When you look over the field of candidates competing for the 2014 Detroit Autorama Ridler Award you have to consider John Sadler’s 1957 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop as a spoiler. It’s good enough to win the award, but Sadler is presenting a car here for the first time. The plus that he has going for him is that the car presents itself well.
First of all, every inch of the car has been refabricated with hundreds of modifications from stock condition. The front valance has a completely custom look but is so perfect done that it could be mistaken for factory made. The top was chopped 1.5 inches with all stainless cut to fit to hide the chop. It has a smoothed firewall, drip rails were removed, custom hood with top and bottom smoothed with bullets removed, plus the bottom pan is rolled. The front headlights are made by Hagen and they have been frenched, grille is modified. Notice the smoothed one-piece front bumper with bullets removed. The special leather custom interior is by Chuck Rowland of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The 2.5 inch custom exhaust was done by Juliano’s.
Sadler tells us the frame alone has 31 modifications. The original frame was boxed and smoothed.