1957 Chevrolet 210 Wagon

The Iconic 1957 Chevrolet 210 Wagon: America’s Family Hauler

The 1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon holds a special place in the hearts of vintage car enthusiasts. With its iconic design, spacious interior and rugged dependability, the 210 wagon was the quintessential family hauler of post-war America. This full-size station wagon provided roomy and reliable transportation for millions of families during an era of rapid economic growth and suburban expansion.

1957 Chevrolet 210 Custom Wagon

An Evolution in Design

The 1957 model year marked a major turning point in Chevrolet design. Earlier Chevys had curvy, almost cartoonish bodies with lots of chrome embellishments. The 1957 models took on a more mature, refined look. The styling was cleaner and incorporated fewer decorative elements. Large tailfins gave the rear end a distinctive jet-age flair.

The 210 series represented Chevrolet’s mid-range offerings. The 210 wagon shared most of its body panels and many mechanical components with Chevrolet’s upscale Bel Air and flagship Nomad models. But the 210 trimmed away some chrome trim and other premium features to hit a lower price point for budget-minded families.

1957 Chevrolet 210 Custom Wagon

Powerful and Dependable Drivetrain

Under the hood, the 1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon featured Chevrolet’s new-for-1957 283 cubic inch V8 engine. Several versions were available with horsepower ranging from 185 up to 220. The optional “Super Turbo Fire” 283 V8 with a 4-barrel carburetor produced an impressive 270 horsepower.

This V8 powerplant was mated to a 3-speed manual transmission or optional 2-speed Powerglide automatic. The rear-wheel-drive 210 delivered confident acceleration for the time, able to achieve 0-60 mph in about 12 seconds.

Chevy’s 283 V8 engine proved to be extremely reliable and many examples racked up over 100,000 miles with minimal maintenance. This helped build Chevrolet’s reputation for dependability in the late 1950s.

1957 Chevrolet 210 Custom Wagon

Roomy and Functional Station Wagon

As a full-size wagon, the 1957 Chevrolet 210 offered cavernous room for passengers and cargo. It could seat up to 9 passengers comfortably on its wide bench seats.

The rear cargo area was fully covered and accessed through a tailgate with retractable rear window. The tailgate could be opened down or to the side for easy loading. With the rear seat folded, the 210 wagon provided a long, flat load floor able to swallow oversized items.

This generous space and flexible configuration made the 210 wagon ideal for growing families in the years before minivans and SUVs. It was equally suitable as a work vehicle or basic people hauler for schools, churches and businesses.

1957 Chevrolet 210 Custom Wagon

Traction and Handling for Variable Conditions

The 210 wagon came standard with Chevrolet’s proven rear-wheel drive layout. Power was transferred to the pavement through a sturdy rear solid axle. coil springs provided a compliant ride. In front, an independent A-arm suspension soaked up impacts.

Braking was handled by hydraulic drum brakes at all four wheels. While not as advanced as today’s disc brakes, these were typical for the era and provided adequate stopping power. For slippery conditions, a 6-cylinder engine 210 could be equipped with Chevy’s new vacuum-powered Power-Pack 4×4 system. This gave part-time 4WD traction when needed.

The 210’s rear-drive platform and available 4WD gave it versatility on both paved and primitive roads. Families came to appreciate the 210 wagon’s capabilities in rain, snow and off-road situations.

1957 Chevrolet 210 Custom Wagon

Variations and Options

Chevrolet offered the 210 wagon in three variations:

  • Handyman – The most affordable trim lacking exterior trim and interior carpet. Utilized a 6-cylinder engine.
  • Townsman – A step up from the Handyman with additional exterior trim and interior appointments. Available with 6-cylinder or V8 engines.
  • Beauville – The top trim for the 210 wagon adding more luxuries like upgraded upholstery.

Popular options included:

  • Power Steering
  • Power Brakes
  • Power Tailgate Window
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
  • Deluxe Radio
  • Tinted Glass
  • Wheel Covers

With this range of models and options, Chevrolet could tailor the 210 to suit all sorts of budgets and needs.

1957 Chevrolet 210 Custom Wagon

An Icon of Its Era

The 1957 model year was the peak for Chevrolet in the fabulous 50s. The redesigned 1957 Chevys captured the optimism and prosperity of post-war America. The 210 wagon in particular became woven into the fabric of Eisenhower-era culture. It appeared in period movies and T.V. shows as the quintessential family car.

Over half a century later, the 1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon remains an automotive icon. Its balanced blend of style, utility, economy and emerging V8 power came to define Chevrolet in the 1950s. For vintage car buffs today, the 210 wagon invokes nostalgia for the ambitions of post-war America.

1957 Chevrolet 210 Custom Wagon

Frequently Asked Questions About the 1957 Chevrolet 210 Wagon

Here are answers to some common questions people have about the classic 1957 Chevrolet 210 wagon:

How many people could the 210 wagon comfortably seat?

With its three-row bench seating, the 210 wagon could comfortably accommodate up to 9 passengers. The front bench sat three, the rear bench sat three more, and the rear-facing third row seat held three smaller passengers.

What engine options were available in 1957?

The 210 was available with Chevrolet’s 235 cubic inch “Blue Flame” inline six cylinder or the more powerful 283 cubic inch V8. Popular V8 options included the 162 hp “Turbo Fire” and 220 hp “Super Turbo Fire”. Fuel injection was also newly available in 1957.

1957 Chevrolet 210 Custom Wagon

How much cargo space did the 210 wagon offer?

With the rear seat folded down, the 210 wagon provided up to 68 cubic feet of cargo space. This gave the 210 wagon tremendous hauling utility for both passenger and cargo duty.

How collectible are 1957 Chevrolet 210 wagons today?

As an icon of the era, the 1957 210 wagon is quite collectible today. Excellent restored or original condition survivors can sell for $25,000 to $50,000. There is strong demand for both six cylinder and V8 wagons.

What were some key options offered on the 210 wagon?

Some popular options on the 210 wagon included two-tone paint, power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission, AM radio, windshield washer, tinted glass, and wheel covers. Air conditioning was a very rare option.