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Homepage. This page: A classic American automobile, all fins and chrome, with a '57 Plymouth Belvedere.

1957 Plymouth Belvedere sedan.

This snowy scene was captured on film on a February 1st, but unfortunately no mention is made of the year. The car is a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere four-door sedan, surrounded by ice and snow. Some significant icicles can be seen dangling from the gutters of the buildings in the background, and clumps of icy snow can be seen underneath the Plymouth's bodywork. This rear view gives a clear indication of the '57 model-year's epic tail fins.
The Belvedere was available with a number of body styles, these included two- and four-door sedan, two- and four-door hardtop, convertible, and the station wagons. Engines ranged from a 230.2 cubic inch straight six, up to the 350 cubic inch "Golden Commando" V8. All were coupled to an automatic gearbox, either a two-speed PowerFlite or three-speed Torque-Flite, both operated by push-button controls. V8-powered cars could be identified by a 'V' badge fitted to the front wing, behind the headlight.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Rear view of the 1957 Belvedere
Production of the four-door sedan reached 110,414 vehicles before the new model took over, the six-cylinder version costing $2,285 while the V8 came in at $2,310. Buyers looking to add a little more chrome to their be-finned Plymouth could opt for the "Sportone" equipment, which offered extra chrome trim, including strips that edged the contrasting side stripes.

Other '57 Plymouths.

The Plymouth Fury was produced alongside the Belvedere but, unlike the latter, was only offered as the Sport Coupe (two-door hardtop), in one colour scheme only (Sand Dune white). Gold anodized side trim was also a feature unique to the Fury. If these versions were a little too garish for sir's or madam's tastes, buyers could opt for the Plaza series, a range of sedans and coupes which featured much less chrome ornamentation. Other cars in the range were the Savoy (similar to the Belvedere but with different side trim), and the Suburban (estate) car.
The options list for 1957 was extensive, ranging from in-car audio options such as the push-button radio and Highway record player, through to tinted glass, dual exhausts, air conditioning, power seat, and the Powerpak engine option for the V8 cars only.

The buried '57.

Probably the best-known '57 Belvedere is the Sport Coupe that was buried as a brand new car under the Tulsa County Courthouse lawn as a time capsule, the plan being to exhume it fifty years later. It was placed into a sealed concrete container. It's exhumation in 2007 confirmed what many people feared, that the container wasn't as water-tight as it was hoped. Who the "lucky" owner of the brand new Plymouth is I don't know, but they've quite a job on their hands if the car is to ever run again. Maybe it'll be preserved "as is", which is what I'd do with it. A set of photos showing the car as it was recovered, can be found on this flickr page.
Return to Page 15 in the gallery of vintage cars and vehicles.

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