Marvin Meyer’s 1957 Chevy Bel Air is a car that just seems to stick around. He purchased the car from his brother-in-law as a 15-year-old for $1,000, which was a hefty sum at the time for any young kid. The car had already been a drag racer at Bandimere Speedway, so it had many go-fast goodies installed, making it the perfect suped-up street car for a newly-licensed 16-year-old.

Despite not being the perfect car for a new driver, Marvin was probably the coolest kid in the school parking lot. During his senior year, Marvin even managed to give the Bel Air a new paint job. Although they messed it up, the new paint job cost him $100, but it was worth every penny at the time. The mistake in mixing the paint turned out to have a slightly greenish hue that ended up inspiring the color that the car is today.

The restoration of the Bel Air began 32 years after Marvin first purchased the car in 1972. He and his brother Jim worked to rebuild the car in “phases.” In 2004, phase one began, which consisted of rebuilding the suspension and engine. Adding a supercharger to a small block increased the car’s power. The process of rebuilding an engine began with removing the small 283ci engine, and then a .030-inch over 350 block was rebuilt that was filled with a Comp Cams roller camshaft, as well as a rotating assembly with forged pistons that create a 9.0:1 compression ratio.

With 617 horsepower and 505 lb-ft. of torque available, a stock transmission would not survive for very long. That’s why Marvin had US Transmissions build him a bullet-proof 700R4 automatic transmission and fit it with a 2,800 rpm stall converter. There is a shortened driveshaft connecting the transmission and the Jim Meyer Racing-built nine-inch rear packing 3.90:1 gears and a positraction unit.

When it came to the suspension, Marvin again looked to Jim Meyer Racing. Although the car is not designed to frequent any autocross courses, supporting the front of the car are JMR two-inch drop spindles that are attached to JMR tubular control arms. Smoothing the road surfaces, the front suspension is riding on air with Ridetech Shockwave shock absorbers.

Since Marvin knew that he would eventually need to stop, Baer 14-inch disc brakes with six-piston calipers take care of braking. Mounted on the rear of the car is another pair of Shockwaves with a four-link set up to replace the original parallel leaf springs. The front wheels are 18-inch Billet Specialties Stiletto wheels that are protected by 245/45R18 Nitto 550 tires, and the rear wheels are 305/40R20 Nitto 550 tires wrapped around 20-inch Stilettos.

In 2019, phase two of the restoration began, which meant tackling the extensive transformation of the exterior and interior. The incorrect body color that was sprayed on the car back in high school was intentionally recreated with a custom mix called Silvereen. Nick Pfannenstiel placed the car in the paint booth at Flatliner Rod Shop in Brighton, Colorado, and sprayed the car with the Sherwin-Williams formula that is an almost perfect match to the nostalgic green that Marvin saw first sprayed all those years ago.

Inside the shell, interior upgrades like a pair of reworked Mitsubishi bucket seats and custom rear bench solidify the fact that this isn’t a restoration. Between the front buckets is a custom console, and all of it was custom fabricated and covered by Auto Weave Upholstery. The Denver-based upholstery shop incorporated two-tone graphics using shades of black and jade Ultra leather to trim the inside of the Bel Air.

When driving, eventually, you will have to turn a corner, so Marvin installed a Billet Specialties Stiletto wheel wrapped in jade leather on top of an Ididit tilt steering-column. Finally, what’s a hot rod without tunes? The sound system is made up of a Classic Radio head unit with an internal amplifier that feeds two Bose 8-inch speakers in the front of the car and two Bose 6×9-inch speakers vibrating the glass in the rear. Anything that came chrome plated from the factory was rechromed, and the rest of the stainless trim was polished by Stainless Trim Works and Classic Trim of Fort Collins.

The restoration of the Bel Air was a family effort. Marvin stressed that without the help of his wife Kelly, son Wade, daughter Sarah, and his lead builder and brother Jim, the Silvereen Bel Air would not have gone from high-school heartthrob to home-built show stopper.

In conclusion, the restoration of Marvin Meyer’s 1957 Chevy Bel Air is a testament to the passion and dedication of a car enthusiast who spent over three decades perfecting his beloved car. The car’s transformation from a former quarter-pounder to a home-built show stopper is a result of Marvin’s commitment to excellence and his family’s support in restoring the Bel Air to its former glory.