victorialynn2

Who did ‘57 Better? Ford or Chevy?

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John 348 - I was trying to explain why the 55 - 57 Chevs were so popular. Hot rodders loved them because they were cheap, available, and easy to hop up. The 54 and earlier models never came with V8s and it was hard to put one in, the 58 and up were heavier and harder to work on for the reasons you named - the improved chassis and suspension, which was less desirable for performance. The leaf spring rear could easily be beefed up, raised up, the springs stiffened and the rear gears changed and if necessary the whole axle assembly replaced. Of the 3 years the 57 was the most modern and desirable. I am talking about the period from 1958 to roughly 1968.

 

In 1958 when the 348 was introduced, a stock 1958 Chev 283 with 4 barrel carburetor would out perform the 348. I know this from road tests that were done by competent testers, and published in 1958. The lighter 1957 Chev with 283 would outperform both of them.

 

I remember the Popular Hot Rodding magazine that introduced the Project X 57 Chev 2 door sedan. They stated in so many words, that this was to be an ongoing experiment to see if hot rodding was obsolete now that you could buy a GTO, SS396 Chevelle, 390 Mustang or other muscle car off the showroom floor. Do you remember the first engine they built for it, it was a 327 painted red with white stars stenciled all over it?

 

The point is, the new Chev V8 became a favorite of the hot rodders the day it was introduced in 1955. The 55 56 and 57 models stayed popular with hot rodders because they were available, cheap and easy to work on. I am not saying NO other Chevs were ever hopped up, that would be ridiculous. But the tri 5 models were the favorites.

 

Neither Ford nor Plymouth ever had the same following for various reasons.

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Both are iconic cars. I personally liked the 55 or 56 Chevy over the 57 and the 58 Ford over the 57 Ford. Part of that was do to my dad had the 58 with the interceptor engine in it. That car was fast. My first car was a 57 DeSoto with the small hemi engine. Great car for putting 8 teenagers into it in the mid 60’s. If I could have any of them I would be a happy guy. 

Have fun. 

Dave S 

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2 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

John 348 - I was trying to explain why the 55 - 57 Chevs were so popular. Hot rodders loved them because they were cheap, available, and easy to hop up. The 54 and earlier models never came with V8s and it was hard to put one in, the 58 and up were heavier and harder to work on for the reasons you named - the improved chassis and suspension, which was less desirable for performance. The leaf spring rear could easily be beefed up, raised up, the springs stiffened and the rear gears changed and if necessary the whole axle assembly replaced. Of the 3 years the 57 was the most modern and desirable. I am talking about the period from 1958 to roughly 1968.

 

 

The same rear end carriers were used from 55-64, so a gear swap was the same. Over the years I have done several high end restorations on 55-64 Chevrolets, and none were any harder to work on then another, they all have quirks but nothing difficult. (the last one I restored is scrolling on the AACA homepage now!...... yeah I am proud!!!!)

 

2 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

In 1958 when the 348 was introduced, a stock 1958 Chev 283 with 4 barrel carburetor would out perform the 348. I know this from road tests that were done by competent testers, and published in 1958. The lighter 1957 Chev with 283 would outperform both of them.

 

Do you recall who performed that road test? I have been a tech advisor for the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America for over 30 years, and one of the areas I deal with is the 348 engines. I have thousands of pages of paperwork and must have missed that one. I would like to find it and add it the collection. While I don't doubt that you read that, there has to be more to it. The lighter 57 comment "would outperform both of them" is really just your opinion, there is no fact based to that comment. That is subject to many variables, it really is a misleading statement

 

Chevrolet did sell less in 57, the Ford and Plymouth were just not as good as a used car when they hit the 5 year point and fell to attrition. The hot rodder perspective is interesting,  but I feel applies more when they were changing hands again at the 7-12 year point in its life, we need to remember that the bottom line is they were just basic transportation. The country was evolving in the early 60's, people were moving away from the cities and two car household was becoming the new norm. The 57's were not prone to the upper fender rot that the 55's and 56's were so they had a higher survivability rate.

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

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As for the 1958 283 outperforming the 348 in stock form the first road test I recall was Tom McCahill's in Mechanix Illustrated. There were others in car magazines of the day saying the same thing.

 

Did a quick web search and it seems the 1958 Chevs outweighed their 1957 counterparts by 300 - 400 lbs. Since both offered the same 283 engines with identical horsepower it seems logical the 57 would outperform the 58. At least, that was the opinion of performance enthusiasts of the time.

