SP Rides: A Modern Classic
BY MICHAEL KITCHENS
Owner: Steve Hyer
Occupation: Retired mechanic
Year, Make, Model: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
Color: Wildfire Red
Engine: GM High Performance LS1, all aluminum, cast iron sleeves, ARP Fasteners, electric fuel injection, EMS, 35mm throttle body, stainless steel fuel tank, billet radiator
Transmission: 4-speed GM FL-60E transmission, rear differential corvette Dana 44, ratio 3.50 to 1
Exterior: Paul Newman Design Chassis, frame and components powdercoated, LED head and taillights
Interior: Full custom upholstered, custom carpet and floor mats, all fittings and handles replaced, custom center console, custom electric bucket seats, all billet dash with analog/digital Dakota gauges, custom billet steering wheel, custom upholstered trunk
Suspension: Modern front and rear with power rack-and-pinion steering, front and rear mono transverse composite springs
Wheels/Brakes/Tires: 18-inch Foose wheels, Hydra Boost brake booster, Corvette drilled and slotted disc brakes, Fuzion 24540R18 tires
The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air is one of the most sought-after classic vehicles of its time. During its time, it was a renowned track-worthy vehicle on both the short track as well as the dirt tracks. It was practically unbeatable on the racetracks, so much so that it was outlawed. This car is worth its weight in gold at this point with a few convertible versions selling on the market for as much as $100,000.
This car was found online and purchased in September of 2015 up in Delta, Colorado. Steven Hyer flew up on a Thursday and came back with the title on Saturday. He was blown away by the condition of the vehicle, so its purchase was a no-brainer. He immediately had the ride shipped back to Hawaii.
Unlike some original classic cars, this ride is a melding of both the new and old. It’s a modern take on a classic vehicle. The beating heart of this Chevy is a GM High Performance LS1 that’s all aluminum with cast iron sleeves. ARP Fasteners hold everything in place while an engine management system keeps it pumping. Just one look under the hood requires a set of shades for your peepers, as it’s brilliant and blindingly chrome-shiny bright.
The entire vehicle is like this — even the underbody is so clean you could eat off of it. The exterior has been lovingly restored and placed on a Paul Newman Design chassis, with every bit of the body maintained to loving standards. All of the shiny bits have been restored and that front fascia is gleaming gold and chrome trim. The front and rear lights have also been swapped to LED versions.
The underpinnings of the car have been all switched and upgraded to more modern and reliable components. The suspension is full rack-and-pinion steering with front and rear mono transverse composite springs. The wheels are 18-inch Foose models which feature a full set of Corvette drilled and slotted disc brakes. They’re huge and complement the Fuzion 245/40R18 tires.
Not to be ignored is the lovingly handled interior that features custom upholstered bucket seats and center console, custom carpet and floor mats, as well as a gorgeous billet steering wheel. Even the rear trunk has gotten the white upholstery treatment and the result is a simply stunning ride.
It’s so stunning that Hyer is currently set to have this gorgeous example of a ’57 auctioned off at the Barrett Jackson auction in January. Set to debut among 2,000 other vehicles, this will certainly be a standout thanks to its restomod condition blending the old with the new.
Hyer is adamant that in 100 years this ride will still be on the road — possibly with some fancy all electric components. But nonetheless, it’ll be preserved for future auto enthusiasts to enjoy.