Chevy was on a high in the mid-Fifties. With the ’Vette, the Bel Air, and their new V8, it was America’s undisputed top car manufacturer. A boundless optimism percolated through all divisions, even touching such prosaic offerings as trucks.
And the definitive Chevy carry-all has to be the ’57 pickup. It had not only that four-stroke overhead valve V8 mill, but also various options and a smart new restyle. No wonder it was nicknamed “a Cadillac in drag.” Among the most enduring of all American design statements, the ’57 had clean, well proportioned lines, a minimum of chrome, and integrated fenders. Chevrolet turned the pickup from a beast of burden into a personalized workhorse complete with all the accessories of gracious living usually seen in a boulevard cruiser.
The small-block V8 produced 150 bhp and could cruise at 70 mph (113 km/h). From ’55, all Chevys used open-drive instead of an enclosed torque-tube driveline.
The Stepside was as stylized inside as out, with chrome switches, swing-out ashtrays, and a V-shaped speedo.
De Luxe models had a larger, wraparound windshield, and two-tone seats, door trims, and steering wheel.
The neat rear step allowed access to the load area and gave the Stepside its name.
Chevy’s ’57 pickups can be identified by the new trapezoid grille and a flatter hood than ’56 models. Buyers had a choice of short or long bed, De Luxe or standard trim, and 11 exterior colors. Engines were the 235cid Thriftmaster six or the 265cid Trademaster V8.
Wooden bed floors helped to protect the load area and added a quality feel to Chevy’s Stepside.
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S
MODEL Chevrolet 3100 Stepside (1957)
PRODUCTION Not available.
BODY STYLE Two-seater, short-bed pickup.
CONSTRUCTION Steel body and chassis.
ENGINES 235cid six, 265cid V8.
POWER OUTPUT 130–145 bhp.
TRANSMISSION Three-speed manual with optional overdrive, optional three-speed automatic.
SUSPENSION Front: coil springs;
Rear: leaf springs.
BRAKES Front and rear drums.
MAXIMUM SPEED 80 mph
0–60 MPH (0–96 KM/H) 17.3 sec
A.F.C. 17 mpg (6 km/l)