Frame Off Built Bel Air Pro Touring EFI 427/630 HP V8 4L70 Automatic Ford 9" A/C
- Texas Speed & Performance LS7 / 630 horsepower
- 4L70E 4-speed automatic transmission
- Ford 9-inch rear axle / 3.55 gears
- Ridetech air ride suspension
- Power rack-and-pinion steering / Wilwood 4-wheel disc brakes
- Bonspeed wheels
- Lightly customized body
- Pearl White & Copper Metallic paint / Realistic flames
- Custom leather interior / Modern audio system
- Vintage Air conditioning
* Texas Speed & Performance LS7 / 630 horsepower
* 4L70E 4-speed automatic transmission
* Ridetech air ride suspension
* Vintage Air conditioning
* Pearl White & Copper Metallic paint / Realistic flames
* Power rack-and-pinion steering / Wilwood 4-wheel disc brakes
* Custom leather interior / Modern audio system
* Bonspeed wheels
* Ford 9-inch rear axle / 3.55 gears
* Lightly customized body
As the old saying goes: in life, only three things are guaranteed – death, taxes and Bel Airs at classic car events. At least, that's how the saying goes in OUR octane-fueled world. Of course, that list is a little unfair to tri-fives because, unlike death and taxes, old school Chevys are a lot of fun. And this coupe, with its brutal LS7, outrageous So Cal aesthetics and thoroughly modern mechanicals, blends an array of custom, driver-friendly attributes into a pro-touring package that virtually anyone can enjoy!
Sure, this attention-grabbing shade of orange wasn't on the Chevy color chart back in 1955, but it certainly looks the part on this awesome Bel Air. These cars lend themselves to classic 2-tone, and this hardtop's remarkable combination of Copper Metallic and Pearl White works well with realistic flames to freshen a timeless hot rod paint scheme. The car's bodywork presents great, with straight panels and even gaps framing doors that snap closed with precision. Thanks to ample pearl and mirror-like gloss, that precision glows in a way that most traditional 2-stage simply isn't capable of. Nothing has been chopped, channeled or frenched, which is always a smart choice on these cars. And, by allowing the original design to speak for itself, the builder created a clean, no-gimmick classic that dazzles via merit and execution.
Despite a relatively custom appearance, this bowtie's finishing pieces look so natural they could be mistaken for factory-spec. At the front of the car, a guarded bumper rides below a polished grille, clear parking lamps and modern tri-bar headlights. At the top of that grille, a shaved hood leads the eye to smoked glass that's founded in polished frames and deleted wipers. At the base of that glass, shaved door handles and shaved quarter emblems give way to a polished driver's mirror and color-keyed trim spears. And at the back of that trim, custom, bowtie-branded tail lamps illuminate a custom decklid and second guarded bumper.
Glance under this Chevy's domed hood and you'll find a gorgeous Texas Speed & Performance LS7 that's been built, polished and tweaked to 11.25 to 1 compression and a staggering 630 horsepower! At the front of the mill, a polished air cleaner feeds oxygen to an LS7 throttle body that's centered on a Copper Metallic intake. That air/fuel mixture travels in to Precision Race Components heads, which hang color-keyed, Chevrolet-branded valve covers over PHC springs, hardened pushrods, titanium retainers and GM rockers that have been upgraded with a Comp Cams Trunion Kit. Those heads feed a GM LS7 block, which cases forged rods and a forged 4340 crank beneath a custom-grind roller cam and forged Wiseco pistons. At the sides of that block, Hooker Super Competition headers shoot spent gases in to high performance, true-dual pipes. Relocated GM coil packs sequence spark through high quality MSD plug wires. An attractive Billet Specialties Tru Trac system spins an Edelbrock water pump between a polished alternator and modern AC compressor. And, at the front of the engine bay, a big aluminum radiator makes good use of a polished support and dual electric puller fans. Aesthetically, the glossy, fully detailed motor features all the right ancillaries, with modern power steering components joining GM fuel rails, a full roster of stainless hardware and a familiar Wilwood master cylinder. And a custom, Texas Speed & Performance-built engine harness combines with a Texas Speed & Performance-tuned ECM to make sure the car performs every bit as good as it looks.
Structurally, the '55 Chevrolet is an extremely versatile platform that can accept a wide variety of enhancements. And one look under this Bel Air provides a glimpse of how a few minor modifications can make a big difference. Both the car's frame and floorpan have received fresh stainless hardware and fresh coats of finish that mix aesthetic appeal with all-weather durability. Behind the hot small block, a TCI-branded 4L70E automatic easily torques a Ford 9-inch rear end, which spins moderate, 3.55 gears. At the front of the car, tubular control arms and proven Ridetech air shocks frame power rack-and-pinion steering. At the back of the car, a modern 4-bar suspension leads two more Ridetech air shocks. Stops come courtesy of four Wilwood 4-piston calipers, which squeeze four 13-inch rotors. Exhaust is handled by aluminized, true-dual pipes, which utilize Walker Quiet-Flow mufflers to create an awesome chorus of sound. Grip is provided by stylish Bonspeed wheels, which spin 245/40ZR19 Nitto Invos in front of 275/35ZR20 Nitto Invos. And everything, from the car's Holley oil pan to its polished fuel tank, appears purpose-built to tackle the asphalt.
There is no shortage of tri-fives with custom leather interiors, but a car this comfortable is always a stand out. With Vintage Air conditioning, power windows and a powerful sound system, all the modern conveniences are present and accounted for. One of the best additions to the cabin is a fresh pair of bench seats, the first of which features a fold down armrest and retractable cupholders. In front of those seats, a body-matched dash frames hidden audio components with polished aluminum trim and Classic Instruments telemetry. At the sides of that dash, sculpted door panels hang chrome window frames over custom kick panels and small, polished handles. The carpet is extra plush, topped with custom, matching floor mats. Opposite those mats, a bowtie-shaped mirror fronts a tight headliner that's suspended by traditional, chrome roof bows. In front of the driver, a painted, tilting column spins a polished, half-wrapped and color-keyed wheel. And behind the passengers, a fully finished trunk provides a perfect place to display trophies.
To borrow a quote from Ed Cole, former Chevrolet Chief Engineer: “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, and is, an inherent part of building or driving any tri-five Chevy. And, with its impressive engine, comfortable interior and relentless style, this slick '55 is sure to be a blast! If you're ready to own a classic that can truly do it all, fire up your phone, clear some garage space and claim this awesome pro-tourer!
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