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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just found this site with an internet search.

When I was 16 (43 years ago) I REALLY WANTED a 55 2 dr sedan. An older guy in the neighborhood had a 150 that he'd put a 327 in and painted Gun Barrel Grey (a Cadillac color then), put American wheels on, and I thought it was best lookin' car I'd ever seen. My Dad went to a local car auction and bought me a '57 210 hard top and I was REAL dissapointed. There'd been a '55 Bel Air sedan for sale close to me, and they wouldn't let me buy it because the clutch was slippin'. It was 301 with 4 speed. (punched 283's were called 301's instead of 302's back then)

All these years, in spite of collecting dozens of cars I never found the right '55. About 7 or 8 yrs ago I ran across a project that a guy was going to build a drag car from and had lost interest. It was a 210 sedan, just a roller, but already had a few good pieces, like Moser set up 12 bolt with coil overs and ladder bars already in place. I've been half heartedly workin' on it all this time in between other projects, but it's in the body shop now and they're pretty hard at it. This shop is primarily collision, but the owner, who's younger than me is a car nut too and his work is absolute perfection when an old car is involved.

So here's where we are:

We sent the 12 bolt back to Moser and had it narrowed a little more, 33 spline axles and their HD posi, so I could mini tub it (widen stock inner fenders 3" on both sides) and run 325/50/15 BFG drag radials. It's got 15 X 12 Americans on rear and 16 X 7's on front to clear the 13" discs and 8 piston calipers. Also discs and Willwood calipers on rear. I also bought the Heigt's polished stainless upper and lower A frames and coil overs for the front. It's got a 6 speed from D & R and right now has a plastic Payr Products big block mocked up in it, but most likely going to put a 572 crate in it with Vintage air. The suspension is pretty much set up at the height the previous owner had it, and as the car started going together I didn't like it as low as it is............. just not my taste in cars.............. but the more I've been around it the more I like it, and am probably going to leave it there.

Color or colors are still undecided, but body shop is pushin' to get 'em this week so he can start cut in. My 57 way back then had a complete interior from a '65 Impala SS, and I'm leaning toward doing that in this car rather than something custom, elaborate and expen$ive.

Pictures to follow.
 
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:hello: hi ya and welcome. good to have you here and nice intro.
 

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WELCOME

:sign0016: to trifive:shakehands: :anim_25:with the project... Later, Dave
 

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Welcome solidlifters, i agree if your gonna go custom i like the SS imp buckets. I am a member of a 65/66 impala club so seats are not a problem. That was the style back in the early and mid 60's was the SS imp interior in your tri five.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the warm welcomes. I can't find my newest disc, but here're a couple from mid summer or so. It's had a lot of priming and blocking since these pics were taken.

I'm still struggling with the color. I really want to 2 tone it, but can't find a combo that blows me away. The bodyshop is puttin' the pressure on to pick it this week, so it may go all black.



 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I'm sorry the pictures are so big. I thought I'd downsized 'em. I don't exactly have this TinyPic thing figured out evidently.:confused0006:

A couple of more details: After I had the original frame all powder coated and ready, I ran across a California frame that was REAL nice, so put all the brackets and crossmembers in it just like the original one, and made the change. It's also got a Rod Shop stainless gas tank in it. I still have to run the fuel and brake lines and exhaust system PLUS order a heat & air cond. system for it so I'll know which holes to fill on the firewall.

Although you'd never know it from all the colors pokin' through the primer, it's rust free and has very little filler on it. We put full quarters on it which was a HUGE mistake, since the rust around the rear fenderwells was minimal. A previous shop doing the sheetmetal work talked me out of putting lower halves on it, which would have made the body almost perfect, so we went the cut and modify the hardtop quarters route. It's an absolute nightmare to make em fit right and be dead straight, but after about a hundred hours, they're flawless. It is in fact straight enough now to paint black if that's the way the wind blows.

Still a long way to go.
 

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Welcome Aboard! Great intro story..Great user name! the members here are a wealth of information and experience with these beautiful cars..
 

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Nice intro, sounds like it is going to be a sweeeeet ride! If you hit any snags with BBC instal theres a section on the site for that! Tons of information and expertise! Good luck with the colors and keep us posted!:bowtier:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Nice intro, sounds like it is going to be a sweeeeet ride! If you hit any snags with BBC instal theres a section on the site for that! Tons of information and expertise! Good luck with the colors and keep us posted!:bowtier:
Thanks. I'll look around and see what I can find here. The engine has already been mocked up in the car with headers (2 1/4 for Chevelle actually). We custom made the frame mounts. Where it was placed it was a little tight on the right side valve cover with the tall 572 ones, so we cut/welded/ground the lower indention on the firewall and now it's got way more than enough clearance there, and looks factory.

One of the big hurdles/decisions remaining is the radiator/condensor unit. I think the "module" is the coolest lookin' one I've seen, but refuse to spend 5K for a radiator unit, regardless of how it looks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Here's one of the other latest projects that the same bodyshop did earlier in the year. It's farther along now than the picture shows, just needing the front seat back in and a few minor bolt ons to be complete.

I've owned this car since 1981, but have never ridden in it. I found it by accident on my birthday that year and bought it, with the original engine gone and the promise of getting it back from it's present owner at the time. Contacting the owner the next day, he said emphatically that the engine wasn't for sale. It took about 3 yrs, but I finally got it. It's a '70 LS6 (one year only 454/450 horsepower) and now has every piece of the original drivetrain intact. It's M22 Muncie and 3.31 gear, bench seat, cowl hood. The original owner bought it new here from the local Chevy dealer. It rolls under it's own power sometime in the next several weeks for the first time since sometime in the late 70's.

 
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