Trucker Spotlight: The 57 Chevy Truck Model Flaunted
Chevy – it’s a name that has become so synonymous with quality pickup trucks that people naturally associate the name and logo with a powerful payload capacity and a strong engine.
And they should. Chevy has gained the trust of consumers not just through clever marketing campaigns, but from their willingness to stick to winning formulas over the years. That formula is not just a static equation, either.
Chevy has built their truck empire based on their ability to adapt with the times. This was even true years ago, as their slow but steady trend upwards has been in motion for decades. Even half-a-century ago, Chevy was pushing out winning trucks onto the market that were a step up from their predecessors, and in many ways, from the competition.
There’s also a lot to be said for antique trucks. Many collectors will prefer them over newer models – even if they do require a bit more work and upkeep, or the parts for them are harder to come by.
Today we’ll be looking at the 57 Chevy truck – a true classic that came from an iconic line of Chevy models. These models encompassed improvements over the previous line, but also offered some elements that would go on to become classic by definition.
What Line Does the 57 Chevy Truck Come From?
Chevy has created plenty of great trucks throughout the decades, and each has its own appeal and has achieved a certain level of success. This means it is important to know which group each truck belongs to – it greatly simplifies the process of organizing them.
Chevrolet trucks manufactured in different eras were grouped by name and by features. It showed the direction the company was going in, and how buyers could expect to find trucks based on certain attributes consumers deemed worthwhile.
To understand the direction they were going in with the 57 Chevy truck, we need to understand where things were before this. Let’s go back to trucks of the previous line. This line rolled off Chevy factories’ assembly lines from the years of 1947-1954. This line was known as the Advanced Design line. They replaced the AK series, which lasted from 1941-1947.
The number of Forrester green, Juniper green, and Transport blue Chevys rolling around with Loadmaster hood emblems and cab-over-engine body type was vast and growing throughout these years. But as the years went on, Chevy continued to evolve their game. This was true even though they enjoyed a spot as the top US truck seller during this era.
When it comes to innovation, the point isn’t just to stay in the top spot – it is to stay in that spot and keep improving, as every competitor that isn’t leading the pack is likely gunning for that leading spot.
In 1955, the Task Force series became Chevy’s main focus as far as trucks went. And this line lasted for four years, meaning the 57 Chevy truck falls to this category.
What exactly does this line of trucks offer, and thus what can you expect to find if you’re a collector in the market for a 57 model?
Features to Expect in a 1957 Chevy Truck
When we’re talking about the 1957 Chevy truck from the Task Force series, there are several categories we can look at to determine exactly what makes it so special. Let’s examine each in detail, and see what makes the 57 such a treasure for collectors and a historic piece for truck historians.
Engine and Drivetrain Components
While there are many things to love about a truck, it is easy to argue the hardware beneath the hood is the biggest selling point of all. Trucks, above all other types of vehicles, are prided on their ability to pull a heavy load and tackle tough terrain.
The Task Force era saw widespread use of the 235.5-cu.in. inline-six engine, one that was only available at the time in trucks of this type. It is a rugged build that, despite its power, was inexpensive to build. Incredibly, even though the engine is now decades old, it still isn’t that costly to construct. Here we see why a 57 Chevy is so revered – rebuilding and restoring it isn’t as costly as similar projects on other antique models.
There’s also a three-speed base manual transmission, though there were plenty of different variants. These include overdrive, heavy duty three-speed manual, four-speed manual, and Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic. No matter what kind of road maneuvering you want, the 57 Chevy offers it.
While not the sturdiest gearboxes, these are also cheap to rebuild and thus add to this classic’s cost-efficiency.
There’s also a semi-floating axle with a 3300-pound rating and front-loading carrier. This makes the unit a well-rounded truck for the time as far as engine components go.
Chassis and Brakes
While not necessarily part of the powertrain, the chassis and brakes are both very important to any truck. They contribute not only to its smooth functionality but also to its safety and longevity.
The chassis had a set of rails measuring 6x2 ¼ inch as well as an I-beam type mounted front axle on leaf springs. This is a true classic choice, and was one of the parts that gave this vehicle its unique feel in terms of road maneuvering.
As for brakes, it should come as no surprise this model utilizes drum brakes. Drum brakes weren’t just common to the 57, or to Chevy trucks in general – they were popular in almost all vehicles of this era, as disc brakes wouldn’t really start catching on up until the next couple decades.
When we think about the stock chassis and axles or springs needed to create this type of vehicle, they can be hard to find in their original form. Some modern recreations are on the market, and this can be your best bet if you want a part that hasn’t already succumbed to rust. And if one hasn’t, and thus has been preserved properly, no one in their right mind would let it go for a cheap price.
Body and Interior Parts
Last but not least, we need to discuss the body and interior of the 57 Chevy. What’s more classic looking that that wrap-around windshield? Or how about that hooved up hood that makes it seem like your engine is so powerful it is ready to jump right out of its compartment?
Task Force series trucks had rugged chassis choices, though their bodies were prone to rusting. This was one of the few flaws of this line and was refined in successive models. The areas most prone to rust are the corners, floors, and interior steps, as well as the lower cab posts. Some replacement reproduction parts have been released with modern materials – while it won’t be a true 57 with these, any reproduction that uses them will enjoy a bit more longevity.
A 57 could also be expected to have steel fleetside and fiberglass beds, lending to the durability of one of the most important parts of any pickup truck. If you’re looking to rebuild a 57 and don’t mind throwing in a few modern parts to make your build a little more durable, check out Hemmings and other similar stores for the equipment you’ll need.
The 57: A True Classic That Isn’t Too Tough to Recreate
For many people, tracking down a classic car is nearly impossible. Outside of those who have the luxury of spending a fortune on a vehicle that has been perfectly preserved, there just aren’t that many people who can find a 57 in its prime form and be able to buy it.
Finding a damaged, rusted, or worn-down version is much more likely – and much more affordable, too. This means there’s usually a lot of work to be done in getting a 57 back to its peak, and sometimes the sacrifice is using newer parts.
Does this mean your 57 Chevy won’t be exactly like the kind that were rolling down streets back when the Task Force series was sweeping the world? Technically, yes. But it means you can save money and enjoy a recreation of this classic that has the durability offered by mainstream technology.
The 57 Chevy truck is a true classic inside and out. And while it had some issues, it is a solid truck that shows how Chevy captured the hearts of truck lovers even half-a-century ago.