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210 Sedan
My '55 is currently in the middle of a frame-off, but I've reached the point where the body is FINALLY back on!!! :) I began the project with the intention of making it a "show" car..oooh. Yeah, whatever! I want to drive it! So it's time to get this project finished. Here's what I have so far -

- stock frame, not boxed. I sandblasted it myself by building a "booth" in my garage...that sucked! Blasting 50 years of grime off was no small project, but satisfying. And since it worked....I decided to build a cleaner "booth" and paint it myself. Again, no easy task! But it came out ok. I chose a battleship gray.

- The front suspension utilizes the stock control arms, 2" dropped Heidt's spindles, 1" lowered coils, new ball joints, steering knuckles, tie-rods....everything! Also, I replaced EVERY nut and bolt with chrome button head or allen head bolts (like I said, I was originally shooting for a "show" car). I also have a 1" front sway bar that I have yet to install...waiting until I have the engine in so it's at the correct ride height.

- Steering is provided by a CCI power rack & pinion that I'm actually still installing as I write this.

- The rear-end is a 12 bolt from a late 60s Nova, posi, with 4.56 gears. Yeah, I know...very low gearing! I will find out if it's too low once I hook it up to the 700R4 I have sitting on my garage floor. We'll see :) I fabricated the mounts myself (one of my first attempts at welding) and they came out nice. I also opted for an Ultimate braced aluminum rear cover with chrome braces. It's hung by 3" lowered Posies leaf springs with all new bushings, bolts, and chromed u-bolts. Oh, and KYB shocks on all 4 corners. Rear brakes are stock drum.

- Once the chassis was all done, painted, chromed, etc. it was time to start on the body. One option I was hell-bent on from the get go was building a tilt front end, utilizing all of the original sheet metal. NO fiberglass. So the first step was to weld all those pieces together...remember, I'm not a welder :) But again, that came out really nice! All the seams between fender and hood, etc look totally stock. Like you should be able to walk up and lift the hood as if it were stock. Then my brother and I spent, oh, about 4 months chemically stripping the 50 layers of paint from the whole front clip...THAT SUCKED beyond description!! It was at that point I decided to give in and finally have something done professionally...ugh. So I loaded the whole thing on a trailer and brought it to a sandblasters. That was, well, a decision I'm standing by :) For a mere $800 every inch of that car was bare metal and it only took a couple days. Well, since I had a giant piece of bare metal in my garage threatening to develop surface rust, I also opted to have the paint and body work done professionally. After all this time and energy spent working on this project I've learned my limitations...and body work is one of them. It's an art, and I'm not good enough of an artist....yet. So off it went. Good thing too because it turns out the driver's side rear quarter panel had to be cut off, reworked, and welded back on. It was full of lead from a repair done in the 50s or 60s. I opted for a satin black paint. IT LOOKS AWESOME! And again, a decision I'm standing by :)

- The body came back from the shop a mere few weeks ago and after 11 years (having kids delayed the project a lot!) the body is finally remarried to the chassis! With Energy Suspension polyurethane body mounts of course. The doors are hung, the trunk is on, the gas tank is hung, and I'm currently mocking up the tilt front end (if anyone has any suggestions on design, I'm ALL ears!! :)

Well....that's it for now. Hopefully I'll be adding to this description soon! I have a LONG way to go before this car hits the road, but I'm thoroughly enjoying every step of the process!!!

For those of you who actually read all this babble, I'm sure I'll be bothering all of you for hints, tips, suggestions, and all of your wisdom.




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