Feature Car
August 2009
 

I worked as a computer programmer manager for 35 years and retired from MBNA in June of 2004.  My hobbies are hot rods, spending time with my grand daughter, fishing, and rock climbing.  My previous cars were a Ď23 T-bucket and a Ď54 Cadillac.

My father bought a new Ď55 Bel Air Chevy and totaled it in 1958 on a trip to my grandparents but we all got out unscratched.  It was his love for that car that inspired me to find one for resurrection and relive some fond memories of a simpler time.

I purchased my Ď55 on July 4th, 1996.  It came with a ragged out interior (the seats were covered with an old beach towel, bare metal everywhere else), a tired old 283 with 4 speed and the stock rear axle.  My first change was the custom interior done by BJís Upholstery in Grand Prairie.  Then came the sound system installed by myself with help from my son.  The paint was pretty good but I had the trunk lid and right front fender repainted.  After several attempts at having a decent power plant, I decided to build one the right way by buying and modifying a crate 1998 Vortec motor, put in an automatic transmission and stronger rear end behind it.  Then the power steering and brakes were added, new radiator and cooling fans, and most recently the Painless Wire kit.

Iím proud to say Iíve done most all the modifications and fabrication (with the exception of paint, upholstery, and balancing of engine internals).  After all, thatís what the hobby is all about, isnít it?

Weíve taken numerous trips within one hundred miles, but Iím look forward to going on longer treks - like driving all of Route 66, going to Bonneville Speed Week (tops my bucket list), etc.

As a kid I used to hang around Don Breithauptís house (he held the B/Altered national record in the late 50s in a Ď32 coupe with a supercharged SBC) and I bugged the hell out of him.  It was a beautiful car, well engineered, sparked the racing flame in me that burns today.  Iíd love to drag race (not the pro marketing hype as seen on TV but the nostalgia stuff) but every time I mention it around family, I get ďthe lookĒ.  I spent all my time as a teenager at Green Valley Raceway, watching Vance Hunt and Bobby Langley go at it.  I met Vance three years ago, and built the motor that powers his restored Ď57 Cameo that he used to tow his top fuel slingshot to the Indy Nationals.  Iíve raced go karts, motocross, and bicycles but I still yearn to get involved in drag racing.

My car as of today:

1955 Chevy Bel Air 2 door Sedan

Engine - 1998 Vortec 350 crate motor, modified heads, Comp Cam, GM roller rockers,
approx 410 h/p, balancing and head work by Arlington Machine, polished, assembled, and tuned by myself.

Transmission - 700-R4 by Phoenix Transmission Products

Rear Axle - GM Posi 10 bolt 3.23 ratio

Misc. - Blaupunkt Radio/CD, w/500 watt amp in trunk

            Interior designed by owner, performed by BJís Interiors of Grand Prairie

            Aluminum Radiator w/twin puller cooling fans

            Painless Wiring

            500 power steering box from CPP

            Power disk brakes

Planned Changes - 1 piece bumpers

 

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