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Thread: Hello from Upstate NY 57 210 4 Door Sport Sedan

  1. #1
    Registered Member
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    Dec 2019

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    Webster, in Upstate NY
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    Hello from Upstate NY 57 210 4 Door Sport Sedan

    I am posting the first of many (I am sure) posts.
    This forum has a wealth of knowledge and some of the friendliest folks around.
    I am surprised it has taken me so long to join. I guess I have been working on other projects and now it's time to give the attention to the 57 Chevy.

    A little history (sorry it's long):
    I was 17 and working at a gas station in upstate NY at the time. On July 5th, 1975 around 9:00 AM a filthy 57 Chevy with Arizona plates pulled up to the gas pumps. I could barely tell what color it was as most of the car had mud and sand on it. The interior was filled front and back with guitars and amplifiers and couldn't see much else. I did notice that it wasn't the Bel Air model and it was a weird looking 4 door model (no post between the doors). What did I know about 57's anyway... (it is a 210 4 Door Hardtop)
    Around 2:00 PM the car came back in all washed up, cleaned interior, this time with all the windows all rolled up. When the driver opened the door, all this cold air came out. I walked around the car and noticed that the car was originally turquoise, shiny turquoise and someone had painted the car all white. There was 4 or 5 areas where the paint had flaked off to reveal this beautiful paint underneath. As I approached the passenger rear window, I saw a for sale sign on it with a price tag of $1600. I peaked inside to see cloth seat covers over all the seats and there was a rubber floor mat where I had normally thought should be carpet. I saw the old style under-dash air conditioner unit, but no radio or clock (just the cover plates). I also noticed that the windows appeared to be tinted just a bit. All the hubcaps, tires and wheels looked original and also painted white with some areas pealed off.

    As I finished pumping the $4.00 dollars into the tank (at $.32 a gallon, that was about 12 gallons.), I opened the hood to check the oil (as that what you did in those days) to see this massive air-cleaner (minus the snout) and an aftermarket air-conditioner running. I asked him to rev it up so I could hear the motor a bit and discovered that it had aftermarket cherry-bomb mufflers in it but that the exhaust went all the way back to the rear bumper. Motor was dirty but all complete and intact. I wiped away some of the dirt (sand) to again find nice shiny paint on the inner fenders and valve covers.

    After crawling under the car to see this amazingly perfect underside (no rust, dents, cuts or scrapes (again living in NY everything I saw had rust) I was convinced that this car was mine. I asked the owner of the gas station, (my older brother) if I could borrow $900 cash to "wave in front of the guy". He said OK and I walked over to the guy and offered him the cash. He called his wife and she agreed that this was OK. After convincing my father that I wanted this car, he said that we needed to have my uncle (ace mechanic) look this car over first. We drove the car to my uncles house for a close inspection. Only issues that could be found was that the brake pedal went to the floor and a large crack in the windshield. My father was convinced that this was not the car for me and he let the seller know it.

    I was dumbfounded and weak in the knees.

    Little did I know but my father was excellent in the art of "Haggling". The Seller agreed to drop the price $25 to pay for half of the windshield and my father agreed. Finally it was mine. Once home I figured out how to change out the master cylinder, get it inspected and license it.
    Through the years, the car has been stripped, painted, motor completely rebuilt, original turbo glide was removed (and is being rebuilt) while an original power glide takes its place. All underside has been cleaned and painted, all brakes have been replaced and now I am working on the headliner, windlace and weatherstripping. Doors, seats and carpeting are all done (but I am looking for the original rubber mats to replace the carpet). I haven't felt like bringing it out too much because it isn't done, although I am getting pressure from the family to drive it more.
    I have restored 3 Indian and Harley motorcycles, built a Cobra replica (Factory Five) and acquired a 54 Chevy 6500 2 ton dual wheel truck that I am finishing as well. I have had many other projects as well. The 57 was my first and will always be my favorite. Now I need to finish it and enjoy it

    A big thanks to all of you and all the information you have provided me over the years.

    Best Regards
    Don
    DonPNY
    __________________
    DonpNY

    Proud owner of a 57 210 4 Door Hardtop since 1975. Almost Done...….

  2. #2
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    Webster, in Upstate NY
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    More to come
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Donpny; 12-16-2019 at 08:14 PM.

