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snopes
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Comment: I recently heard a story about the 1957 chevrolet. Supposedly,
when the 1958 model was decided on, a group of Chevy executives were
disenchanted with the design and purchaced equipment from Chevrolet to
make 1957 models on their own, after the 1958's went into production. The
story said they could not sell them as new so they put a few miles on the
odometers and sold them as like-new. They did this for apprxomately a
year. No production figures were given. Is this true?

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Troberg
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Sound fake. Setting up a production line is a big thing that requires huge investments. Also, Chevrolet would probably have their lawyers eat them alive.

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/Troberg

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bloodaxe
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I think this is a misinterpretation about a company that started with new '57 Chevys and changed them with new grilles, side trims, lights etc. and sold them under their own name- can't remember it but I've got a magazine article somewhere. They possibly used '57 Chevys supplied by GM after the '58 Chevy was introduced.
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Debunker
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The story of the '57 and '58 Chevys was told by Robert Cumberford of Automobile magazine a while back(he worked on the design). I can't find the article online, but the story is basically this: The designers had finished the '57 model to be produced, when word came down that the engineers could not have it ready for production in time; the '56 model would have to be freshened up and used for one more year. The designers reluctantly dragged out the '56 model and worked it over for '57, while the new design became the '58.

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GrandMal de Caesar
I Saw Three Shipments


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My understanding was that a small company in Indiana bought the '57 body molds, and continued to make them until about 1967 (when the new safety requirements would probably have made further production impossible). These were sold as used cars always. I had a high school chum who had a plum-colored '57 with a Borg-Warner rear-end and an Oldsmobile transmission. Plum was one color used in these later models, and the non-matching drive train tends to confirm this. If I remember correctly, as many as 100,000 of these were built this way.
Oh, and the bodies? These folks apparently didn't have a way to stamp them out, so they were hand-hammered, much like more expensive cars of the time.
You know, it starts to sound like a UL, doesn't it?

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GrandMal de Caesar
I Saw Three Shipments


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Okay, so my memory may not be so good: I googled and found this story which is the basis of that memory:
http://www.thesuperswapmeet.com/567trivia.htm
Can we work on debunking it now? It seems a bit unlikely to me, 200,000? Caused a major financial problem for Chrysler? Yet it never made the news?

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FullMetal
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I just think this would be a bigger news item. especially if these "'57 chevy's" were build with Chrysler chassis and engine parts, somebody somewhere would have noticed this problem, and raised an alarm. Chevy fans have always known which engine was in their chevy, and if it had a Chrysler engine they'd have known. or there'd be lots of documentation, and warnings about this in collectors forums.
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kanazawa
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Yeah, just the financial considerations make it seem false. How can you hand build a car, and sell it for a price competitive with a used car?

I know they had VIN numbers back then, but not sure how sophisticated they were. So what would they put for the manufacturer code? If it was Chrysler, someone would have caught on, and if they put Chevy, that's probably some federal crime...

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GrandMal de Caesar
I Saw Three Shipments


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I agree, Kanazawa.
One listing I found said that GM sold 166,000 1957 Chevys--so someone else made another 100,000 or 200,000 more?

I stand by the story of my friend's car, but that doesn't mean that lots of these erzatz Chevys appeared. Could have been reassembled from a wrecked/totaled junker. Collectors would be concerned about their cars if there were scads of these about.

And if the story about disgruntled GM managers is true--were they rebelling against the postponed 1957 Chevy which became the 1958 model? What else did they do in this very publicized industry--the heart of American commerce? Build the DeLorean? After all, in 1957, it was nearly true that what was "good for General Motors, was good for the USA."

The interest in these cars is phenomenal. Witness this: http://www.autoblog.com/2006/08/22/57-chevy-for-sale-again-50-years-later/

$30,000 for a new 1957 Chevy body. Jeepers, it is Halloween. [Eek!]

I found one more internet sighting of this story, again the source was the People's Almanac, also my original source. Could this story have been one of those copyright traps, or just very, very bad factchecking. [fish]

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DrRocket
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by GrandMal de Caesar:
Okay, so my memory may not be so good: I googled and found this story which is the basis of that memory:
http://www.thesuperswapmeet.com/567trivia.htm
Can we work on debunking it now? It seems a bit unlikely to me, 200,000? Caused a major financial problem for Chrysler? Yet it never made the news?

This story is so full of it, it's not even funny. [Roll Eyes] '57 Chevys with Chrysler frames and engines???? And you think that Tri Five Chevy enthuseists (Some of the most die hard, knowledgeable motor heads on this planet. Contests have been decided because the wrong style allen head screw was used under the hood.) wouldn't be able to tell them from the genuine article??? Give me a break. You folks really didn't buy that did you? [Confused]

The newest replicas have been around for a little bit now. The originals have become so prized, and so valuable, for some, it's about the only way to get one. There's a huge amount of aftermarket and reproduction parts for this car, so you could start with a basic bare body, and get the parts you need to finish it. You can even buy an aftermarket frame that incorporates a modern computer controlled fuel injected engine and modern suspension from a late model Chevy Impala, and bolt a stock '57 Chevy body to it. If you used original hubcaps, it would look stone stock, yet run and drive like a modern car.

That's starting to happen for a lot of cars. In addition to the tri five Chevys, there's a reproduction body for the first generation Camaro.

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snopes
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Previous thread on this subject.

While not completely discounting this story, I do consider it extremely suspicious that I can't turn up any other mention of "Ardell Malowick" in any context, in any book or newspaper, in any year.

When Bonnie reports the same thing, then I'll completely discount this story ...

- snopes

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0b1knob
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Wasn't the Checker car (used by the Checker cab company) based on mid 50's Chevy design? The car was made in large numbers for cab companies for many years. A few were even sold to individuals. The whole story seems to be a slightly warped version of the Checker story.
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misfitguy
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quote:
Originally posted by 0b1knob:
Wasn't the Checker car (used by the Checker cab company) based on mid 50's Chevy design? The car was made in large numbers for cab companies for many years. A few were even sold to individuals. The whole story seems to be a slightly warped version of the Checker story.

The Checker Car had a flat head engine made in my home town. My dad worked at Continental Motors and as a kid we heard the story of the Checker Cab on a regular basis. He used to tell us if you sat in the back seat, you could lift your legs and not touch the front seat. I don't know if this is true, since I grew up in the country and never saw a taxi.

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Why not?

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curiousgeorge1940
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Two comments from someone who was there;

The '57 Chevy was one of the best model years ( '55 the other ) Chevy had; as far as design and adaptability to Hot-Rod status. They are still the most desireable and VALUABLE models to own ... therefore the higher price for good condition units. The '58 model was a PIG ... rusted like crazy....

Checker cab had Chevy 1/2 ton pickup truck chassis and would last forever in NY City traffic. Rear had normal back seat with over 2 feet of legromm AND foldout rear mini-seats so that 2 more passengers could be accomidated facing rearwards.
Still find a couple with 200 to 300 thousand miles at every old car show I go to.

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