This stunning 1957 Chevy Bel Air 4-door hardtop has been in Dee Tarrant's family since it was bought new by her grandfather, a western Kansas sheriff. She and Larry Goodnight decided the car, which had sat unused in a carport since 1976, deserved to be restored and brought back to life in 2004.
This is what sets this particular '57 Chevy apart from its brethern: four doors, but no door posts. Many people leap to the conclusion it's either a 2-door hardtop or a 4-door sedan; in fact, it's a 4-door hardtop.
The original 283 V-8 was overhauled and reinstalled in the engine bay, which was fully detailed back to stock appearance by Goodnight. Originally equipped with a 3-speed Turboglide automatic transmission, the car now relies on a replacement 2-speed Powerglide.
The Chevy was missing one of its wheel covers when Tarrant and Goodnight retrieved it; he was able to find the correct matching hub cap in good condition at a swap meet. The car uses its original 15-inch steel wheels, powder-coated, running a set of thin-line whitewall radials.
The iconic 3-pod '57 Chevy instrument cluster is color-keyed to the exterior paint scheme; the odometer shows a tad over 88,000 miles, believed to have been actual mileage when the car was brought out of storage.
Goodnight removed all of the chrome and stainless trim on the '57 during the restoration process. The rear fender sweeps, like most of the trim, were in such good shape that they were cleaned up and reused.
Dee Tarrant remembers putting this time-worn sticker in the middle of the back window on the Chevy back in the late 1950s. If you were stopped by a KAKE-TV spotter, you could win a sizable cash award for having the sticker on display.
Although the original upholstery was remarkably well preserved, it was fragile, so the couple had Morgan-Bulleigh install a fresh factory-style upholstery kit in the '57, including seat covers, door panels and headliner.