Out in the Iowa farm country you learn to improvise. If something isn't working, you make it work. Like the time, years ago, when the engine on Bob Gabeline's combine quit right in the middle of corn harvest. It just happened the Massey Harris was powered by a Chevy V-8, so Bob just pulled the 327 out of his farm pickup, stuck it in the combine, and harvested 800 acres! Then he put the engine back in the truck and drove to town for a beer!
And what was the truck? The very '57 Chevy Cameo Carrier you're looking at right here. The sexy black pickup with the Cardinal Red two-tone accents paid its dues haulin' feed and seed, logging more than 185,000 miles as Bob's work truck before being retired.
When he bought the Cameo new it was fitted with a 265 V-8, still an option in '57 although the 283 was also available, and a three-speed with column shift. The sun visor and chrome mirrors were checked on the options list, and Bob added the twin spotlights. The chrome grille, hubcaps, and trim rings were included in the Cameo's $2,273 base price, but the twin rocket hood ornaments and bumper guards were extra.
In the mid-'60s when the engine got a little tired, Bob swapped in a 327, bored .060-over with Corvette 10:1 pistons, an Isky cam, factory four-barrel, and exhaust headers. About the same time he rebuilt the suspension and had both front and rear leaf springs de-arched for a four-inch lowering. Later on the cab was spiffed up with black button-tufted leather upholstery on the stock seat and custom door panels. Somewhere along the way the steering wheel was swapped for a '58 Impala item. Along with repainting the original colors, Bob also replaced the worn bed floor with new slabs of solid walnut right off his farm.
The cool Cameo now stays inside a converted grain storage building with Bob's other playthings, living a pampered life-unless the combine should suddenly need an engine!
Facts & FiguresBob GabelineMorning Sun, Iowa1957 Chevy Cameo
|Frame / Manufacturer ||stock / Chevrolet |
|Modifications ||none |
|Rearend / Ratio ||stock / 3.90:1 |
|Rear suspension ||stock w/ de-arched leaf springs |
|Rear brakes ||drum |
|Front suspension ||stock w/ de-arched leaf springs |
|Front brakes ||drum |
|Master cylinder ||stock |
|Steering ||stock |
|Steering column ||chrome stock |
|Front wheel make, size ||stock w/ hubcaps, 15x6 |
|Rear wheel make, size ||stock w/ hubcaps, 15x6 |
|Front tire make, size ||Firestone, 7.10x15 |
|Rear tire make, size ||Firestone, 7.10x15 |
|Gas tank ||stock |