The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, riding on new 14 inch tires, was two and a half inches longer and stood one and a half inches lower than the previous year’s model. It also featured a distinctive new grille integrated with new front bumpers. On the bonnet, gun-sight ornaments fronted the new wind splitters while three gold chevrons could be found on each front wing. At the rear, distinct new tail fins ended in sharply defined chrome caps and the petrol cap was concealed behind the left taillight. The top of the line Bel Air also had chrome sills and distinctive ribbed satin-finish wedge panels on the rear wings. Bel Airs were available in seven different models and were trimmed with anodized aluminum on the rear body side panels.
Under the hood, Chevy owners could choose from the tried-and-true six or 265 cubic inch V8, or from up to a half dozen variations of the enlarged 283 cubic inch V8 engine. But the rarest of the rare, and the most powerful of all, was the fuel-injected V8. At 283 horsepower, when fitted with high compression heads, this was the first engine to achieve the magic one horsepower per cubic inch. When fitted to the standard 8.5:1 compression heads, it was still good for an impressive 250hp.