DACC May 2016 Feature Car

In May of 1976, I purchased my 1955 Chevy in Denver, Colorado for $600.00.  It had a 283 and a three speed on the floor, what I did not know is that it had a flat cam.  During my ownership of the car I watched American Graffiti and decided to modify the body and paint the car black.  My dad and I, “mostly him” raised the rear wheel openings 4 inches while maintaining the stock look.  I raised the car up with shackles, air shocks and big block springs with M50 tires sticking out the back wheel wells.  He painted the car black in May of 1977 just in time for the high school drags at Bandimere Speedway.  A few weeks after the race I attended a friends graduation party.  It was at the party I met my future wife with the help of my ’55.  As she was leaving the party she asked who owned the black car.  I proceeded to get her number and shortly we started dating.

In 1979 I started some restoration on the floor pans and installed a 400 small block with a turbo 400 and 4:88 rear gears.  I took it the drag strip and on the second pass the transmission locked up at the traps, the transmission case shattered, the drive shaft bent in a v shape and the rear end housing was twisted.  The drive shaft gashed the floor plan behind the passenger seat and I am glad I had a drive line loop installed or things might have been worse.  Over the next few years I tinkered with it but did not have a lot of time or money to fix it up.  In 1985 we moved to Texas and in 1987 I pulled the body off the frame and started cutting out and repairing the rust.  I did most of the work myself, including the paint. When I was rebuilding the car I was not planning on building a show car, just a nice driver.  Many of my neighbors kept telling me I would never get the thing running.  I finished the car (somewhat, they are never finished) in 2000 and put the car in Ft.Worth Rod & Custom show.  The car took first in its class and I was really shocked!

People ask how long the restoration took and I tell them 13 years and I had 2 kids during that time period, but really “I am not done”.

I attend many local shows and enjoy many of the fellow gear heads that attend.  We like to get out and drive the car and have been to many towns across the states.  We have attended multiple Hot Rod Power Tours, including Green Bay and Charlotte, multiple Lone Star Loop trips around Texas and the Tri-Five Nationals last year in Bowling Green.  We are planning one day to go to Cruisin’ the Coast and maybe Hot August Nights in Reno.

I need to thank my wife for being patient in all of the time I have spent on the car.  I am glad she enjoys going on the trips with our ’55 and we have met new friends along the way.

Keith & Dayna Brogdon
Watagua, Texas