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Username Post: 55 Sport Coupe - 396 LT1 - T56        (Topic#292613)
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
01-25-13 10:07 AM - Post#2310478    

Did some work on this car when I first acquired it 7 years ago, but it got sidetracked due to some health and family problems that needed my attention. Then the '55 gasser and the '55 4x4 truck took priority for awhile. And my '58 pro street truck is now 15 years on the road, and needed some "freshening up", so the hardtop just kept sitting. I always knew when a project is "done", it really is never really just "done".....

Today is the day to pull the hardtop out of storage, and haul it up to my main shop 15 miles away and get started on it. Will post pix and keep this thread as the main project thread as the car comes together.

The vision is a low sitting, good handling, fun to drive, 500 hp LT1 396 with a T56 and 9" locker, minitubbed with good rubber all around.

When I bought it, the motor was a wheezy, oil leakin' 350/350 combo, on stock rims with stock suspension, stock interior, and the magnet found a bit of bondo here and there.

The early work I did included a minitub job, slung the springs in under the frame rails, narrowed a 9" with a detroit locker and 4.11 gears, put slappers on the rear springs. Then the motor let go, so it want into storage. This pix was just before the storage:

Here's a concept drawing I did when I first got the car:

There are lots of decisions to be made, bucket seats vs the bench. Dechroming vs keeping the Bel Air trim. Just how far do I want to go with the frame. Have visited both Jim Meyer's shop and Art Morrison's shop, both offer quality products.

Or do a body off and setup my own custom frame (a whole lot more work, but I feel capable of doing it). It's just that as I turn 71, just how far do I want to go with this car?

I would like to get it on the road and enjoy it, along with the rest of my growing 'fleet' (the '55 street gasser, the '55 4x4 stepside, and the '58 pro street truck), which I am now enjoying each day....
(eenie - meenie - mainie - moe, which car today is gonna show.....)

I did start a project page when I was doing that initial work on this car, will start adding to that as I make progress:
LINK to the hardtop project page....

Aloha,
"2Loose" Willy



 

2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
01-25-13 10:29 AM - Post#2310485    
    In response to FiveSeven

Somewhere along the way I put in the one piece "buick" style taillight lenses, with the led light plate under them. Also started peeling off the bondo, it is thick at the taillights....

The motor is built and ready to go. Needs a new water pump is about all.

Aloha,
Willy



 
4dr 57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4523
4dr 57
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Reg: 11-10-04
01-25-13 11:25 AM - Post#2310503    
    In response to 2Loose

my stock LT1 seems pretty strong. no tellin' what that beast will do. Niice!

It's all good. mostly




 
cnbell 
Senior Member
Posts: 9224
cnbell
Loc: So Cal
Reg: 04-14-04
01-25-13 11:43 AM - Post#2310506    
    In response to 4dr 57

Sounds like a cool build, looking forward to watching it...

Craig

http://www.picturetrail.com/cnbell


 
jeffs55 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11788
jeffs55
Age: 59
Loc: Shelby Forest, Tennessee
Reg: 01-05-06
01-25-13 02:27 PM - Post#2310542    
    In response to cnbell

Looks like a good start already Willy.
I'll be keeping up with this one too.


Jeff
55 Handyman
66 F100 project
32 3 Window Coupe project
1996 Silverado short bed extended cab
1948 Studebaker Champion
1977 Toyota Celica Coupe
2000 Blazer 4X4
My Pics


 
62chevy427 
"12th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2123
62chevy427
Loc: laurens sc
Reg: 04-13-06
01-25-13 08:52 PM - Post#2310663    
    In response to 2Loose

i would leave the body and stance much as it is.now the engine and trans--go for it.

56 bel air ((since 2002)
62 impala ss (since 1965)
65 el camino (since 1969)
66 nova (since 1987)
67 malibu convertible (since 1981)
72 el camino ss454 (since 1985)
83 gmc 4wd (since 1991)
95 impala (new)
14 camaro (new)


 
56sedandelivery 
Dedicated Member
Posts: 5395
56sedandelivery
Age: 66
Loc: Everett, Wa.
Reg: 02-26-08
01-25-13 11:10 PM - Post#2310690    
    In response to 62chevy427

I too like the stance, and the current color scheme. Old school on the outside, and new school power train; that would be a winner in my book. Butch/56sedandelivery.




