October's Feature Car
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
In 1955 I was 13 years old when a family friend bought a new 1955 Chevy Bel Air two door hardtop. It was charcoal and coral in color with a 265 V8 engine with a Power Glide transmission. It was beautiful and I was smitten. According to my mother, she says that my first sentence as a baby was I see a car so I have been a car person since baby hood.
After serving in the US Army and working in the oil and gas
business building my career I began looking around for car projects. I owned
several classic Fords, Dodges, Plymouths and Chevys through the years, however I
kept thinking about the Tri Fives. I built my first 1955 Chevy for my wife in
2008. She wanted it to be built stock with a red and white paint scheme. She
got the red and white paint scheme, however the motor installed was a 383
stroker with 700R4 transmission. Now on to the next project. A friend of mine
who lived in Farmington, New Mexico called me one day and said he was aware of a
55 Chevy that was a basket case, but could be purchased cheap. I went to see
the car and purchased it for $500 and pulled it home under a cover because of
all the rust etc. It had no motor, transmission, glass, chrome, or interior,
however the frame and roof was in good shape and it had a good title and
matching vin number. That was in 2010.
The car sat in my shop until 2017 when we began working on it. The floors and rockers have been totally changed out, both left and right quarters have been changed, new toe boards and 4 firewall have been installed, new dash has been refabricated and all new front fenders, doors, chrome, glass, motor, transmission and rear end have been purchased and are waiting to be installed. The motor is a Chevy 468 block (709 Horsepower), transmission is 700R4 and rear end is Ford 9 with a Mustang II Front end. We are using a smoothie hood, with the deck lid totally clean of chrome and emblems, electronic doors and shaved handles. The exterior will be painted a deep Forest Green and the interior will be tobacco color and contain four bucket seats with console running from front to back. Door panels will be very close to stock panels. Hopefully I can finish the car within another year, however in the mean time I have this red and white 55 to drive around!
Don D. Beck
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