now that I think about it, there might be one other:

1957 Chevy Nomad. Of course, the Nomad is based on the Bel Air, so it's kinda cheating. Either way, though, there's a pair of really nice cars, the likes of which we'll not see again.

I've often wondered if GM were to come out with a retro- Bel Air or Nomad, how well they'd do. The VW Beetle sold like absolute mad and reinvigorated VW's tired line; the new Camaro and Challenger have revived the muscle car with a modern twist; even the silly MINI and Fiat 500 are selling well. There's a hunger for the old styling, but with modern appurtenances and engineering.

Done right, I think they'd sell the hell out of it. Done wrong - like the Ford T-Bird, the Chevy HHR or SSR, or the Plymouth Prowler - and it could be the death knell for retro cars. Chevy's batting 1,000 on proven designs (Camaro) but 0.00 on the new/retro (HHR/SSR). I think if they came out with something on the Impala frame with a vaguely Bel Air appearance they'd sell a ton of 'em.

Time will tell, I guess, but for now I'll look at the pictures and drool...

That is all.


Angus McThag said...

The SSR they showed at SEMA would have sold like gangbusters. They were claiming a 3,500 lb. curb weight and planned on using the 5.7L from the Vette. then...

The car they actually sold was overweight and underpowered. 4,760 lb actual and with the much lower power 5.3L and NO manual option, the appeal fell through the floor. By the time they upgraded the drive options, it was too little too late.

HHR had too much of a "me too" after the PT Cruiser (which sold OK).

Wolfman said...

What they need are tailfins. The world needs a resurgence of ridiculous American tailfins to balance the ongoing import wing trend.

ASM826 said...


Here's a concept car, all modern on a Corvette chassis. It based on the '57, '58, and '59. It is called the 789.

Old NFO said...

Actually they did a concept Nomad back in 99... We had it at one of our shows (but they didn't let us drive it, dammit.)

Expatriate Owl said...

Ah, yes! Dear Old Dad purchased a 1959 Chevy Bel Air (fortunately, not a 1960 model; that year the Chevy had lots of issues). And in 1962, he had seat belts installed (before they became mandatory equipment), and thereafter, insisted (or, rather, INSISTED!!) that all passengers use them.

Jay G said...

My uncle, Mom G.'s younger brother, had a '57 Bel Air sedan that I distinctly remember riding around town in when I was 6 or 7. That would have made the Chevy 20 years old, equivalent to a '94 Chevy right now...

Ken O said...

And God smiled, giving us Duntov.

Jim said...

Here's how easy it'd be.

Take the recent ugly version of the Dodge Charger, otherwise known as the Magnum.

Put the Charger's front end clip on it. Would bolt right up with zero engineering changes.

Change the body stampings for two front doors which are 8 in. longer than standard. Eliminate the rear doors, and have 'em make the rear quarter glass a wee bit longer to fill in the space.

Voila. Dodge "Nomad". Need to come up with a suitable name for it.

Dodge "Beachcomber" would work. Order it with the surfboard rack option, of course.

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

ProudHillbilly said...

I could do a Bel Air. Oh yes I could.

Fun afternoon - Leesburg closes it's old section off for a major cruise in for charity once a year. Drool over the cars, then dinner at one of the town's lovely restaurants.