The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

By KENNETH HALL – Motoring Tampa Bay correspondent
The history of American automobile manufacturing has given the world numerous cars that can be considered iconic, but the 1957 Chevrolet is in a class by itself. In almost any visual pastiche of the 1950s, there will be an image of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and the sporty fins of a 1957 Chevy. It is one of the most instantly-recognizable vehicles ever built. Ironically, Ford sold more of its 1957 model than Chevrolet did, so it was not what one might call an instant classic.
Chevrolet built three versions of its 1957 model, including the popular upscale Bel Air and the 210 and 150 models. For the first time, the company offered the option of fuel injection on all of its cars, a feature previously reserved for the Corvette. The high-end Bel Air model sold for less than $2,500.
Over time, America came to treasure the futuristic lines of the 1957 Chevy, its impressive chrome grille and front bumper, the twin rocket hood ornaments and those distinctive fins. The car has become a favorite model for hot-rodders, customizers and purists alike.
It was all of those features, plus a personal connection, that led Ron Gregovich of Lutz to purchase his 1957 two-door Chevy 210 in 1999.
“I have always liked them,” Gregovich says. “When I was a little kid, my uncle had a brand new one. When I saw it, I just fell in love with it because it was different from all the other cars. My uncle used to make a big deal out of hey kids, see if you can find the gas cap on this car. ”
Gregovich wanted his dream car to look as it did when it rolled off the showroom floor some 60 years ago, but that required a bit of tweaking and restoration work.
“The interior was in good shape but it just was not the proper era,” Gregovich explains. “I had to take it out and replace it with something closer to what the car would have had when it was new. It had a different hood with louvers instead of the rockets, so that had to be replaced. When they were designing the car, they wanted it to look futuristic and really fast, which is why they went with the rockets on the hood.”
Although he was assured that the engine had been rebuilt just prior to his purchase, Gregovich says it was smoking and burning oil within a year and needed to be replaced. In 1957, buyers could choose from a 235 cubic-inch six cylinder engine or a 265 or 283 cubic-inch V-8, but Gregovich decided to go with a 350 cubic-inch crate motor with 330 horsepower. He had a specially-built 750r four-speed manual transmission with overdrive installed, but he says that otherwise his car is original.
Gregovich did make modifications and upgrades, but he endeavored to make them as inconspicuous as possible. He added a power braking system and disc brakes in front as well as power steering and a rear window deck-mounted brake light. Such modifications are important when driving in modern traffic, especially the brake light, since the tail lights are located low on the vehicle, just above the bumper. He also added a set of billet wheels for strength and stability, and power windows and an AM/FM CD player for convenience.
Gregovich had the after-market cinnamon red paint job redone with a Chevrolet candy apple red, which makes the car pop. 
The car turns heads wherever it goes, and after 17 years, it still turns Gregovichs head. “This is my dream car,” he says. “I just love it.”

Do you have a classic or rare American car you would like to see featured in Motoring Tampa Bay? If so, send details and contact information to or