Black
Tan
350 LT1
4 Speed Automatic
  • Original sheet metal
  • Gold pearl ghost flames
  • Fully dressed GM LT1 V8
  • GM 4L60E 4-speed automatic
  • Custom tan leather interior
  • Air conditioning
  • Secret Audio

They say that, in life, only certain things are guaranteed – death, taxes and tri-five Chevys at classic car shows. Of course, that list is a little unfair to tri-fives. Unlike the other two, they're actually a lot of fun. The downside of their popularity is that building a stand-out example has become increasingly difficult. It's easy to turn the dials too far and end up with a car that's either so radical it can't be driven or so nice that driving it is a risk that just can't be justified. It's why we love seeing cars like this 1955 Chevrolet 210. With a fuel-injected LT1, modern mechanicals, a plush interior and a subtle custom look that can't be argued with, this road-ready Chevy mixes custom and driver-friendly features into a package anyone could enjoy.

The 1955 Chevrolet represented a massive departure from its predecessors. A low sleek profile replaced the carried-over 1940s lines, marking the arrival of the “Hot One”. This 210 retains much of its factory charm thanks to a rust-free life in South Carolina, where it met the crew at Carolina Rod Shop. There, the original panels were massaged flat in preparation for the gloss black paint that now coats the exterior. The paint work is rich and shows well from all angles – an equal testament to the body work beneath. Take a closer look at the front end and you'll find gold pearl ghost flames accenting that black paint. While some ghost flames are fairly obvious, these stay true to the “ghost” term, disappearing as quickly as they are revealed.

Looking over the car's details, it's clear that the Carolina Rod Shop crew were going after the clean look. All the signature pieces are in place but the rest have been shaved. Up front, the Ferrari-inspired grilled shows just as well as ever above a show-quality chrome bumper. At the corners, clear headlights with H4 bulbs cap off the fenders with a modern touch. The wrap-around windshield appears new as does all the glass in the car. Black rubber replaces the stainless window trim for a stealthy look better suited to the car's overall theme. As a 210, this car left the factory with fairly minimal side trim which, minus the Chevrolet badge on the fender, remains in place. Aftermarket chrome mirrors are a useful addition and tie in well with the chrome door handles. At the rear of the car, bowtie-branded taillights cap of the tidy fins while another showroom fresh bumper tucks chrome exhaust tips beneath.

Lift the hood on this tri-five and the lines between past and present begin to blur. The original engine is long gone, scrapped in favor of a modern fuel-injected LT1 Corvette engine. Bone stock, these engines produced approximately 300hp and 340lb. ft. of torque – a healthy upgrade over even the best original numbers. Built by the team at Street & Performance out of Mena, AK, this LT1 features a mild cam for a little noise to go with the unparalleled drivability of the EFI. The modern mill starts easily, idles well and has a nice mellow rumble thanks to headers and a pair of Flowmaster mufflers. Dressed from head to toe in chrome, the bay shows every bit as well as it performs. From the battery box to the master cylinder, nearly everything is plated for a show-stopping look. Up front, a Griffin radiator is paired with dual electric fans to keep the car cool while polished accessories including the power steering pump, alternator and air conditioning compressor spins at the front of the engine.

Put this '55 on a lift and you'll find a rock solid undercarriage that was built to be driven. In the center, one of GM's 4L60E four-speed automatic transmissions handles shifting duties before transferring power to the rear wheels through a factory rear end packed with 3.50 gears. Around the drivetrain, undercoated floor pans set the backdrop for a fully rebuilt suspension. Chevrolet did a great job with engineering these cars so the stock control arms and leaf springs remain in place, aided only by an upgraded front sway bar. At the rear, a Rock Valley Stainless fuel tank looks great between the dual Flowmaster exhaust system. When the roads get twisty, power steering maximizes your steering input while a combination of GM corporate front disc and rear drum brakes brings the car to a halt with ease. Those brakes are covered by a set of 17-inch American Racing Torq Thrust IIs wrapped in Goodyear rubber, for a look as timeless as the cars lines.

Open up the doors and find a purely modernized interior wrapped in tan leather. The front seats are power and plush, divided by a custom console that offers storage, ambient lighting and a generous amount of rich black paint to compliment the exterior. At either side, plain spoken door panels play off of the original design, wrapped in tan leather with attractive door pulls and custom lock knobs adding a custom touch. From the driver seat, the dash profile is familiar but the details are all new. Turn the key and the Dakota digital gauges light up, keeping tabs on the LT1 with modern style. The original wiper and headlight pulls remain in place as do the climate control switches which now operate a modern air conditioning system. Follow the bowtie-branded dash inlay to the passenger side and find more ghost flames, this time sprayed across the faux gauge cutout. From the thick carpet to amenities like air conditioning, power seats and power windows, this cabin is simply a great place to spend time. Behind the seats, the trunk is equally nice with leather wrapped panels, a full size spare, a fire extinguisher and a six-disc changer that sends signal to the Secret Audio system.

When buying a custom car, it's always assuring to see how everything went together. This '55 includes a photo album that covers the restoration process so you can feel confident everything really is as nice as it looks.

Ed Cole, former Chevrolet Chief Engineer once said of the '55, “We got a big kick out of designing this new Chevrolet, and you will get an even bigger one out of driving it.” Fun was an inherent part of the '55 Chevy and, with its subtle custom style, modern power and comfortable interior, this 210 stays true to that idea. If you're ready for a classic that can truly do it all, clear out a space in your garage for this awesome Chevrolet!

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