Well Oppo, I suppose it’s time for that long overdue ‘55 Chevy update I said I’d do about a month and a half ago. For those that don’t know, this was an Arizona car my dad picked up for a full frame off restoration. I come out now and then to help with welding, paint, and just in general. The following is our progress so far.
We’ll start with the frame. After complete disassembly, the frame was media blasted, repaired where necessary, and modified. The front was replaced with a full heidts front end - double A arms and coilovers. The frame was also boxed in after welding in nuts for transmission mounts, e-brake, vacuum pump, and transmission cooler. I have a penchant for as little exposed fasteners as possible. While adding a not-insignificant amount of weight, it should also do quite a bit for the rigidity of the truck.
I’m not one to toot my own horn (too often), but thats some quality shit right there.
Electronic E-brake. (Paint is all temp. and needs to be touched up)
While the frame was being worked on, the body work was completely disassembled and brought down to Eugene, OR where one of the last places licensed to do acid dipping in the US did their stuff. multiple layers of paint, and some gratuitous patches of bondo were removed leaving nice and shiny bare metal behind. The next task here is to weld in new eyelid sections over the headlights as the front fenders are pretty dented up there. There’s also various holes to fill and welds to smooth before it can be primered. Unfortunately, out of an overabundance of caution, I cannot talk about the cab. I can however say that it is shaved, primered, undercoated, and ready to go.
Old picture here, the wood is absolutely trash.
As far as paint goes, there has been a lot of deliberation as to color schemes. Though likely for the first year or two the truck will remain primer black with anti corrosion coatings underneath and inside the fenders. We’re getting pretty antsy to drive this thing, so if it doesn’t need to be done immediately to get it running and driving nicely, it probably won’t be done yet. While a serious build, this is not a show car or trailer queen. It’s a driver with heavy emphasis on function > form. Not to say it won’t look good doing so.
The drivetrain is a big block Chevy stroker, somewhere in the neighborhood of 530 ci. Rebuilding it will be a project this winter, though it doesn’t need too much. The mechanical fuel injection will remain, though it will be tweaked to run on pump gas, and the compression lowered from 13 down to ~8. The transmission is a TH400 I believe but don’t quote me on it. On a side note, if any oppos know of a good air filter for ITBs with a 3" inside diameter and 4" or less OD I’d be very interested.
Interior is completely undecided so far, and if any oppos know of a tri five with a nice interior to get ideas from, I’d love to see it.
Wheels are custom AC cobra wheels with true knockoffs, tires are pirrelli up front, and we’re supposed to be in the rear as well, but they really dropped the ball (multiple times) and mickey thompsons were purchased instead. Rear wheels are 18x13 wrapped in a 355, fronts are 18x7.5 (?) Wrapped in 225s. Wilwood brakes with floating rotors should be adequate stopping power.
That’s about where it sits right now. I’m sure I’m leaving quite a bit out, but there will be more updates in the future. It is, after all, a work in progress.