I also have the jm racing clip with Viking coil overs in my 55 driving the corners of the hoods canal with one hand is a breeze and Have had a 57 with all of the bolt on parts would say the rack clip is a much better road car feel jmo
I have a '56 210. I highly considered a front Clip with seemingly two decision paths. The same as you I saw two choices, a full front clip or performance Bolt On's.
For Me, my Front Clip choices where Art Morrison Enterprise in Fife WA, Jim Meyer Racing in Lincoln City Or or a C4 Front Cross Member from Don @ Flat Out Engineering, one I would have to graft on myself.
I've done front clip installs and complete suspension swaps on quite a few cars, So up front I knew what I was in for,,, Labor and the usual surprises and Scratched Paint,,,,,
I've have visited both AME (Art Morrison) & Meyers Shops, I live outside of Portland Oregon, so their both close enough for a visit. They are both great shops with fantastic employees !! I know Don @ Flat Out and He Fabricates great kits. Recently, AME bent my custom frame rails and Full Roll Cage for my '37 Chevy Coupe build and Don Fab'd my custom front C4 cross member. Both where exactly to spec and at a great price.
But,,,, I was really stuck with a C4 front and Rear Swap for my '56 Chevy 210. I have a C4 Convert that I've owned for two decades and I familiar and love the C4 suspension, and I had several sets of the '88 up F & R complete suspension parts on hand. I believe that the C4 ('88 up) is lighter (aluminum not steel), better anti-drive, C4 or C5 brake options are less $$ bolt-on's, and a little less expensive.
But I knew that once I installed C4 Suspension front and rear (rear is much easier) I just Knew I'd have to paint this car. She only has one re-paint that was down on bare metal, Old but still very nice five footer. I started painting Corvettes when I was just out of the Army and in College totally by accident, and trained by a friend. But I really do not care to paint metal cars, I'm just to Picky. And painting a TRI-5, the tear down, glass interior, trim, hidden body work, is a Huge Task, I've done a few '55's & '56's for close friends,, No more for me.
So I passed on the Front Clip and installed "Bolt On" front and rear suspension components with Rack & Pinion steering. Do I regret this decision ?? Absolutely NOT ! Betty, my '56, now drives fantastic and the front suspension only took a few days. Plus one does not need to remove the engine & Trans with bolt on parts !!
Choosing the correct quality components was my time consumer. Didn't someone write,,,, Run from Mustang... That's generally the feed back & recommendations I received for a TRI-5.
Which ever way you go with the front, think about the rear. I did not install rear disc brakes nor a rear sway bar. She has Good-Year Double Eagle 225x45x17 tires all around. She drives wonderfully, responsive, very comfortable and great in corners. Panic Stops is not a problem. And a bit lighter.
BTW, if your going with a front clip, do consider the C4 Corvette !! Talk with or email Laz. Maybe he's close enough to compete yours...
GOOD LUCK !!
Front We installed,,
Stainless steel tubular upper & lower control arms, inc all the mated parts.
Heidt's 2 inch dropped spindles
Helwig front Sway Bar with poly bushings.
Wilwood, 4 piston calipers, two piece rotors, aluminum hubs, bearing kit, Master Cylinder and Proportioning Valve.
Ride Tech Front Air Struts, now their convoluted air bags upgrade @ No $$
Dutchman's Rack & Pinion Kit, rear steer, Chevy OEM Rack
Turn One Steering power steering pump reduced pressure / flow Valve.
Narrowed 9 inch housing (by Dutchman's) with large drum brakes,
Daytona Nose Locker 3:50 gears Dutchman's 31 Spline Axles
Strange Engineering CM driveline with CM ends and Spicer u-joints
Sleeve air bags with new main spring and several Leif springs removed.
Earl Williams Classics Traction Bars, they work well.
Feel free to PM me if you want to talk about my C4 front clip Lazlo did. I can also talk to you about my experience with bolt-ons (not bad...I was just looking for a bit more). Pluses and minuses both ways really.
And again, if you're in Colorado, Lazlo is probably your only local option, but he does high quality work and has done quite a few frames/clips. He did my front clip with the body on (front sheet metal and driveline out of course).
Here's a picture of when it was being done in Lazlo's shop and a few semi-assembled at home in my garage:
There's no disagreement on the significant differences between the two options. The Jim Meyer R&P kit was one of the early ones touted as not having bump steer. Debated and argued many years ago, but I believe to be agreed, it did not. I can't comment on the 500 option other than to say it is probably the most common modification done.
The funds and work effort to install a Jim Meyer R&P kit and the funds/effort to go with say an AME full chassis replacement are very different. You either have the $$$, the ability and the will to undertake the latter or you don't. Consider just the difference in work required, start to finish. One you can do in a weekend. The other.... It's apples and oranges.
seems like it bolts in its everything after that ,that will wish there was something else you could have chosen better. From cutting stock bump stops off to designing your steering and exhaust weather headers or stock ,you are on your own. Now i have a sway bar that wont bolt up like they say it should and its all on me to make it look good .