  3. #3
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    And here is the rest of the story.
    Seems that the guy who was selling the car was in a band. He had a gig somewhere in Arizona so he packed up his van and 2 other guys (Grand Funk Railroad style - you know 3 man rock and roll band)
    Well as he was on his way back from a tour, the van crapped out on a country road. The guy got out and started walking towards a farm. He saw the 57 on the side of the house just sitting there with plates on it. He approached the farmer to ask if it was for sale and he told him that it was his wife's car and went to get her. At first she was reluctant as it was her fathers car,but after a little coaxing from her husband she sold it...... For...... $300.
    Now the guy runs back to the van, pulls off the plates and junked it on the side of the road. He and the other two band members grabbed all the amps, guitars, microphones and drums and stuffed them into the 57. They ate lunch with the farmer and his wife and drove back to Upstate NY. On the trip home, a small stone hit the windshield and just inside the NY border the mastercylinder got squishy. They made their way home on the 4th of July, 1975.

    I was going into my senior year of high school and on the first day back, very proud of my new purchase, I was shocked to see 4 of my friends had 57s and 2 had 56 Chevys. Mine was the only 4 door and not a BelAir. I didn't much care, but after a while I was getting sick of hearing "too bad it's not not a 2 door".
    I have lived with that always in the back of my mind for a long time...... Now I just feel blessed that I never had to sell it or needed to sell it. The plan is to bring it back to original.


    And you all know the rest of the story.

    Thanx for listening

    DonPNY
    __________________
    DonpNY

    Proud owner of a 57 210 4 Door Hardtop since 1975. Almost Done...….

  4. #4
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    So about mid August 2018 my daughter, who was getting married in late September asked if my car could be in the wedding.

    OH MAN....

    At the time, I had the top end off the motor, as I was in the process of painting the firewall, inner fenders and motor. I was also in the process of restoring these parts as well as the generator, windshield wiper motor, master cylinder (and all brakes) radiator needed rebuilding AND I had very little of the interior in the car.

    A little back history. I bought the car on July 5th 1975 for $875 and after several loose attempts at painting the car and repairing the motor, I decided to do a frame on restoration and have all the sheet metal dipped, primed and painted in the original color. With only 46k miles the motor seemed fine but a rebuild was in order. Assembly followed and in 1981, I had a respectable car to drive. Then Life got in the way and the car was only used sparingly. After 3 or 4 car and motorcycle project, I finally decided that I needed to freshen this baby up. I started the disassembly process and when I had time, I worked at it, leasurely taking my time , researching and calling vendors, etc...
    Since it is not a BelAir, I had a lot of trouble finding another one that I could use as example or to help determine how something should look.
    I had seen so many 210s turn into BelAirs over the years and many 4 doors turn into 2 doors. I guess to each his own on the modifications.
    Anyway- I worked at my own pace for 30 years …. that is till I got that call from my daughter about the car being in the wedding.

    in 2 months I did the following:

    Stripped, primed and painted the motor (61k miles), inner fenders and firewall with the motor in the car.

    Blasted and treated the exhaust manifolds and installed them

    Re installed the intake and valve covers after a thorough cleaning

    Rebuilt the carburetor

    Repaired and replaced most of the engine wiring and front end wiring.

    Rebuilding and restoring the generator and wiper motor.

    Complete tune up and oil change

    Radiator, battery box and voltage regulator restore and paint.

    New Headliner and new Windlace- Thanks Gina

    Seats, carpet , dash gauges, radio and clock and glove box all restored or replaced.

    polish all original chrome and stainless and install

    Claybared the entire car- lacquer paint from 1981 still looks almost flawless


    I got 2-3 hour sleep each night and worked 5-6 days a week as well at my real job.

    It was all worth it. But I must say that crawling into the engine compartment for hours at a time, I felt like I was 20 again. (My back and legs reminded me that I am 60, but it was a good pain I guess.)

    Proud father and beautiful bride and wonderful new son-in law

    Thanks for listening.

    Donpny

    A few before and after shots.
    Attached Thumbnails

















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  5. #5
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    A '57 2 door just would NOT work as a chaffeured wedding car~

    Your turquoise beauty is all groomed up, and the bride is beautiful~! Good work!

  6. #6
    Moderator NickP's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard!

  7. #7
    Registered Member Tabasco's Avatar
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    Wow! Great story and a beautiful car.

  8. #8
    Registered Member carls 56's Avatar
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    Culpeper, Va.
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    hi Don and welcome. good to have you here and nice intro. very neat to have the 57 since HS. I'm sure this will be a family heirloom.
    ARMY NAM VET, very proud!

    56 210 4dr

    drive and enjoy them while you work on them, life is to short.

  9. #9
    Administrator 567chevys's Avatar
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    Kelso,Washington
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    Hello Don ,

    Welcome to the site , Great Pictures and Great story.

    Thanks Sid

    1955 2 DR Post
    1937 Chevy Coupe
    2019 Ford Suoer Duty F350
    2018 Ford Explorer
    1955 Chevy Nomad
    1934 Plymouth PE Coupe

  10. #10
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    I enjoyed the pics and the back story. Your car is sweet. I'm glad you were able to hold onto it all this time.

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