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Is the 57 Chevy a good first car?


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Hi!

There is a blue 1957 Chevy for sale near me, and I am looking at buying to for my first vehicle!

So, what I would like to know is if it would be right for me.

•I live in Canada, so we can get quite a bit of snow. How would it handle in the winter? With winter tires of course.

•How would it be on gas?

•It has 100 thousand kilometres on it, is that ok for an old car?

•Would the radio still work?

•how different is driving an older car compared to a new one?

•Random question, what's your favourite color for a 57 Chevy?

The car it's self is $5800 OBO, it runs and stops. Has new tires, brakes, a battery, carb and ignition. I am 16 if that matters :P

here is a picture of it.

post-104874-143142861867_thumb.jpg

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Hi!

There is a blue 1957 Chevy for sale near me, and I am looking at buying to for my first vehicle!

So, what I would like to know is if it would be right for me.

•I live in Canada, so we can get quite a bit of snow. How would it handle in the winter? With winter tires of course.

•How would it be on gas?

•It has 100 thousand kilometres on it, is that ok for an old car?

•Would the radio still work?

•how different is driving an older car compared to a new one?

•Random question, what's your favourite color for a 57 Chevy?

The car it's self is $5800 OBO, it runs and stops. Has new tires, brakes, a battery, carb and ignition. I am 16 if that matters :P

here is a picture of it.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]284174[/ATTACH]

Only $5800?....... :eek:

I wouldn't waste any time at that price!

Go look at it.

Crawl around underneath to see how the floor and trunk pans are.

What's under the hood? (not that it matters at THAT price)

You've probably never driven anything without power brakes so you'll need to adjust to that.

As for Winter handling it will handle as well as any other rear wheel drive car.

If that car is in any shape at all you'd be hard pressed to lose money on it!

Can't say that about very many cars....... :rolleyes:

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Don't waste your time. You can do way better if all you want is transportation.

A car like that should not be used in a Canadian winter, it is not safe or reliable, and you will quickly destroy it.

If you can afford to keep it in the garage and use it on nice days in the summer you couldn't make a better choice. But for daily year round use in Canada, no.

Suggest you buy the best late model Honda or Toyota you can find for the money you have to spend.

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Only $5800?....... :eek:

I wouldn't waste any time at that price!

Go look at it.

Crawl around underneath to see how the floor and trunk pans are.

What's under the hood? (not that it matters at THAT price)

You've probably never driven anything without power brakes so you'll need to adjust to that.

As for Winter handling it will handle as well as any other rear wheel drive car.

If that car is in any shape at all you'd be hard pressed to lose money on it!

Can't say that about very many cars....... :rolleyes:

Wow cool! If he gets back to me tonight I'll post some more pictures. I'm really really excited!

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Don't waste your time. You can do way better if all you want is transportation.

A car like that should not be used in a Canadian winter, it is not safe or reliable, and you will quickly destroy it.

If you can afford to keep it in the garage and use it on nice days in the summer you couldn't make a better choice. But for daily year round use in Canada, no.

Suggest you buy the best late model Honda or Toyota you can find for the money you have to spend.

Oh really? I mostly would only be driving it in the summer, fall and spring (the roads can get kind of scary in the winter) I would really like an older car as they are very simple to work on (compared to new ones) and of course they look amazing. What's not safe about a 57 Chevy?

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Oh really? I mostly would only be driving it in the summer, fall and spring (the roads can get kind of scary in the winter) I would really like an older car as they are very simple to work on (compared to new ones) and of course they look amazing. What's not safe about a 57 Chevy?

Can you tell us your age?

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He said in his original post that he is 16 years old.

Before you get too far into your consideration of purchasing this car you really will want to have a very experienced car mechanic spend an hour or two going over and under and in and out on this. You must find someone who really knows the old Chevys and not just the new ones as this car is very different from anything made in the past couple of decades. Given the selling price and the fact that it was not snapped up in the first 5 minutes at that price you should expect that there are likely some pretty serious problems, perhaps in the sheet metal, or the engine, or the electrical or all of the other systems in the car. Chevys from the mid 1950s command much higher prices if they are in reasonable condition. The next thing you need to do before buying something like this is to satisfy yourself that you know how to repair one of these - not just superficially, but really know how to repair the engine and brakes etc. etc. Alternatively you need to be sure you have a mechanic who can do it for you and that you have a large budget to pay for the regular trips to the mechanic it will likely need several times a year if it has not been completely rebuilt which is doubtful at that price. Old cars are great fun for a hobby but they are not so great for reliable transportation. Also, they are an expensive hobby since the constant repairs and parts will become costly fairly quickly. My point is to really do your research and then if you are ready to dive in then go for it as it can be a really fun hobby. Oh, about the radio, if it still has its original radio it will likely need to be repaired unless the previous owner had it done. Any radio can be repaired but these old car radios are not inexpensive to have fixed as they need real specialists to do it and parts are not inexpensive. And it would be an AM radio. Do you have interesting AM radio stations where you live? An original radio to the car would not have an FM band on it which is what most popular radio stations broadcast on these days.

