ICONIC CARS: 1957 Chevy Bel Air: One owner beauty

Michael James

Grace Braeger and her 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

The 1957 Chevy Bel Air is not the fastest nor the best-looking car of its time. But no other car is more iconic than a 1957 Chevy.

The 1957 Chevy has been a classic now for years. It’s been in many movies and it’s one of the most popular choices for fanciers of street cars to rebuild.

The 1957 Chevy also caught the eye of Grace Braeger. She owned a 1950 Chevy, but seven years later began to shop for a new car.

Grace Braeger and her 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
Grace Braeger and her 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

The 1957 Chevy Braeger purchased was a demonstrator model at the local dealership in Milwaukee of the same name. Braeger drove the 1957 Bel Air and wanted it. She traded in her old car, paid $2,250 and drove her new car off the lot.

Braeger’s 1957 Chevy has power brakes and power steering, a 283-cubic-inch V8 engine with a four-barrel carburetor and a Turboglide automatic transmission. It had 4,329 miles on the odometer when Braeger purchased it, and it gets about 10 mpg.

“I loved it and needed a big car,” Braeger recalls in the 4 1/2-minute video produced by Michael Sears of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  “I love the bench seats and I’m not fond of bucket seats.”

Braeger doesn’t drive the car often, but she has driven it round-trip to Canada, and when this video was made in 2011, the 1957 Chevy had been driven about 116,000 miles.

“I’ve never really seen another car I’ve liked as much as this one,” Braeger says. “So I’ve just keep it, and I like it very much.”

Article Last Updated: April 22, 2014.

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