 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
01-26-13 10:18 AM - Post#2310780    
    In response to 56sedandelivery

Towed 'er up to the main shop I share with a couple of buddies yesterday. There are five other project cars in that shop at the moment.

I have on hand a pair of Global West tubular a-arms, with coil-overs, 2" dropped spindles, disk brakes, to install. That will drop the front end a little, I've always liked a little rake on them like was popular "back in the day...."

At our "fender friday" beer and grill session at the shop last nite, we were all talking about "what if" for this car, and ya know, I kinda like the current color scheme! Am thinking along those lines right now. There is some rust along the lower door panels, and some of the rear floor needs repair or replacement, might need new door panels. Will be pulling off all the old paint and finding where the bondo is.

But first the mechanical stuff, get 'er running well first, then work on the body as a "work in progress"....
Willy



 
4dr 57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4523
4dr 57
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Reg: 11-10-04
01-26-13 11:36 AM - Post#2310814    
    In response to 56sedandelivery

  • 56sedandelivery Said:
I too like the stance, and the current color scheme. Old school on the outside, and new school power train; that would be a winner in my book. Butch/56sedandelivery.







It's all good. mostly




 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
01-26-13 12:50 PM - Post#2310829    
    In response to 4dr 57

Last nite at the "Fender Fri" BBQ and beer session at the shop, we discussed that very topic. I have to admit I have always liked that color combo, but have always wanted to try the red/black combo too, so am torn. The vote last nite was split also, but slightly in favor of the existing colors....



 
C57Heaven 
Senior Member
Posts: 2021
C57Heaven
Loc: Ohio USA
Reg: 08-02-00
01-26-13 09:31 PM - Post#2310971    
    In response to 2Loose

looking forward to the build updates. FWIW, I like the color it was when you stored it.

Peace,
John H.
55 BA 2dr Sed owned since 1979, sold 6/1/09;
1957 Conv (starting to restore)


 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
01-27-13 10:18 AM - Post#2311100    
    In response to C57Heaven

Yeah, I'm leaning more and more in that direction myself. I do like the subtle nuance a nicely done clear coat with some pearl in it can do to the white portion. Have seen some that I really liked!

The side trim is banged slightly here and there, but generally in pretty good shape! The white paint down the center of the main piece looks like original, and showing it's age, but am thinking it looks pretty cool actually, and leaving it just the way it is, just polishing the stainless a little, would be a cool way to go! Will show some pix when I get a chance.

Still need to weld in the rear tubs, hauled them, the hood and trunk, an AAW wiring kit, the Global West front suspension setup with 2" dropped spindles and disk brakes up to the shop yesterday.

Today moving the motor and tranny. Getting it all together in one place. I tried to accumulate as many parts as I knew I would need when I was working and had some money. At least I had more then than I do now! For awhile there, I had paid off my mortgage, and paid off the loans to put the kids through college, and told the wife that NOW was the time to work on my beloved Chevies....

I'm glad I did, as now it would be impossible to pick up the parts I used in both the trucks, the gasser, and now this cruiser! This might be my last project, ya just never know. Went to a funeral Fri for a 79 year old buddy who was drag racing his 10 second camaro up until he was 75, and had just put the finishing touches on his '37 Ford pickup, wish I had pix of that truck, it is stunning!

I used to sit in the staging lanes in my '58 pro street truck (12.90 class) next to his camaro which was lined up in the 10.90 class, and be inspired to be like him! He fought cancer these last 4 years and it finally got him, but he never gave up!

There's a favorite cartoon from the sixties of some guy or bunch of guys hoofin' it down the road, with the logo, "Keep On Truckin"....

Aloha to Al....
Willy





 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
01-28-13 04:13 PM - Post#2311480    
    In response to 2Loose

First I need to weld the "mini-tubs" in and fix up the floor, get it all "sanitary"....


Set up a HOME page and will be linking project pages for this car as work proceeds....

