Chevrolet may have dominated quite regularly when it came to sales for the majority of the immediate post war. One area the Chevrolet perpetually found themselves behind however, was in Wagon sales. Between advances and ability to exploit snob appeal, real wood or not, Ford sold more Ranch Wagons, Country Sedans and Squires to Chevrolets offerings quite regularly.
Behind slightly behind the curve at times with fresh offerings didn’t often help matters either.
Although much loved in retrospect, the 1957 Chevrolet line at the time rapidly ended up being old hat against The New Kind of 1957 Ford and The Star of The Forward Look ’57 Plymouth.
What sparked the revolution of more dynamic bottom of the totem pole appliances in 1955 hadn’t kept up the pace in 3 short seasons. Where comparable Plymouth Suburbans looked like slinky, swinging romper rooms on wheels, A Two-Ten Townsman or Beauville Wagon seemed ready for ambulance duty unmodified due to it’s tall, rounded roof and narrow width.
There was an inherent practicality to the mature design. The 1955 models didn’t suffer from as many quality problems as some virtually all-new automobiles suffered (and still do suffer) from.
Which each model year, Chevrolet was able to exorcise most of the demons and flaws of the design. Compared to the hurricane of problems Plymouth suffered with their roll out of all new cars, Ford less so, the 1957 Chevrolet models became paragons on reliability, the prized affordable used car, long establishing it as a perennial favorite simple box on wheels for thrifty shoppers.
Compared to snapping torsion bars, Poison Ivy like rust and leaks from Highland Park, the 1957 Chevrolet only offered up the option Turboglide Automatic and Rochester Mechanical Fuel Injection as possible headaches.
At the maximum premium for both options, few mainstream Chevrolet buyers bought them, as they treated themselves to nicer trim, accessories and radios alongside other variations of the already beloved Mighty Mouse small Block V8 in 265 and 283 cube versions and the now familiar and fully trustworthy Powerglide Automatic.
Our subject mid-grade Two Ten Townsman gets by with a little help from the 235 Cube “Blue Flame” Six, as shown by the absence of the decorative “vee” underneath the Chevrolet Badging.
With a basic architecture stretching before the war, it still provided solid, if not exciting, yet economical service in these wagons. Fulfilling for in city or suburban duty, those that did serious hauling most likely stepped up to one of the V8 options.At the end of the year, 128,941 of these 4 Door Townsman found cargo hauling happiness with buyers with either 6 or V8 power.
While nothing to sneeze at, as Chevrolet’s most popular wagon that year, it pales in comparison to how many 1957 Ford Country Sedans found buyers that same year. However, on the streets, 60 years after their introduction, the 1957 Chevrolet models, wagons included prove their worth in numbers due to durability and consistent desirability as possibly the most beloved used cars of all time.