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Well, I sold my 55 2dr post project, (mistake) and picked up a 56 Bel Air 2 dr hardtop. I love 55s but I'm starting to get attached to this 56. I was going to sell her and try to find a project 55 hardtop,(My dream car) but they are getting hard to find at a good price. The nice thing about the 56 is you don't see a lot of them. I live in a town (Lake Havasu City, AZ) that has a lot of restored hot rods. To fit in, you really need something under 1960. I see a lot of 55s & 57s, but I don't recall seeing any 56s. I sure there are some here that I just haven't seen, but the 55s & 57s are common. I like the idea of having a tri-five thats not so common! The problem is: I think I payed to much for the car (6k) and would be better off selling it to find another. The car is solid, but it has a kink in the rear frame from being hit in the rear while parked. I here it would take about $2,500 to get it fixed. I could buy a parts car for the frame, but I might be better off getting this one fixed. Its a small kink above the pass. rear tire thats pushed slightly down. I thought about jacking the car up by the rear frame and heating it with a torch to see if it would work itself out, but I'm not sure this will work and I don't want to screw it up any worse than it already is. Has anybody ever tried this?
 

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Well from my pespective if it is a solid car and the frame is the biggest issue 6k was not too much money to pay for it. I saw 2 57 hdtps at a swap meet this past weekend that were fairly straight just glancing at them, didn`t look close to see how solid they were and they were priced at 10k each. I saw a 56 hdtp in Feb. at a swap meet, it was original 109,000 miles been parked since 1981 and the old guy that owned it was asking 20k for it and it should have been restored to be a good car.
Terry
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Terry, But I'm still up in the air over the frame. I found a 56 210 4 dr parts car on line I might be able to pick up for 4 or 5 hundred, but there is alot of work involved in doing the frame swap. I know my frame is solid, so what do you think? Swap the frame, take it to a shop and have it done, or try to heat it and hope it will correct itself by jacking up the rear frame and useing the wieght of the car to flex it back? I know heating it sounds half assed, but it doesn't look that bad to me and I'm on a tight budget. It looks like the frame bent straight down to me. At the bumper it might be an inch lower on the pass. rear.
 

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Have you checked into having it done at a shop with a frame machine....Not sure if the machines are compatible with Tri-5's but it is relatively inexpensive to have a modern frame straightened....it certainly wouldn't hurt to ask.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Well, I called around and it might not be as bad as I thought (price wise). I guess I'll take it up to one of the local shops in the next few days and see what they think. Thanks for the help guys. Garry
 

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I think i`d check with a shop and get your frame fixed as long as it can be fixed correctly and not cost a bunch. I had a frame straightened on an 81 el camino a few years back and i think it cost 125.00.
Terry
 

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I am from Australia and we see a lot of 55's and 57's. My husband and I saw a beautiful 56 2dr belair a couple of years ago and fell in love with it. We would have liked to buy one but two reasons why we didn't, we have just had our second child and needed a family car. We love old cars and our 66 mustang hardtop would not work. We had been toying with the idea of a 56 nomad but they are nigh impossible to find here in Oz and even then they are out of our reach cost wise. Then the 56 Beauville wagon came along and we finally decided to buy it. Secondly the cost of Bel Airs are also out of our reach.

Anyway that is our story I think you should stay with a 56 of some sort.
 

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http://www.55-57chevys.com/coccc/tech/56assm1.html

Frames are easy to straighten after the body's off. There are measurements in the Chevy manual on the Heights everything should be then Cross square. The body may have more problems than the frame. I've straighted some pretty mangled frame withe an I beam ,handyman jack, 6 ton Hydrolic jack and a couple chains 10 feet long. If it is bent down it is also short so you will have to stretch it. Even a pipe and a come along may get what you need done. It depends on what you want to complish weather you tear the frame out from under it or not . Just the body mount bolts in the effected area may be all you need to take out. Co to the link and measure measure measure after you level it no a flat surface. It may be way eaier than you think so don't take the ape off while bending or straightening you may go to far.
 

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Don't screw with it, better to move on to something better. I'll give you your $6K back so you can find something you like better.

When can I pick up the car and give you the cash?

Seriously, there are no perfect cars and I hope you were not expecting one for $6K. If there are perfect cars.... well I can't afford them that's for sure.

Have you figured out what that car is worth when you get it all finished? Even if you spend $10K on it (I know I am being conservative) you can easily get your $16K back or more depending on how well you do getting it back up to spec/speed.

Good Luck and If you do decide to bail out on it drop me a PM.

Regards,
 
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