LINK to '55 Sport Coupe Project Home Page

LINK to Page Two for this project

Aloha,
Willy



 
jeffs55 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11788
jeffs55
Age: 59
Loc: Shelby Forest, Tennessee
Reg: 01-05-06
01-29-13 02:21 PM - Post#2311760    
    In response to 2Loose

It's coming along Willy. I vote for the original color (ish) as well. (sweeeet)
There are plenty red and green ones out there.
No need to add another one.
Besides, the truck is red. Put a black stripe on it.


Jeff
55 Handyman
66 F100 project
32 3 Window Coupe project
1996 Silverado short bed extended cab
1948 Studebaker Champion
1977 Toyota Celica Coupe
2000 Blazer 4X4
My Pics


 
tri5ss 
"11th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2587
tri5ss
Age: 66
Loc: Massachusetts sometimes
Reg: 12-14-00
01-30-13 09:49 AM - Post#2312045    
    In response to jeffs55

IMHO

Depends on what you want!

Do you want a 'In your face mess with me and I'll blow your doors off' ride? Then the red with black stripe.

If you want that nice street car "sleeper" look with some gitty-up under the hood, then keep it the same color.

Like I said, JMHO

Tri5SS
'55 210, GMPP ZZ3, 200 4R, 12 bolt 3.73 posi, CPP P/S, ABS P/DB.

http://www.picturetrail.com/tri5ss

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool


 
4dr 57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4523
4dr 57
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Reg: 11-10-04
01-30-13 10:28 AM - Post#2312056    
    In response to jeffs55


I'm not exactly sure that is a stock color. It looks a lot like my car color and it is not a stock color.
It's a nice color, metallic?
Stanley

It's all good. mostly




 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
01-30-13 10:55 AM - Post#2312063    
    In response to 4dr 57

It's slightly metallic, I'll get the cowl tag info and figure out what it was originally. The dash is a really dark green, I don't like it. I like the color it is a lot though, so might just keep it that way. To me it looks really good just the way it is, needs to sit just a hair lower though for me. 2" would be plenty!

Goin' through my storage room, sorting through parts I have accumulated for various projects, and left over parts from "finished" projects (come on now, ya know they are never "finished"....), there are some parts I just can't find. They are hiding from me!

I know I had a complete Global West front suspension setup for this car, tubular a-arms, 2" dropped spindles, disk brakes, have found everything but the spindles, should have been there with the other parts, but nope! Can't find 'em!

Frustrating!



 
Mowman 
Member
Posts: 406

Age: 68
Loc: Wisconsin
Reg: 04-13-04
01-30-13 05:13 PM - Post#2312164    
    In response to 2Loose

Willy I usually find the parts I couldn't find after I bought the second set!

Mowman



 
chevybow 
Contributor
Posts: 904
chevybow
Loc: Monroe Ga. Red Neck Capi...
Reg: 09-03-04
01-30-13 05:28 PM - Post#2312169    
    In response to 2Loose

Willy, I have a new black padded dash that I picked up along the way if you want it let me know and I will send it to you...Donny



 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
01-30-13 09:14 PM - Post#2312234    
    In response to Mowman

Mowman,

Yup, I've got "extra" parts around too, just because of that....

The cowl tag says Style No. 55-10370 or 1037D
Trim No. 520
Paint No. 684
Top ACC.

Anybody know how to interpret these?
Willy



 
tri5ss 
"11th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2587
tri5ss
Age: 66
Loc: Massachusetts sometimes
Reg: 12-14-00
01-31-13 01:57 PM - Post#2312430    
    In response to 2Loose

Willy,

1037D - Bel Air 2dr hardtop Sport Coupe V-8
Trim - 520 Beige/Green
Paint - 684 Indian Ivory/Navaho Tan
Not sure what Top ACC means. I'm sure someone else will chime in with the info.

Randy

Tri5SS
'55 210, GMPP ZZ3, 200 4R, 12 bolt 3.73 posi, CPP P/S, ABS P/DB.

http://www.picturetrail.com/tri5ss

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool


 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
01-31-13 10:38 PM - Post#2312569    
    In response to tri5ss

Hmmmm.....
Navaho Tan, will have to check that out....
Sounds interesting



 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
01-31-13 10:58 PM - Post#2312572    
    In response to 2Loose

Searched the Navaho Tan and this came up:
https://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showtopic.php?ti...
from 9 years ago.
Am still up in the air as to what color I want to go with this car.
Gotta let it "soak in" for awhile....

