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Small-Block Crocodile Rock


Recently, my son discovered Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” while riding in the car with my mother-in-law. He does the best impression of Sir Elton by a 4-year-old that you’ll ever hear. Of course, this has led to a careful dissection of the lyrics in our house, and we have a hot debate going over the particular model of “old gold Chevy” that is parked at “a place of (his) own.” After a few in-depth Google image searches, we’ve come to the consensus that he had to be driving a ‘50s Bel Air. Nothing screams “Rocket Man” quite like a 1957 Super Turbo Fire V8 convertible with a Turboglide 3-speed.

Of the three Tri Five model years, the ‘57 has the huge, iconic fins and the most chrome of any model, along with the sleek “twin rocket” hood design. Popular Mechanics called the ‘57 model a “300hp beauty” and suggested opening up the small-block V8 on the 70mph highways in Pennsylvania to avoid “destination frustration” on the 60mph toll roads in New York and Chicago.

The 1957 Chevy Bel Air is still one of the most popular cars among collectors and hot rodders. The optional fuel injection would become crucial for horsepower enthusiasts who modded their vehicle for drag racing. And who can forget the two-door Nomad wagon, the most aggressively-yet-practical vehicle ever designed by GM. Surely if Elton is thinking of the biggest kick he ever got, he was hopping and bopping in a ‘57 Chevy indeed.

-Trey Fennell

Sisal #41 Tan

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