Chevy Bel Air
“Tramps like us, Baby, we were born to run...” And the car they ran in was the Bel Air. The inspiration for Bruce Spingsteen’s first hit was the car he bought after signing his first ever record contract: a ‘57 Chevy Bel Air.
He chose a Bel Air classic convertible like this because it's the car that captured the spirit of mid-fifties America as surely as Elvis, Tom & Jerry and drive-in movies. The Bel Air was the up-market open-top version of Chevy’s ’57 saloon.
The copious decorative fins and swathes of chrome were typical at the time – in fact the Bel Air was thought rather understated in Michigan.
The hottest - and most sought-after - Bel Air version was the "Super Turbo Fire V8", producing a tyre-squealing 283hp thanks to new mechanical fuel injection.
The Bel Air sold well and most were kept running long after contemporary rivals reached the junkyards. It’s still popular today, especially among restorers and customizers who style and tune the Bel Air into a classic hot rod.
Meanwhile Springsteen sold his inspirational Bel Air in 1976. It has since been bought by a US collector for $400,000.
Engine: 4640cc V8
Design: front engine, rear-wheel drive convertible
Power: 283bhp (fuel injected version)
Acceleration: 0-60mph in 8.9 secs (283 version)
Top speed: 120mph/193kph