Red
Red
350 V8
3 Speed Automatic

Summer’s almost here and you’re still looking for just the right car to cruise and hit the shows? Perhaps we can help. This nicely built 1955 Chevrolet is fast, fun, and reasonably priced, and needs no tinkering or finishing to be ready for the first show of the season. Fill it with gas, turn the key, and hit the road.

Many enthusiasts agree that the 1955 Chevrolet was a revolutionary car. Not only was it packing the new small block V8, but the clean design, trim proportions, and brilliant use of trim make it a design that has withstood the test of time. Originally plain old India Ivory, this ’55 210 now sports a vivid Gypsy Red paint job that positively explodes off the old sheetmetal. No, it’s not subtle but nothing about 1950s cars coming out of Detroit was meant to be subtle. The bodywork has been well done, with very straight panels and good alignment throughout. Nothing was chopped or modified, allowing the clean design to stand on its own, which seems to be how most Shoebox Chevy fans like it. Details remain crisp, including the raised molding along the front fender, which often gets rounded off during the block sanding phase. After hours and hours of work on the body itself, only then did the bright red paint go on. Deep and rich, and maybe with just a hint of pearl in the topcoat, the finish looks as good up close and in person as it does in photos.

Fortunately, all the original trim was retained on this ‘55. There was a time when de-chroming old cars was all the rage, but they always looked unfinished. It appears that every bit of stainless was straightened and polished to a chrome-like shine, then reinstalled on the freshly painted body. Chrome items such as the bumpers and grille, have been re-chromed to show standards and are extremely nice. Glass is new all around, and things like the parking lights and tail light lenses are very nice reproduction pieces.

Since this is the car that started it all, you know there can be only one thing under the hood: a small block Chevy V8. Nicely finished with a combination of stock and custom features, it looks right at home in the ’55’s engine bay. The block, heads, and vintage intake have all been bathed in Chevy Orange paint as the General intended. Up top, there’s a Rochester Quadrajet 4-barrel carburetor managing the fuel, along with a chrome open-element air cleaner. A matching set of Edelbrock valve covers add some flash, along with a polished stainless steel fan shroud and chrome master cylinder lid (note that it’s now a dual master cylinder for safety reasons). Other items, such as the accessory drive and exhaust manifolds, are stock pieces that work in this engine bay because they were born here. Satin black inner fenders and firewall are a perfect backdrop for the bright mechanical bits, and new wiring throughout ensures reliability. Like almost any small block Chevy, it fires up easily and runs happily at any speed with a crisp burble from the dual exhaust system. If you’re into driving your car, this is the engine you want.

And there’s just no question that this car was built to drive. The chassis is nicely finished, but not so over-detailed that you’re afraid to go out and get it dirty on the road. A TH350 3-speed automatic handles the gear changes, while the original rear hangs on leaf springs out back. The stock front suspension has been rebuilt using dropped spindles to get just the right hot rod rake, and disc brakes have been added. Floors are solid and have been given a low-maintenance finish so that you don’t have to crawl under there and wipe it down every time you drive it. A true dual exhaust system features Flowmaster mufflers that sound great, and a new gas tank has been installed out back. 15-inch Pacer wheels do an awfully good impersonation of vintage Cragar mags, and wear 215/65/15 front and 245/60/15 rear BFGoodrich T/A radials.

The interior is nicely finished, and like the engine, combines the best of the original design with modern updates. That gorgeous twin-pod dashboard has been restored, including the original gauges and that beautiful metallic trim band that runs from end to end. A polished aluminum tilt column has been installed and topped with a late-model Chevrolet steering wheel. The original bench seat is long gone, replaced by a set of very comfortable low-back buckets separated by a custom center console. The upholstery is comfortable cloth, not sticky vinyl or sweaty leather, so this car is ready for summer. New carpets, a fresh headliner, and custom made door panels finish off a perfectly balanced interior. Other details include bow-tie logo floor mats, a modern AM/FM/cassette radio in the original radio’s location, and an auxiliary temperature gauge under the dash, just in case. For safety, seat belts have been installed, and all the knobs and handles have been restored. The trunk has been finished to match, with black carpet and a red and black pattern on the sides that ties in with the interior.

One thing we’ve learned here at RK Motors Charlotte over the years is that a car doesn’t have to be exotic or expensive to be cool. In fact, there’s a lot to be said for an honest car that delivers simple fun without the worry of something expensive going wrong. This ’55 is the embodiment of that attitude. With a rugged and simple drivetrain, beautiful styling, and a nicely finished interior, it’s a car that you can simply get in, turn the key, and hit the road without a thought. Don’t worry about figuring out how to tune fuel injection, forget adjustable suspensions, and never get stuck in the rain with cheap power window kits that never work right. Honest, fun, well-built cars like this are the cornerstone of the hot rodding hobby, and this one is nicer than most. Give us a call today!

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