When you see 40-50 vintage and custom cars pass through the doors nearly every month, it becomes pretty obvious which ones were passion projects. Those cars tend to present a clear and present focus on quality with an utter disregard for the balance sheet. This 1956 Chevrolet 210 is definitely such a project. Build to the highest standard, absolutely everything on this car was built to both function and show well and delivers on both fronts without breaking a sweat. Packed with a perfectly-presented small block, a fully updated suspension, and amenities usually reserved for brand new cars, this 210 makes a great first impression and backs its up until you turn the flashlight off, crawl out from under it, and put your name on the title.
Appeal begins at first sight with the car’s iridescent blue paint. The builder obviously has a specific vision for this color, with over $3,500 spent on paint samples alone. The final blend is a stunning mixture of candies, pearls, and metallics from a variety of manufactures including Lamborghini. Thanks to that unique combination, it’s a color that has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Cameras simply can’t do it justice. The primarily blue body is accented by pearl white that completes the modern two-tone. With that kind of time invested in choosing colors, you can rest assured that plenty of time was invested in fashioning the sheet metal into a deserving canvas. With mostly original body panels, this ''56 is incredibly straight and clean, with only the rockers and deck lid replaced during the construction. Panel gaps are exceptional, the doors open and close effortlessly and the trunk latches gently without fuss. Piece by piece, the build quality is impressive.
The show-ready paint and body is finished by better-than-new chrome and trim that mostly remains true to the original design. The front bumper is a one-piece California custom that replaces the original with a smooth yet subtle hot rod look, while the rear is a three-piece factory unit. The stainless was straightened and buffed to perfection. A few items were removed, such as the badges on the nose and deck lid, but for the most part, the original trim was retained and does a spectacular job of getting this car noticed. Glass is all-new throughout, and, up front, the vintage headlights have been replaced by sleek modern HID units for a late-model feel. Out back, the original taillights were upgraded with LED pieces for a stock look with a decidedly high-tech twist. Though the stock trim pieces try their hardest, the car has a decidedly custom feel thanks to the stand-out color selection.
Lift the hood to admire the hand-fabricated engine bay, with a smoothed firewall, custom fabricated inner fenders, and a custom radiator cradle. Everything is held in place with polished stainless button-head bolts which pair well with the ball-milled valve covers, air cleaners, and master cylinder lid. Even the hood hinges and latch are plated and ready for show. The centerpiece is a GM 350ci crate motor supplied by ATK Racing. It sports GM Performance aluminum heads, an Edelbrock intake manifold, and a polished Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor. The setup is good for 325hp which makes it presence known through ceramic coated headers that connect with a true dual 2.5-inch exhaust system completed by coated Flowmaster mufflers. Metalwork aside, the builder went through great lengths to keep the engine bay clean. Nearly all wiring has been neatly tucked out of sight, along with many hoses – even the radiator overflow has been relocated to inside of the right front wheel well. Turn the key and the 994-mile small block fires to life without hesitancy, settling into a comfortable idle.
Take a look underneath the 210 to find even more impressive work. The underside of the body is finished as well as the top, dressed in the same striking shade of blue. The frame was stripped, sandblasted, and powder-coated satin black for a great contrast. In the center, a GM THE350 3-speed automatic is augmented by a Gear Vendors overdrive unit controlled by the former high-beam switch on the floor under the drivers left foot. The front suspension is a Heidt''s tubular A-arm setup that rides extremely well, and features a set of 2-inch drop spindles and some lowering springs for a perfect stance. Out back, the Currie 9-inch Ford features 3.75 gears and Trac-Lok, suspended by a set of coilovers and an Art Morrison 4-link setup. That suspension is aided by a Flaming River power rack-and-pinion steering setup and four-wheel disc brakes which pair to maximize driver input. At the corners, Foose 5-spoke wheels are wrapped in 225/55/17s up front and 285/40/18s out back.
As spectacular as the body and drivetrain are on this 210, the interior borders on art. Stitched by the brilliant craftsmen at Portage Trim, the color is referenced as Tuscan leather, and there are textured inserts designed to look like ostrich skin. Overall, the color is rich and luxurious, and the immediate impression is more high-end German luxury than mid-50s Americana. The door panels introduce a pattern that is repeated on the headliner which is finished in more ostrich skin leather. The front bench is an aftermarket assembly which offers great seating position and better-than-OEM comfort. Below, the carpets are woven German wool with edges bound in matching Tuscan leather. It’s a unique look with a much more high-end flavor than the average cut pile alternative. From the driver seat, the classic dash profile remains in place, accented by blue paint and plenty of billet. The gauges are from Classic Instruments and were designed especially for this dash. The center glove box conceals controls for Vintage Air heat and defrost, power windows, and the modern Sony stereo. Behind the rear seat, the trunk has been upholstered to match the cabin and features cleverly integrated compartments on each side which conceal most of the stereo system as well as an Optima battery.
Top-shelf customs show their quality in numerous ways and the paper trail included with this Chevy absolutely reinforces how much time, work, and money went into creating the car. There are receipts for nearly every piece on the car, as well as build photos, the original body and VIN tags, and manuals for all components used.
There are a lot of tri-fives out there but high-quality custom versions decked with stunning one-off color schemes? That’s a narrow list. Factor in the ultra-clean bay, fully sorted 325hp drivetrain, and detail oriented Tuscan leather interior and you have a true 1 of 1 car ready for the show field. Ready to start racking up trophies? Your 210 is waiting.