 

 

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I have the article. The articles I have were not a head to head test comparison, but rather individual articles. As I mentioned "variables" the 348 car that was used in the test was a 250 HP 348 with a turboglide and level air suspension. The level air unit was a few hundred pounds alone, the turboglide was not really a good accelerating transmission, pretty much a castrated dyna-flow. The highest non fuel injected 283 with a single four barrel was 220 HP, it was upped to 230 HP in 58. Without a doubt the 348 with level air and a turboglide was a dud, but if the 283 test vehicle had level air and a turboglide it would have been a bigger dud. The only 250 HP 283 was fuel injected, and the dual quad 57 was 245 HP, and discontinued in passenger cars in 1958... If all things were equal there is a chance the interpretation of the test results would be entirely different.

 

Anyway this has nothing to do with the OP's original question.

 

So back to the original question...

As a Chevy guy I have to say I like the looks of the Ford better, you don't see that many of them so it is rather refreshing to see one for a change. I am all 57 Chev'd out. As far as the Plymouth, guys they are just a little too way out there for me, and I am 59/60 Chevy guy The Plymouth ad on page 3 of this thread was not joking around when they said "three full years ahead" they really did not do much with that design for 3 years

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

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i'll go with the chevy for perhaps an odd reason. have you ever heard of anyone proudly installing a 57 ford engine in their street rod? that being said my 57 bel aire was possibly the worst car i ever owned.i did however, make a pretty good profit on mine when i sold it 6 months after buying it in 1964. and while on the subject, whatever happened to putting the glove compartment in the middle of the dash?

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Like the Fords the "57 De Soto had "eyebrow" issues.  You could get a sleek car with 345 HP from a 345 cid engine without any fancy fuel injection.

57 desoto.jpg

1957-desoto-fireflite-sportsman-american-cars-for-sale-2016-04-03-5.jpg

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Dodge and DeSoto are cool but it is not fair to compare a medium priced car with a low priced car. Even though the deluxe versions of the so called low priced three, well optioned, could cost as much as a Dodge or DeSoto/

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53 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Dodge and DeSoto are cool but it is not fair to compare a medium priced car with a low priced car. Even though the deluxe versions of the so called low priced three, well optioned, could cost as much as a Dodge or DeSoto/

 

I agree

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If you are undecided why not just get one of each? Or better yet a 55 which makes both 57's look like an open septic tank---from a very biased view.

Two 57's 001.jpg

Ken's 55 chevy 002.jpg

30A 55 Nomad 005.jpg

30A 55 Nomad 027.jpg

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2 hours ago, Ed Luddy said:

I prefer the Canadian version of the 57 Ford Fairlane 500 hardtop , aka the Meteor Rideau 500$_59.JPGu 500 

???

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@mcdarrunt, I sold the 55 Chevy, I liked it better than a 57 Chevy, but I like the 57 Ford the most. Just my tastes. To each his own. 

 

However, if that’s a turquoise 55 Nomad, ???!

 

Are these your cars?

Edited by victorialynn2 (see edit history)

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Chrysler did 1957 better, at least on the styling board. It caused GM to trash future model years, and make the 1958 GM cars a one year only styling offering. But Chrysler had many QC problems, and both Chrysler products and Ford products rotted, especially in the highly stressed complex curves at both ends of the car. GM, of course matched Chrysler and Fords for rot speed when they introduced their 1959 models. One has to really appreciate the modern carbon fiber bodies with wonderful sharp edges, as well as the styling features of modern head and tail lights.

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5 minutes ago, Dave Fields said:

Chrysler did 1957 better, at least on the styling board. It caused GM to trash future model years, and make the 1958 GM cars a one year only styling offering. But Chrysler had many QC problems, and both Chrysler products and Ford products rotted, especially in the highly stressed complex curves at both ends of the car. GM, of course matched Chrysler and Fords for rot speed when they introduced their 1959 models. One has to really appreciate the modern carbon fiber bodies with wonderful sharp edges, as well as the styling features of modern head and tail lights.

