Barn find, 1957 Chevrolet two ten wagon

1957 Chevy wagon 210 V8 barn find Indiana

Jim's September 2007 "barn-find" 1957 Chevrolet two-ten wagon is documented in photos with captions on this page.

Click on the photos for an expanded view of each.

We've all heard the stories.... This car really was sitting in a garage in small town Indiana for more than three decades!
1957 Chevrolet barn find
As found, 1957 Chevy wagon, sat for 33 years in garage on blocks

Not all are barn find stories are "urban legend"...

September 2007. Out of the blue, the phone rings and the nice elderly woman says:

"Are you Jim? My friend in the Bridge Club told me that you collect old cars. My husband's old car is in the garage, it hasn't been driven since he passed away years ago. I'm moving to Florida and I need to sell it. I think it is a Ford, are you interested in buying it?"

The license plates expired in April 1976

It really is just like the stories you hear about..
1957 Chevy wagon as found sitting 33 years
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon winching out of 30 plus years of storage
He was the local Standard Oil dealer in a small town 20 miles from Jim.. He ran the service station in the center of town for many years... He passed away at 93 years of age in 1993. It was sitting in this garage on wood blocks since 1975. As he ran the service station, he knew enough to drain the radiator and remove the battery. As he was a Standard Oil man, of course the tires are "Atlas" brand bias-plies... Amazingly, the tires still had air.. Jim just topped them off when he lowered the car to the ground. Threw her into neutral and winched her onto the trailer..
On the internet, Jim sees documentation of collectable cars that are restored. It is amazing what people will do to bring one of these back to life. It is common to see cars that are so severely rusted that the entire body must be held together with welded-in braces while new floors, trunk floor, rocker panels door hinge pillar posts, and cowl sections are welded into place.... In comparison, this midwestern car is incredibly solid! The frame is absolutely rust free, and the entire car is completely correct and original. Missing nothing!
1957 Chevrolet barn find, loaded and ready to go
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon instrument cluster
It's a 283 with four barrel, automatic, PS/PB, AM radio and clock........ Even a limited slip rear differential... Pretty good options for an old wagon.... Showing 78,000 miles.
Jim knows from many years in the auto body business that "original paint tells no lies" Think about this: How many 50-year-old cars have not been repainted? What lies underneath the repaint, or the repaint before that one, or the one before that? It is not uncommon to find several repaints on an older automobile... Just the task of preparing a car for paint is complicated by the fact that multiple repaints increases the preparation work ten-fold. What you find under the multiple repaints can be a "worst nightmare" scenario and often is.
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon front seat and dash view
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon front view barn find
She is square, and stands correct on all four corners.

It sat for 33 years on wood blocks in a garage.

Q: What is the significance of that?

A: The springs are good. The car does not sag. It was not sitting on the suspension.

1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon long view left side
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon left view doors open

The roof panel has absolutely no dents! It is perfectly straight. There is NO RUST in the drip rails.

On September the 15th 2008 Jim placed a battery into the car. The lights, and the windshield wipers are operational. He attempted to turn the engine over with the starter. The starter engages but the engine is stuck. The brake pedal goes to the floor. The wheel cylinder seals went South many years ago... Of course this would be the case with a car that sat for 33 years.

1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon left front view long
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon left rear side view
There is some rust on the rocker panels and especially the rear "doglegs". The bottoms of the doors and the rear tailgate are remarkably rust free! There is one small perforation on the rear hatch under side. Almost all of the stainless trim on the car is perfect. A few small dinged pieces but overall very nice trim on this and all pieces are intact.
Amazing what some soap and water can do.
1957 Chevy 210 wagon right front as found
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon and 1956 Belair Sedan in Sierra Gold and Adobe Beige

It's easy to visualize the car after a restoration when parked next to Jim's 1956 BELAIR which happens to be also the same color combination...

The plastic front seat cover went south a long time ago.

1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon front seat and dash
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon headliner
The headliner is nice except for some mouse damage

Original vinyl floor covering, the car has seat belts.

1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon rear seat left view
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon interior of rear tail gate
Inside of the rear tail gate is very nice.

Seriously, having an absolutely rust free spare well is rare on a car this old!

1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon spare tire well
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon rear cargo area
WOW! Limited Slip rear differential. POSI-TRAC
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon limited slip differential sticker
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon treadle vac power brakes

NOTE: Power brakes

It is unknown why the car was parked in 1975. It is possible that there was an engine or a transmission problem. The owner of the car passed away 16 years ago so the reason the car was parked is not available. One can only guess.

Four barrel carburetor.

NOTE: Jim placed a battery in the car on September the 16th 2008. The windshield wipers and the lights all worked. The starter motor engaged but would not turn the engine over. Of course, any car sitting for 33 years will have a stuck engine.. This is the way it is...

1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon engine right side view
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon 283 engine with treadlevac

Generator driven power steering.

The generator tag is date code correct.

It is rare to find a 1957 Chevy that has not been in the hands of a hot rodder at some point in the past. This one was truely an original car.

1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon engine front view
1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon 1976 Indiana license plates
The 1975 license plate.
The 1975-76 state inspection sticker.
1957 Chevy 210 wagon, 1975 Indiana state inspection sticker.