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There is such a thing as progress, as much as I like the old cars the truth is, new cars are about 10 times better in every way. More reliable, better handling, better performance in snow and ice, less maintenance required, safer, more economical, just better all around.

And this is comparing a brand new 1957 to a brand new 2014. That Chevy is now 57 years old which is 3249 in dog years. It passed its Best Before date when Cher was an ingenue.

Frankly if I was looking for a daily driver I would be looking for a Honda or Toyota, and I have been messing around with cars like that Chevy for 50 years. I would not consider it for my only car although, I drove many cars like it in the sixties.

Having said that, if you must have an old car, and you have money to burn, and you don't have to have a car every day especially in winter, in other words if you can treat it as a hobby or collector car...

Under all those conditions you couldn't do better than a 57 Chevy for your first collector car. They are cheap and common in every way. All parts are available, most from your local auto parts store, the rest are being reproduced by vintage parts specialists. There are still plenty of old time mechanics around who know those cars inside and out, and Chevy V8s are well known everywhere since they kept on using them practically unchanged until just a few years ago.

Also they are considered very desirable, are easy to sell and usually bring a good price. A 4 door sedan is about the most common, and least desirable or valuable body style but even those are popular.

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As far as winter driving goes I would rather drive a modern front drive car on summer tires, than that Chevy on snow tires, there is that big a difference in traction and handling. Every time I drive my 2006 mini van on snow, on its Goodyear Tiger Paws cheap summer tires, I get a thrill out of how much better and easier it handles than the old rear drive cars. And no, I am not kidding.

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Gas mileage about 17 or 18. Doesn't matter if it is a 6 or V8, standard or automatic, the only way to get over 20 MPG in the real world is lie about it and I don't care what the old farts tell you.

100,000 Km = 61,000 miles. This was on the high side on a 57 although it is nothing on a newer car. They were pretty well shot to blazes at 100,000 miles if they still ran at all.

If it really only has 61000 miles it should run halfway decent. The speedos back then all read in miles so don't let anyone kid you that it is in kilometers.

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Cars back then required a lot of upkeep like oil changes, grease jobs, tuneups etc etc. Plus that car may have 50 years of deferred maintenance owing to it.

On the plus side they are easy to work on, compared to new cars, and parts are available and usually cheap.

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Transistor car radios were just coming in, the 57 Chev is one of the last with tube radio. Chances are it stopped working a long time ago. On the good side it is a common type of radio, parts are available, and any repair man or technician familiar with tube radios can rebuild it. It also has better reception than the radios of today.

The down side is, it is AM only. But, there are ways of getting around that.

My favorite color of 57 Chev is a Bel Air hardtop in white and salmon pink.

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Don't waste your time. You can do way better if all you want is transportation.

A car like that should not be used in a Canadian winter, it is not safe or reliable, and you will quickly destroy it.

If you can afford to keep it in the garage and use it on nice days in the summer you couldn't make a better choice. But for daily year round use in Canada, no.

Suggest you buy the best late model Honda or Toyota you can find for the money you have to spend.

I'm with Rusty on this one. I would add Nissan to that list too.

What is more important here is what do your parents think?, after all you are a minor.

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My first car was a 6 cylinder '59 Chevy Biscayne I bought when I was 17 in 1968 and I drove the snot out it 12 months a year.

Back then we had some wicked Wisconsin Winters.

It never failed to start even at -30º and I never went in the ditch or got stuck with it.

I never understood the mystique of the '57's although I think they are nice cars.

I asked my old friend, Chet Krause (of Iola Old Car Show fame) what's the deal with that and he told me, in part, "That's the year Chevrolet got it all together".

BTW........the radio, if original, has a vibrator and is all tubes.

In 1959 the radios had one power output transistor mounted on a large heat sink.

