Award Winning Bel Air Convertible EFI LS1 V8 4L60E 4 Speed Auto Ride Tech PS A/C
- GM 5.7 liter LS1 V8
- GM 4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission
- Narrowed 12-bolt rear axle / Posi-traction differential / 3.73 gears
- Bel Air Classic chassis / 18-inch Billet Specialties wheels
- Heidts suspension / Ridetech air ride
- Power rack-and-pinion steering / Wilwood 4-wheel power disc brakes
- DuPont ChromaPremier Super Black paint / Black cloth top
- Custom leather interior / Vintage Air conditioning
- Modern audio
- Restoration completed in early 2014
* Restoration completed in early 2014
* GM 5.7 liter LS1 V8
* GM 4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission
* Custom leather interior / Vintage Air conditioning
* Heidts suspension / Ridetech air ride
* Bel Air Classic chassis / 18-inch Billet Specialties wheels
* Narrowed 12-bolt rear axle / Posi-traction differential / 3.73 gears
* Power rack-and-pinion steering / Wilwood 4-wheel power disc brakes
* DuPont ChromaPremier Super Black paint / Black cloth top
* Modern audio
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 award-winning drop-top, with its smooth LS1, paint shop-fresh restoration and thoroughly modern mechanicals, blends an array of custom, driver-friendly attributes into a fully sorted resto-mod that virtually anyone can enjoy!
Sure, DuPont ChromaPremier wasn't on the Chevy color chart back in 1956, but a slick coat of Super Black certainly looks the part on this awesome Bel Air. Thanks to their killer curves, these cars really lend themselves to modern 2-stage. And this classic's remarkable pigment works well with a tight, power top to freshen clean and timeless aesthetics. The car's bodywork, completed over seven years by Roger's Body Shop of Pearisburg, Virginia, presents great, with straight panels and even gaps framing doors that snap closed with precision. Finished in early 2014, that precision shows in a way that'll put most traditional pavement pounders to shame. Nothing has been chopped, channeled or frenched, which is always a smart choice on these cars. And, by allowing the car's mostly original body to speak for itself, the builders created a solid, no-gimmick classic that dazzles via merit and execution.
Despite a relatively updated 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 protects modern headlights, a fiberglass apron, clear parking lamps and a stainless grille. At the top of that grille, a chrome-trimmed hood leads the eye to smoked glass that's founded in highly polished frames and capped Rain Gear wipers. At the base of that glass, monochromatic trim spears and shaved quarter emblems give way to a polished driver's mirror, chrome door handles and straight rocker guards. And at the back of the car, a custom, 1-piece bumper rides beneath traditional tail lamps and polished trunk trim that doubles as a small Center High Mount Stop Lamp.
If you think the exterior of this classic is impressive, you're going to LOVE what's under its hood! Cranking out ample horsepower, this Bel Air's lightweight, high performance LS1 is widely regarded as one of the best small blocks ever produced. Donated by a 1999 Camaro, it combines a sturdy aluminum block with lightweight aluminum heads, a Chevrolet Performance Hot Cam and aluminum flat top pistons to create razor-sharp throttle response and lightning quick acceleration. At the front of the mill, a Vintage Air Front Runner system spins a rebuilt alternator and fresh AC compressor at the sides of a polished, “LS1” branded air filter. Once air enters that filter, it flows through a factory throttle body in to a factory-spec intake, which is bolted down over mostly stock internals. High-octane fossils are provided by GM electronic fuel injection. Sparks are sequenced from a Street & Performance wiring harness to high performance plug wires. Spent gases exit through coated Street & Performance headers. And cooling comes courtesy of a polished aluminum radiator that rides between two large puller fans and a Vintage Cooling Systems support. Visually, not a detail was missed under this Chevy's Super Black bonnet. Niceties such as polished valve covers, a Wilwood master cylinder, trick dipsticks and a custom cowl provide just the right amount of flash to give the engine a clean, finished look. And the vicious small block fires right up, idles perfectly and accelerates like a modern sports car!
Structurally, the '56 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 modifications can make a big difference. The car's glossy Bel Air Classic chassis rides opposite a fully finished, 1-piece floorpan and custom mini tubs. Behind the hot small block, a Camaro-sourced 4L60E automatic easily torques a narrowed 12-bolt, which spins a posi-traction differential around 3.73 gears and fresh Moser axles. At the front of the car, stainless Heidts control arms and proven Ridetech air shocks frame power rack-and-pinion steering. At the back of the car, a stainless Heidts 4-bar leads two more Ridetech air shocks. Stops come courtesy of Wilwood 4 and 6-piston calipers, which squeeze four drilled and slotted rotors. Exhaust is handled by polished, Mandrel-bent pipes, which utilize polished Kooks mufflers to create an awesome chorus of sound. Grip is provided by stylish Billet Specialties wheels, which spin 245/40ZR18 BF Goodrich g-Force T/As in front of 335/30ZR18 BF Goodrich g-Force T/As. And everything, from the car's Wilwood proportioning valve to its Rock Valley fuel tank, appears purpose-built to tackle the asphalt.
There's no shortage of tri-fives with custom interiors. But this cockpit, high-dollar leather installed by Roanoke, Virginia's Horne's Upholstery, is certainly a stand out. With Vintage Air conditioning, power windows and a powerful Clarion CD player, all the modern conveniences are present and accounted for. One of the best additions to the cabin is a fresh quartet of bucket seats, all of which are based on modern bones. In front of those seats, a padded, billet-trimmed dash frames clean Dakota Digital VHX telemetry. At the sides of that dash, sculpted door panels hang chrome hardware over custom kick panels and big Nakamichi speakers. Beneath those speakers, tight California Carpet floats color-keyed floor mats around billet foot pedals, a small Hurst shifter and a lit, full-length console. In front of the driver, a painted, tilting column spins a painted, reduced-diameter wheel. And behind the passengers, a fully finished trunk provides a perfect place to display trophies.
Speaking of trophies, this Chevy is certainly privy to golden accolades. Here's a list of the major awards bestowed since the car's recent restoration.
* Top 25 at the 2014 Pigeon Forge Rod Run
* Show-Class Outstanding at the 2014 Bristol Super Chevy Show
* Best Tri-Five at the 2014 Bristol Super Chevy Show
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 '56 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 resto-mod!
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