Products to Compare (max of 3)
X
Compare These Parts
Talk to the Experts. Call 800.979.0122, 7am-10pm, everyday.
Since 1952
in
in
Talk to the Experts. Call 800.979.0122
Shop By
Support
Account
Street Race Truck More... The Toolbox

'55 Chevy Revival

7/14/2020

Old cars often have stories about the good times we’ve had with them, and some have stories about the not so good times. Some cars even have stories that follow them from owner to owner. Derek Turner’s 55 Chevy Bel-Air has some of both. Derek decided he needed a Tri-5 project for himself after restoring a ’56 Chevy 210 with his dad, Greg. After searching the local classifieds for a project, he located a ’55 Bel-Air with no engine or transmission in it. The story goes that the owner of the ‘55 found himself behind bars for an extended period back in 1972 and the car hadn’t seen the road since then. You could say the car was doing time right along with its owner.

This was definitely somebody’s hot-rod and without a doubt it gives you a 60’s vibe. The flower print contact paper on the dash, cheetah pattern door panels and vintage decals under the hood are a few of the clues to the car’s past. The powerplant was long gone, but there were a set of V8 motor mounts and a hole in the floor… presumably for a 4-speed shifter. A pair of ‘64 Impala bucket seats remained with cool brown upholstery to boot! There was some damage to the left quarter panel and driver’s door from some unruly kids that decided to run into it with a tractor, but it was very fixable. After thinking about it for a few days he decided to go ahead and drag it home with him.

Derek can be called a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to his cars. That makes for ultra-nice cars that win trophies… and stay put away in the garage most of the time. He wanted something that could be driven hard and go anywhere so the approach was very different with this car. In an effort to keep things simple, a used 350 small block was sourced and bolted up to a new pair of Speedway side motor mounts. A th350 trans is held up by one of our crossmembers. Swap meet special headers, radiator and other odds and end rounded out the essentials under the hood and kept the build affordable.

The original brakes were, well… original, so a new disc brake kit with drop spindles, power booster and master cylinder replaced the 55 year old equipment. New hardlines and rebuilt rear drums had the brakes in working order again. In an effort to go down the road safely Derek rebuilt the front suspension with new bushings, ball joints and tie rods. The OEM manual steering box had seen better days, so a CPP power steering unit takes orders from a modified stock steering column.

Moving on to that damaged left quarter panel Derek found himself sectioning a used panel that he harvested from a local salvage yard. The driver side door had also suffered some damage, so a used door made it’s way on the car as well. To save the faded brown paint that so many try to replicate these days Derek color matched the repairs with some custom tinted single stage paint. Rounding out the “look” is a set of stock steel wheels and Coker Bias-Look Radial tires.

So far the ’55 has seen more miles than any of the other cars Derek has built. In part due to the function over form approach he went with. This car has seen traditional car shows all over the Midwest, Including Vintage Torquefest in Dubuque, IA, Greaserama in Kansas City, MO, Rustemberfest in Pacific Juntion, IA and the KKOA lead Sled Spectacular in Salina, KS. Everywhere it goes people seem to love the “barn fresh” vibe and the simplicity of the car. So, what’s next for the ’55 you might wonder? Sitting in the field all those years didn’t help the floor pans any, so those might need some help sooner than later. Keep an eye on the toolbox to follow along with some upgrades he has planned for the car this year!

Check out the new engine build for Derek's car here and read about the rust repair here.

Check out more on Derek's '55 project:

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

Project Chevelle: Disc Brakes Tech Article
by Josh Sullivan - Posted in Tech
8/9/2018
Project Chevelle upgrades the 4 drum brakes single master cylinder that was an unfortunate set of boxes checked on this Chevelle’s order sheet.
Disc Brake Kit for a Ford Nine-Inch Rear End
by Matthew McClure - Posted in Tech
5/6/2020
Advantages of using Speedway Motors weld-on rear disc brake kit for a Ford Nine-Inch rear end. Learn some tips for installation. This kit includes IMCA approved brake calipers.
Disc Brake Conversion
by Tyler Wesely - Posted in Tech
5/24/2019
How to change brake pads, rotors and calipers using the Mustang II complete brake kit. Replace your drum brakes with disc brakes for performance and better braking ride. For use on Bobcat and Mustang II spindles.
Project Chevelle Power Steering Tech Article
by Zach Raddatz - Posted in Tech
6/18/2018
Follow along as power steering is added to Speedway's Project Chevelle. This article showcases exactly what is involved in adding power steering in a car that came with manual steering.
Tech Talk: King Pin and Spindle Installation for 1937-1941 Ford
3/14/2019
Heath Petzoldt walks us through the process of putting different types of king pins together in this video. Follow along to boost your kingpin assembling confidence!
1946 Ford Sedan Delivery-Employee Rides: Jeff Karls
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
12/21/2020
Ride along as you read the story of how "Looney Tunes" started and made its way back to the original owner after nearly three decades.
How to Install an Electric Motor Kit for Exhaust Cutouts
by Kevin Webel - Posted in Tech
12/2/2020
A guide on removing and installing a new electric motor kit for exhaust cutouts.
Installing a Speedway Motors Wiring Kit - 1967 Chevelle
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Tech
10/8/2020
This Chevelle project gets rewired with a Speedway Motors wiring kit. Follow along as Jeff guides you through this application, starting with a good mounting location for the fuse box. Learn more on continuity, grounding and relays.
How to Install an EFI Fuel Tank - 1967 Chevelle
by Jeff Karls - Posted in Street Rod
9/29/2020
A step by step on how to install an EFI Fuel Tank kit in a 1967 Chevelle. Learn the benefits of using this kit including expanded fuel capacity and a 24 gallon tank.
Windshield Removal Tool
by Steve Lewis - Posted in Tech
9/22/2020
Learn how to use a windshield remover tool to assist with in-depth builds. A step-by-step guide to windshield removal.
Error
X
Note
X
Ok