 

The only reason the 58 chevrolet was a one year only was because GM wanted in 1959 that all of the glass to be shared between body styles in each division, it became cost effective. If Chrysler did better on the styling boards it certainly was not reflected in the sales compared to Ford and Chevrolet

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Just now, John348 said:

 

The only reason the 58 chevrolet was a one year only was because GM wanted in 1959 that all of the glass to be shared between body styles in each division, it became cost effective. If Chrysler did better on the styling boards it certainly was not reflected in the sales compared to Ford and Chevrolet

I certainly disagree, and there are many sources that state that GM styling had to do an emergency re boot of the entire product line. Chrysler, as usual, shot itself in the foot with many quality control and recall issues with their product line that slowed production. If memory serves, the headlight areas were rusting before they got off the dealers lots. GMC had too much planning for what you state to have happened.

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7 hours ago, Dave Fields said:

I certainly disagree, and there are many sources that state that GM styling had to do an emergency re boot of the entire product line. Chrysler, as usual, shot itself in the foot with many quality control and recall issues with their product line that slowed production. If memory serves, the headlight areas were rusting before they got off the dealers lots. GMC had too much planning for what you state to have happened.

 

Dave it was in the works for a long time that 1959 was going to be the year that the glass platforms were going to be the same. To much planning for what I stated.... really????  When was this emergency re-boot 1955? It took a a few years to design the retool. I don't care for 58 Chevy's at all, but they were on the design table in 1954.   It was all about profits, if they save $4.00 a car across the board it is a lot of money

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Yes, it is a Nomad and I also have a thing about turquoise 55's. The Nomad pictured above has a 502 Big Block and the turquoise Nomad under construction has a small block. They also have a factory correct 55 coupe little sister that is turquoise of course. I'm not rich, I just start with VERY rough (and cheap) projects as the build is what I like the most. All were done in my shop but most have to go to finance the next project.

 

 

Kenneth's Mod A, Nomad, Stude, 34 chev 046.jpg

IMG_4542.JPG

IMG_4547.JPG

IMG_4543.JPG

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Very nice, thanks for the pics! Of all the Chevy’s, 55 is my favorite. 

 

Four years ago when I first went to help my father in Texas, I started by cleaning and boxing up his many Franklin Mint and Danbury Mint model cars. He must have had close to 75.

 

I saw the tourquois 55 Nomad and was intrigued. I had never remembered seeing one, so I did some research. It is the only one I regret getting rid of. I love seeing them at car shows now. 

Edited by victorialynn2 (see edit history)

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49 minutes ago, victorialynn2 said:

Very nice, thanks for the pics! Of all the Chevy’s, 55 is my favorite. 

 

Four years ago when I first went to help my father in Texas, I started by cleaning and boxing up his many Franklin Mint and Danbury Mint model cars. He must have had close to 75.

 

I saw the tourquois 55 Nomad and was intrigued. I had never remembered seening one, so I did some research. It is the only one I regret getting rid of. I love seeing them at car shows now. 

 

The great thing about Franklin Mint Cars, they are easy to find in good shape and a heck of a lot cheaper and smaller

  • Haha 2

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As a kid my second car was a turquoise & white '55 Bel Air 2-Door Hardtop with the 265.  The  powerglide was yanked in favor of a  3-speed manual with a Hurst floor shift.  It sported a 59 Chevy Steering wheel, lake plugs, a mean rake and 1955 Pontiac station wagon tail lights.

 

Ah, those were the days!

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"nowhere near that many left" part of the reason I have always liked the more upscale cars, much higher percentage remain and most B-bodies in the 60s were available with a 4-speed. That said having grown up in a strange land the only cars of the 50s I had were an MGA and XK Jags. Of course I learned to drive in a 41 Ford Torpedoback  (in the Bahamas) but never owned one.

 

'63 was the year GM went to alternators and always liked that year particularly the GPs with the unshrouded headlights. 67 and 70 were also "vintage years" IMNSHO.

 

errr perhaps "lakes pipes" ?

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

"nowhere near that many left" part of the reason I have always liked the more upscale cars, much higher percentage remain and most B-bodies in the 60s were available with a 4-speed. That said having grown up in a strange land the only cars of the 50s I had were an MGA and XK Jags. Of course I learned to drive in a 41 Ford Torpedoback  (in the Bahamas) but never owned one.

 

'63 was the year GM went to alternators and always liked that year particularly the GPs with the unshrouded headlights. 67 and 70 were also "vintage years" IMNSHO.

 

errr perhaps "lakes pipes" ?

 Of course in  thread about 1957 Fords and Chevrolets it's only natural to mention something else and unrelated

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29 minutes ago, John348 said:

 Of course in  thread about 1957 Fords and Chevrolets it's only natural to mention something else and unrelated

He knows the OP does that all the time. It’s fine. ?

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