Chevy Tri Five Forum banner

55 Convertible LS2 by HotRod Dynamics

221951 Views 274 Replies 95 Participants Last post by  angs1957
We just finished the first ground up car of the year. The Titanium 57 hardtop seen in this thread is now at the ulphostery shop getting the final stitching.

The second ground up restoration of the year is well underway, so I thought it would be a good time to share some pics.

This car is a factory Turquoise/Indian Ivory convertible that will be anything but factory when we get done with it. When we got the car it had already had most of the sheet metal repair work completed by a very talented local body man. I would say 80 percent of the body is new metal. here is how the car looked when it arrived at the shop.

We knew the car was going custom and the drivetrain would be updated to LS power so we started with installing one of our 4" recessed firewalls.

I decided cut down and box in the factory firewall supports for a smoother look.

See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 20 of 275 Posts
nice, luv the firewall. :five:
The LS2 engine and 4L60E transmission was purchased from a low mileage wrecked GTO. It seems that the transmission had just been replaced under warranty.

We debated about upgrading the stock chassis with suspension, brakes and steering, but ultimately decided to get the look and performance we wanted, we would have to go aftermarket. I looked at several companies, but ended up going with a Fatman Fab chassis with full polished stainless suspension. Brent gave me a great deal and those guys were good to work with. We ordered the chassis without front spindles or brakes because we are a Wilwood dealer and I wanted to use the Wilwood Pro spindles for the increased height and camber gain as well as the numerous brake options. The rear end is a 9" with 3.50 gears and Positrac. I ordered the rear narrower than the standard width to accomodate a deeper wheel. For Wilwood brakes we went with massive 14" front rotors with polished 6 piston calipers. In the rear we went with 13" with polished Wilwood SL4R 4 piston calipers that match the front. The LS engine is generally moved foward to accomdate a stock firewall, but we ordered the chassis with the motor moved back 1" to make use of the extra room the recessed firewall gave us.

These are not the wheels we are going to run. I just used them to roll the chassis arround.
See less See more
Here is the stock chassis. The car owners have the good stock convertible chassis, with rebuilt stock engine, powerglide, front suspension, and rear end for sale if anyone is interested just send me a PM and I'll put you in touch with them.
See less See more
We bought a stainless tank by Rick's Tanks from a board member. I fabbed up some mounting tabs and after carefully measuring the body located the tank in the frame.

Since the car is going back turquois and Indian Ivory, we decided to have the chassis powdercoated to match. The good folks at did a phenomenal job for us and were very nice to work with. Here is Larry Prepping the frame and dressing some welds before powder coating.

See less See more
That firewall is simply fantastic. I really like them cleaned up like that.
Here are a few shots of the Wilwood brakes and suspension with QA1 coilovers.

We ran all stainless brake and fuel lines. The hardlines were ran on top of the frame for a cleaner look when the body is installed. All unions or fittings were located off the side so they would still be accessable after the body is installed.

See less See more
The engine and trans were stripped, smoothed, and painted turquoise to match the car.

The front drive system is from Street and Performance with their "show chrome" and let me tell you the chrome work is Top notch on this stuff.
The valve covers are GMPP cast aluminum painted to match.

See less See more
We're trying to decide what INTAKE MANIFOLD to use. I may just paint the stock intake and install it with some billet injectors for now, but I would really like to go with a ITB or supercharger setup.
For wheels we went with SCHOTT Mod 5 18"x8" and 18"x10" wheels and BFGoodrich KDW tires that we ordered from Newstalgia wheel. The guys at Newstalgia are great to work with.
I love the craftsmanship on the Schott wheels and the way the center cap covers the lugs. Even the tool used to remove the center cap is a work of art. The machine work is so nice that the parting line between the wheel and the cap is almost invisible.

See less See more
Next up body, console, exhaust, and custom parts.
hey joe; have you used a fatman frame before? i looked at them a couple of times when i was trying to decide which one to get.
Very nice car! Great work.

I'm surprised that they went with a stock color with all the modern updates.
Absoutely georgous. If I saw this going down the street would go around the block however many times it took just to get a look at it Money makes it happen and you certainly are doing an excellent job. :congrats: Lloyd
Joe, are the suspension components like the control arms Mustang 2 aftermarket pieces? Spindles too?

Are the mid frame pieces from Fatman also?
The entire frame is Fatman. The suspension is loosely based on Mustang II, but the Pro spindles are taller than MII spindles giving better handling.

I used a Fatman front clip in a customer's 57 Ford and he loves it. It drives, rides, and handles great.

On this frame, we had to use a body hammer to "adjust" the floor pan in a few places to clear the rear coilovers and sway bar mounts. I highly reccomend mockup on the chassis before paint.
Really nice work. :tu :tu

Its a big inspiration to see your great craftmenship. :congrats:

Thanks for sharing. :shakehands:
The car is looking very impressive. The colors are great and has cool overall appeal.
Really good work. I like the stance.

Few questions:

Do you plan on relocating the coil packs to clean-up the engine? If so, which kit are you using.

Are you planning to use the E40 ECU or something different?

Running the fuel and brake lines on top of the frame - How much clearance between the fuel line clips and the body do you have (no issues with body sag on the convertible)?

Thanks guys for all the compliments.
As far as running the lines on top of the frame, I don't remember the exact measurement, but we had plenty of clearance and I also measured a car with 55 year old original bushings and determined that the only way these lines are going to get pinched is if all the bushings fall out. Also keep in mind that a convertible mounts more solidly to the frame than a hardtop due to two extra bushing locations and no bushings on the bottom of the frame.

T-Bolt, I'm glad you asked about the coil mounting. With some help from my buddy Corey at we came up with some really trick little coil relocation brackets. They mount two coils to a bracket and put the coils together about as compact as possible. We're thinking about mounting them down on the sides of the frame rails. We'll probably start producing these for sale in the near future in packs of 4 for eight coils.

See less See more
1 - 20 of 275 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.