Frame Off Built Bel Air Custom 468 V8 THM200 4 Speed Automatic PS A/C Disc Brake
- 468 cubic inch Chevrolet V8
- Center-outlet exhaust
- Turbo-Hydramatic 200-R4 4-speed automatic transmission
- 3.41 rear gears
- Substantially upgraded frame / Substantially upgraded suspension
- Power rack-and-pinion steering
- 4-wheel disc brakes
- 18 and 20-inch Billet Specialties Vintec wheels
- Lightly modified body
- Custom leather interior / Vintage Air conditioning / Modern audio
* 468 cubic inch Chevrolet V8
* Turbo-Hydramatic 200-R4 4-speed automatic transmission
* Custom leather interior / Vintage Air conditioning / Modern audio
* 18 and 20-inch Billet Specialties Vintec wheels
* Substantially upgraded frame / Substantially upgraded suspension
* Power rack-and-pinion steering
* 4-wheel disc brakes
* Lightly modified body
* 3.41 rear gears
* Center-outlet exhaust
Do a quick Google image search for “Bel Air” or “tri-five” and you'll see two predominant patterns: a whole lot of pastels and a whole lot of whitewalls. While it's hard not to love a fab classic, a staunch dedication to historical accuracy can definitely stand between some enthusiasts and '50s-era metal. Heck, even if you are a stickler for factory specs, it's still nice to see something a bit different every now and then. That's why this cool resto-mod is such a refreshing change of pace. A lot of time, money and effort was invested into making this classic the baddest bowtie on the block, and the quality of that plight shows throughout. From its custom chassis and 468 cubic inch big block to its brilliant paint and plush leather interior, the car features the best of everything without drifting in to dreaded 'too nice to drive' territory. If you're ready to experience a different kind of rod, which can be obtained for much less than the hobby's typical build cost, take a minute to learn more about this killer Chevy!
The essential part of building a jaw dropping classic is knowing EXACTLY when to hold back. And, with an icon as detailed as Chevy's tri-five, even the subtlest touches go a long way. While the pros who restored this sedan paid plenty of attention to its solid body, that work was specifically aimed at creating the most perfect surfaces possible. And the result is panels that are exceptionally flat, displaying nary a ripple or wave anywhere. As expected, that straight fuselage ensures fit and finish that's significantly above '50s factory fodder. And a glossy coat of bright red 2-stage lends the car a sporty demeanor that most pastels simply can't touch.
Despite its shaved, 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 traces a polished grille, LED parking lamps and traditional, chrome-trimmed headlights. At the top of that grille, a “Bel Air” branded cowl induction hood leads the eye to a post greenhouse, which founds smoked glass in polished frames and capped, electric wipers. At the base of that glass, factory door handles and small mirrors reflect ornate trim spears. And at the back of the car, LED tail lamps illuminate polished, center-outlet exhaust tips and a second guarded bumper.
Since “mod” is literally a part of the term “resto-mod”, one would expect this Bel Air's engine bay to pack something a little more enticing than an old school Power Pack V8. That said, “A little more enticing” falls a little bit short of describing the car's 468 cubic inches of big block fury. At the top of that sinister mill, a big Holley 4-barrel mixes wind supplied by a polished and milled air filter with fuel that's piped through a combination of polished and braided fluid lines. That air/fuel mixture floods a polished Edelbrock intake on the way to iron Chevrolet heads. Those heads hang mirrored and milled valve covers and style-matched breathers over a Sealed Power Speed-Pro hydraulic flat-tappet cam and coated block hugger headers. A Pertronix Flame-Thrower distributor sequences spark between a chrome coil, EZ Wiring and loomed Taylor Spiro Pro plug wires. A combination of billet brackets and billet pulleys spins pliable V-belts around a polished water pump, a polished Tuff Stuff alternator and a polished AC compressor. A beefy aluminum radiator uses corrugated hoses to circulate coolant around two SPAL puller fans. And items like slick Ringbrothers hood supports, a familiar Wilwood master cylinder and a custom, color-keyed firewall give the bright red engine compartment ample visual sizzle.
Not surprisingly, the bottom of this show worthy Chevy continues the theme of pairing proven hardware with enhanced technology. Behind the awesome big block, a smooth Turbo-Hydramatic 200-R4 makes good use of moderate, 3.41 gears thanks to what appears to be a Ford 9-inch axle. That coated pumpkin floats in a custom rear suspension, which mixes polished tubular control arms with Carrera coil-over-shocks. Opposite that clip, a quality Heidt's front-half cages modern power rack-and-pinion steering in more polished, tubular control arms and adjustable coil-over-shocks. Naturally, that sweet chassis fronts clean, color-keyed floors and a thoroughly massaged frame. At the corners of that frame, polished calipers squeeze drilled and slotted rotors. Custom exhaust pipes funnel spent gases through dual-chamber Flowmaster mufflers. All that premium hardware rolls on a sweet set of Billet Specialties Vintecs, which spin 205/40ZR18 Toyo Proxes 4s in front of 295/25ZR20 Toyo Proxes 4s. And fully sorted details like a chrome oil pan, tough Russell brake lines, a finned transmission cooler and a big Kustom Tanks fuel tank ensure years of carefree cruising.
When you open this sedan's doors, prepare to swim in a sea of first class aesthetics. The car's modern front buckets and upgraded rear bench have been wrapped in leather, trimmed in silver and buttoned up with billet. In front of those seats, a tiered, leather-wrapped dash hangs full Dakota Digital VHX telemetry between glossy paint and billet foot pedals. Overhead, a sculpted headliner frames a polished mirror and precise billet trim. At the floor, black-trimmed California Carpet floats piped and color-keyed mats beneath big Kenwood speakers. At the center of that carpet, a custom, leather-wrapped console founds a short Lokar shifter and controls for trunk-mounted Pioneer audio behind bright cupholders, Painless Phantom Key ignition and a familiar Vintage Air climate system. In front of the driver, a Billet Specialties Vintec steering wheel spins a half-wrapped rim around a polished, tilting column. At the sides of the passengers, flowing door panels hang sculpted armrests and billet handles between body-matched frames, billet trim and modern power windows. And behind the cockpit, a custom upholstered trunk anchors a concealed fuel filler opposite a USB-capable Pioneer head unit.
A lot of hot rods claim to be the total package, but this '55 Chevy actually backs that talk up. The stout big block has surprisingly good manners and, paired with the car's smooth-shifting automatic and custom leather interior, serves as the basis for one of the most comfortable resto-mods we've seen. Buy it for the bowtie… Buy it for the build quality… Whatever you do, just make sure to buy it quickly because quality customs like this don't have a habit of sticking around.
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