Edited by cahartley (see edit history)
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I'm with Rusty on this one. I would add Nissan to that list too.

What is more important here is what do your parents think?, after all you are a minor.

I guess it all boils down to this: Do you want an old car that you want to learn how to work on or a newer, more dependable car? I imagine that since you are looking for answers on this particular forum that you want to try an old car. I think all drivers should cut their teeth on a more primitive car such as the '57 simply to teach them how to do the work. You can always sell the '57 if it is just too much for you to work on or learn about and buy a disposable Nissan or Honda or....

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I guess it all boils down to this: Do you want an old car that you want to learn how to work on or a newer, more dependable car? I imagine that since you are looking for answers on this particular forum that you want to try an old car. I think all drivers should cut their teeth on a more primitive car such as the '57 simply to teach them how to do the work. You can always sell the '57 if it is just too much for you to work on or learn about and buy a disposable Nissan or Honda or....

No, it boils down to this. His parents are responsible for what he does. So does he have their blessings? If so, then he can go forward, or not depending on what they say.

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In my opinion that engine is the best engine GM ever built and if something goes haywire they are easy to work on and parts are available nearly everywhere.

But with that engine in front of an automatic tranny you won't set any new speed records........which might a GOOD thing?....... LOL

This brings back memories.

Shortly before I bought the '59 I tried buying a '48 Chev from an old man about a mile down the road.

I even HAD the car to test drive for a couple days and, NATURALLY, I wanted it.

For one reason or another the owner's son didn't think I should buy it and put the kibosh to it.

That was 6 banger too with a 3 on the tree........even had a tinted visor....... :cool:

Edited by cahartley (see edit history)
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hello stuuuuuuarrt, in 1973 i was 17, i bought with my own money my second car while going to high school, a 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina two door hardtop. the original owners quit driving it in 1971, i still have this car today, 41 years later. if you have access to a much newer car for winter driving, i would advise you to keep the 57 chevy in the garage until nice weather comes back. as others have said, when it comes to finding parts for it, you can't go wrong with a 57 chevy. you can send the radio to places that will upgrade it to have am/fm and a mp3 plug in. the pictures you posted shows a nice sedan well worth the asking price. if you can, go and test drive the car, see if you like the way it feels to you. if you buy it, i hope you'll keep it for 41 years or more.

charles l. coker

1953 pontiac tech advisor

tech advisor coordinator

poci

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hello stuuuuuuarrt, in 1973 i was 17, i bought with my own money my second car while going to high school, a 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina two door hardtop. the original owners quit driving it in 1971, i still have this car today, 41 years later. if you have access to a much newer car for winter driving, i would advise you to keep the 57 chevy in the garage until nice weather comes back. as others have said, when it comes to finding parts for it, you can't go wrong with a 57 chevy. you can send the radio to places that will upgrade it to have am/fm and a mp3 plug in. the pictures you posted shows a nice sedan well worth the asking price. if you can, go and test drive the car, see if you like the way it feels to you. if you buy it, i hope you'll keep it for 41 years or more.

charles l. coker

1953 pontiac tech advisor

tech advisor coordinator

poci

My grandpa has a 57 Pontiac, bought it brand new! I would try to get that one running, but it has not been started up for more than 15 years, and has been sitting outside for longer :P

And about the raido, would I still be able to have Vintage car insurance if I had them upgrade the radio? I think it all needs to be Original.

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I noticed that the car has been repainted within abour one year and right over rust.

Be prepaired foe a lot of rust showing soon. BUT! Go for it! I would love to have a 57 for a first beater.

It will probaly last for a few years and then you wll be able to afford a better one.

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I bought my first car at 16 in '76.. 56 2 door post 210 withthe inline six and powerglide auto, vacuum wipers...manual steering and brakes.

I drove it daily through the blozzard of 77-78...ran and drove dependably, but was a big hulking tank, and not much fun to drive...I loved it, but

it seemed huge..Your 57 is cheap cause it is a low line model, with low line engine etc..stripped down...Maybe things have changed, but 4 doors are

not cool in my neighborhood..2 door hardtop, or even 2 door post or wagon, 4 doors dont sell real well, low ball your offer...or better yet, get a car 10 years newer, any..the difference is enough that you will be much more comfortable, and safer..I crashed my 56 several times...sold it and bought a 67 Pontiac

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Stu - you may already know a "tri Five" chevy in a more desirable, two door hardtop, for example, bodystyle is well out of reach for an average 16 year old. This car gives you something interesting to drive, yet affordable, and not irreplaceable at the same time.