Did chip away a bit at the bondo I knew was on the bottom of the doors, lot of rot, I knew something was there from my magnet inspection when I bought the car, but what I found today was worse than I thought. Will have to do some real rebuilding of the bottom of the doors. Will post some pix. Thinking repair patch vs new door skins...
But gotta find out how bad the door frames, etc are first....

Willy



 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
02-08-13 02:54 PM - Post#2314904    
    In response to 2Loose

Just cleaning up, checking parts, searching for "lost" parts (well, I know I had 'em, so where are they???), and have found most of them.

started putting the Heidt's front suspension together on the work bench to check out if everything was there: tubular a-arms, 2" dropped spindles, disk brakes, QA1 coil-overs, it's all looking good!


LINK to my page 2....



 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
02-09-13 12:03 PM - Post#2315120    
    In response to 2Loose

Started pulling the front end apart....


Now pulling the suspension off, then the motor/trans come out, then the doors come off, then the body is going up in the air.....
Wish I had a "rotisserie"....
Willy

Page 2 LINK....



 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
02-11-13 12:15 PM - Post#2315737    
    In response to 2Loose

Got the front frame stripped and the motor/tranny is now out....


Not sure if I have room to hoist the body up off the frame, am looking at it. It would be good to get it all clean and fresh paint under there, and put in some new body mount donuts....

Then hang the new motor/tranny in the frame and fab some good stout side mounts. I have a custom way I like to do it, let's see how it comes out....

The front suspension parts are in good shape, just need a cleanup, some new bushings and some fresh paint. Think anyone doing a tri-five resto might be interested in them?

Aloha,
Willy

LINK to my page....



 
cnbell 
Senior Member
Posts: 9224
cnbell
Loc: So Cal
Reg: 04-14-04
02-11-13 12:43 PM - Post#2315741    
    In response to 2Loose

The front end parts probably aren't worth the shipping costs to send them.

On mine I lift the body off the frame about six inches, replace the bushings and paint the top of the frame. I don't have the room or the gear to take the body completely off the frame and would rather not do it if I don't need to.

Looking forward to watching the build...

Craig

http://www.picturetrail.com/cnbell


 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
02-11-13 11:01 PM - Post#2315927    
    In response to cnbell

Thanks, that's the thought I am having, there's too many projects going on around me at the "Old Dudes Shop", not much room, so am thinking just jack the body up enough to get under it and make everything clean, painted, and put it back together...
LINK to the OD Racing Page....


Started working on the floors today, chipping, scraping, cleaning it up, not too bad really, but some definite thin spots I need to address....




And still need to weld in the "minitubs" and some other pieces in the trunk....


Usually I fill in the piece behind the rear seat solid, but might make the back seat a flip down so a surfboard could be put in the trunk through this area into the back seat, or any other long object....

I have the front bucket seats from the '93 Camaro the LT1 came out of, and the back seat, thinking of adapting it to this car....
Aloha,
Willy


Set up a page for the work on the floors and trunk....



Edited by 2Loose on 02-11-13 11:04 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
2Loose 
"14th Year" Platinum Supporting Member
Posts: 4331
2Loose
Age: 76
Loc: Sandwich Isles
Reg: 03-17-03
02-12-13 11:46 AM - Post#2316083    
    In response to 2Loose

Am also wrestling with the idea of whether I should put in a roll bar or not. It will not be road raced, there is no venue here for that, although there is an SCCA group that does the autocross stuff, would like to run this car through that when I get it complete....



 
1956cpe 
Contributor
Posts: 939
1956cpe
Loc: Carlsbad, CA
Reg: 07-07-04
02-13-13 08:24 AM - Post#2316347    
    In response to 2Loose

The autocross deal is actually pretty fun. I don't think you will need a roll bar for most courses as they are generally pretty short straight sections between corners. I have run the '56 at Del Mar Goodguys two years in a row and it's all first and second gear, mostly first with my gearing and set up.
In your other post about steering boxes, I'll second the CPP 500 box. I installed mine when they first came out and along with all the other suspension stuff like you are planning it will work great.
Also, those pics of the OD shop are great!
Best of luck with your build.

Pete



 

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