Nineteen fifty-seven was the last year for the “Shoebox Chevy” and as today’s Nice Price or No Dice 210 proves, it remains an iconic design even to this day. Let’s see what kind of price this fabulously finned four-door might bring.
What is it they say? Oh yeah, close only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes. Trying to sell a car that has been brought close to running condition with only a vague explanation as to what’s keeping it from crossing the finish line only serves to lend credence to that dictum.
The 1980 Mazda RX7 we looked at yesterday had been sitting for more than 20 years and while its seller had done a lot to bring it back to life, it was described in the ad as being only close to done. So close! Few of you bought the explanation of what was needed to complete the task and even fewer of you felt the potential work warranted paying the seller’s $5,500 asking price. That resulted in a 67 percent No Dice loss.
Well, Spooky Season is now in full swing. This is my favorite time of year, although I’m a little behind the curve as I haven’t even bought my pumpkins yet. One of the things I really like about the Halloween season is all the scary movies that are trotted out this time of year. One trope of the scary movie that I enjoy is that when the evil-doer of the flick drives a car, it’s usually something really creepy. Think the beat-up Peterbilt from Duel or the Caddy hearse from Phantasm. Wouldn’t it be fun to have your own kind of creepy old car to cruise around in and scare the kiddies? Maybe eat a few?
If that sounds like your jam, then take a look at this 1957 Chevrolet 210 sedan. Kind of creepy, right? Ok, but underneath that patina and patchwork lies what looks to be some solid bones. According to the ad, there’s also a fresh 327 V8 and a four-speed stick, the latter having traded its column lever for a floor-mounted cue ball-topped fun-maker. Topping it off, the interior where that shifter lives doesn’t look creepy at all.
When new, the 210 was the mid-tier version of Chevy’s mainstay family carline, sitting between the stripper 150 and the all-singing, all-dancing Bel Air. This model year would be the last for the series that had debuted in 1955. Over the years this line has gained the nicknames “Tri-Fives” for obvious reasons, and “Shoebox Chevies” for the fact that the model’s hood and fender lines shared a similar height. As different as the ’57 looks from the ’55, they’re both pretty much the same in their mid-sections.
The 327 and four-speed are not original equipment here, but each is a pretty common update for hot rodders. The four-door sedan is not the most common of the models to get such an update, but you can balance the extra weight and less sporty nature of the car over the coupe with its added convenience and more surprising nature.
The ad claims a clean underbody and clear title. It also says the car needs a new carb so consider that in your ruminations over its value. New parts already on the car include the tires, fuel tank, starter, battery, and radiator. The exhaust dumps mid-chassis and is also claimed to be new.
Inside, the wide bench seats look to have been nicely recovered and there’s an add-on tach sitting just ahead of the full-moon speedo. The steering wheel is your typical hot rod tiller but the seller says the original comes with the car too. Full carpeting covers the floor and the door cards and dash look to be in decent enough shape.
The patina covering the exterior gives the car a bit of menace, something sorely lacking in the canary yellow paint it wears beneath. The primer-black hood helps too and one has to assume that it latches fully and is only popped in the pictures because the seller had just snapped the shots of the engine bay.
Speaking of that engine bay, there’s some work to be done in there. The heater is disconnected and the duct tape on the firewall above the steering column looks a good bit kludgy. These, and the need for a new carb, seem like minor fixes, unlike the potential need for a new motor presented by yesterday’s Mazda. Add to that just how easy a car like this Chevy is to wrench on and there’s actually a great deal of appeal to the thought of rolling up one’s sleeves and diving in.
The apparent cost of entry is $8,500, and for that, you get the car and a few extra parts that the seller chooses not to detail. What’s your take on that price and this patina…er, Chevy? Does that seem like a good deal for a classic car in its present Spooky Season shape? Or, does that price require beauty that’s more than skin deep?
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