At $5,800, yuor prospective car seems like a good deal to me if it is solid. As a first car, the mechanics are simple enough and I will assume you have the interest or you would be looking at a more modern cookie cutter. Sounds like your driving needs mirror many 16 year olds, local, and not neccesary in real bad weather. You will need to pay a little more attention on the road, yes it is older but this is not a brass car and for around town you should be fine. I will politely disagree with some of the naysayers here and encourage you to go for it - at that price you won't likely get hurt financially. Keep it stock and spend any money on mechanical maintenance and any fixes you need to do along the way. You will have a head turner, but nothing so expensive that if it gets dented in the HS parking lot, for example, you are not out thousands on a repair.

I would try to negotiate them down a bit, and plan on spending a few bucks ensuring all safety items, front end, etc. are up to snuff. The advice to have a pro look it over if at all possible to give you an idea of the mechanical needs is good, especially if no one in your family is mechanically inclined - you may well get there but it is a learning process.

Dare to be different and you will remember this car fondly many years later. Not sure that passion exists for a used Accord no matter how nice it is.

Mssr. Bwatoe, your '56 is deja vu for me, I had the identical car except with a 265/PG combo. I completely restored it and promptly swapped for a Corvette - what a POS that car was compared to the '56....

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My friend's brother here in Pennsylvania is about 18,

and he drives a 1957 Chevrolet as his everyday car.

So you'll have some company.

In a similar vein, I drove a classic 1973 Riviera for 2 years

as an everyday car. I made sure to have it rust-proofed

thoroughly, and drove it in all seasons. After 2 years I

relegated it to collector status, then restored some things,

and I still have the Riv. I was relatively new to the hobby then,

and I had been hesitant to buy an old car for an everyday driver,

but a co-worker who loved old cars told me to "go for it!"

I'm glad I did.

If I were you, Stuart, I'd probably not want to drive your '57 Chevy

in the wintertime. You wouldn't want your pride and joy to

rust. But in all other seasons, you will have a lot of fun!

I wouldn't hesitate to do the same thing today, and you

shouldn't either. You're doing the right thing to investigate first.

What antique-car fan would tell a teenage enthusiast to buy a modern Toyota!

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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No, it boils down to this. His parents are responsible for what he does. So does he have their blessings? If so, then he can go forward, or not depending on what they say.

Yes, ultimately, it is the parents call, but the direction towards what the 16 year old actually wants will determine what he ends up with.

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I drove one just like it that belonged to a friend except it had a manual transmission. I can attest that even with a manual transmission, the car was not very quick. So with the power-glide I would imagine it would even drive more leisurely. I've driven a 62 Nova with a six and power-glide and it was a bit of a slow poke. I don't know if it had the 194 or 230 though.

The 57 is a roomy car and visibility is excellent from the driver's seat. I'm a little concerned about what rust is visible from the photo. I would take a weak magnet just strong enough to stick to painted metal and go around all the lower edges of the body. I have a feeling there is a lot of bondo on the car. I would also look at the front floor pans, the trunk pans and especially in the spare tire well.

This car is obviously repainted and may have even been painted a few times as is visible from the firewall inside the engine compartment.

It should make a good daily driver if everything check out OK. They don't come close to newer cars but many generations have used them over the years as basic transportation and since so many are still around that attests to their popularity and usefulness.

BTW, I didn't see a radio in the photo so I wouldn't even worry about it. The music from the engine should be good enough. ;)

I also agree with daring to be different. Today's basic transportation cars are nothing more than appliances and every bit as boring. They are made to be thrown away (recycled) as most fender benders will render them totaled.

Edited by Bleach (see edit history)
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Yes, ultimately, it is the parents call, but the direction towards what the 16 year old actually wants will determine what he ends up with.

I agree, after he's 18 if his parents don't want it.

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I drove one just like it that belonged to a friend except it had a manual transmission. I can attest that even with a manual transmission, the car was not very quick. So with the power-glide I would imagine it would even drive more leisurely. I've driven a 62 Nova with a six and power-glide and it was a bit of a slow poke. I don't know if it had the 194 or 230 though.

The 57 is a roomy car and visibility is excellent from the driver's seat. I'm a little concerned about what rust is visible from the photo. I would take a weak magnet just strong enough to stick to painted metal and go around all the lower edges of the body. I have a feeling there is a lot of bondo on the car. I would also look at the front floor pans, the trunk pans and especially in the spare tire well.

This car is obviously repainted and may have even been painted a few times as is visible from the firewall inside the engine compartment.

It should make a good daily driver if everything check out OK. They don't come close to newer cars but many generations have used them over the years as basic transportation and since so many are still around that attests to their popularity and usefulness.

BTW, I didn't see a radio in the photo so I wouldn't even worry about it. The music from the engine should be good enough. ;)

I also agree with daring to be different. Today's basic transportation cars are nothing more than appliances and every bit as boring. They are made to be thrown away (recycled) as most fender benders will render them totaled.

HA! Will the engine be that loud?

and for the few who are asking what my parents think, my mum has been trying to talk me out of it (saying that it would be too much work) after school (which I'm at right now) I am going to go talk to my grandpa, see wha he thinks. He might help with the payment a bit.

I do have access to a Toyota for the winter, it just needs a new starter.

How much do you guys think it would be to repaint it? (I would be able to sand it down)

when I get home I'll say more, I need to go to Math now :(

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HA! Will the engine be that loud?

and for the few who are asking what my parents think, my mum has been trying to talk me out of it (saying that it would be too much work) after school (which I'm at right now) I am going to go talk to my grandpa, see wha he thinks. He might help with the payment a bit.

I do have access to a Toyota for the winter, it just needs a new starter.

How much do you guys think it would be to repaint it? (I would be able to sand it down)

when I get home I'll say more, I need to go to Math now :(

There is really no way to determine what a paint job would cost without seeing how much rust is present.

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HA! Will the engine be that loud?

and for the few who are asking what my parents think, my mum has been trying to talk me out of it (saying that it would be too much work) after school (which I'm at right now) I am going to go talk to my grandpa, see wha he thinks. He might help with the payment a bit.

I do have access to a Toyota for the winter, it just needs a new starter.

How much do you guys think it would be to repaint it? (I would be able to sand it down)

when I get home I'll say more, I need to go to Math now :(

Sounds like your mom is trying to be nice, however your mom and dad have the final say until you are a adult. Remember anything that happens while you are driving that car ( accidents, personal injury etc. ) is their responsibility, they are on the hook not you.

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Go for it. You're only young once. Who among us hasn't made an irrational car buying decision at some time? It's all about the memories you can build up over time. Forget what most of these folks say. Don't let them kill your dream. Of course it doesn't make sense to buy a '57 as your first car but imagine the fun you'll have 50 years from now telling your grand kids about your first car. Even if the car turns out to be a bust you'll still have the memories, good or bad.

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#40 is the answer. Disregard all the others.

Old cars are supposed to be fun. Have fun. A friend of mine said, "All I want to do is have fun until I die." You've got 50-70 years to go. Don't end up whining, when you're on your death bed, that I shoulda bought that ol' Chevy

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These cars were daily drivers in all kinds of weather when new. They will work the same now. Do not expect this car to handle or brake like a newer car, and it does not have the safety features of newer cars. Personally, I don't have a problem with that, as I put more emphasis on driver responsibility than "automatic" protection systems (anyone who thinks software is infallible has never used a Microsoft product). It will be easy to work on, parts availability is about the best there is, and there isn't much to break.

The one thing that worries me is this picture:

post-48036-143142863536_thumb.jpg

This tells me that there is bondo and fiberglass over existing rust. Check this VERY carefully, as a car that looks good but was poorly repaired can turn to poo poo in a short period of time.

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I think everyone is forgetting that when these era vehicles were our every day first cars they were just 10-20 year old used cars, no different then someone today driving a 2005 or 1995 on the road now. It would almost like for us to have bought a Model T or even earlier, and used it for every day use in the late 60's and early 70's.

I say yes it is great for a 16 year old to buy the car, but make sure Mom and Dad will loan you their car when there is a problem, and trust me there will be! While parts are there for a 57 Chevy, most likely they are not sitting on the shelf at the local auto parts store, so repairs can take more time then expected. When you are late for work and you tell your boss your car broke down, not everyone understands why you want to drive a 60 year old car. When my three sons entered the work force the first thing we did was co- sign a loan on a new car for each of them. My oldest son enjoys the older cars and he owns a 54 Chevy, but drives a fairly new GMC pick-up everyday. We live in a much more congested area so it really is not that practical,

I agree with Heflen 100%, it is the parents call not ours.

Edited by Biscayne John (see edit history)
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