All you have to do is look at our sold inventory page to confirm tri-five Chevys are some of the most popular and in-demand collector cars on the planet. Factory-correct Bel Airs, especially ’57 convertibles, tend to leave our RK Motors Charlotte showroom almost as fast as they arrive. And if you want a chrome-laden show boat that’s great for garage parties and Saturday afternoon parking lots, a car like that is all well and good. But what about enthusiasts who demand more? Combining a healthy dose of resto-mod attitude with one of the best automotive designs ever produced, this irresistible ‘55 custom is a high power monster that puts a new spin on an old favorite. Best of all, you can have all this old school Motown swagger AND upgraded mechanicals for significantly less than the cost of any restored-to-original concours queen!
Showcasing classic Chevrolet lines and clean Neptune Green paint, this fantastic 210 is the beneficiary of a high quality, frame-off restoration that created one unique and very impressive cruiser. After spending many years rolling down the road as a bone-stock bowtie, the car’s solid body was shipped to a professional restoration shop for a high dollar overhaul. Once that body’s panels were completely stripped and thoroughly worked, it was layered in a smooth basecoat and sealed in a tough clearcoat. And today, this slick resto-mod, which hints at classic gassers of days gone by, is the kind of car we all stare at, fondly remember, and rarely get the chance to own!
The ‘55 model is certainly the cleanest of the tri-five Chevys with its minimal trim and crisp, retro styling devoid of the massive chrome and exaggerated proportions that typically characterize 50s-era steel. At the front of this sedan, a trademark bumper rides below a pristine stainless grille, clear, chrome-trimmed parking lamps and traditional, chrome-trimmed headlights. At the top of that grille, a fresh Chevrolet crest is centered below a familiar ‘jetbird’ hood ornament, which looks fantastic against the car’s glossy green paint. At the back of that hood, curved glass rides inside fresh stainless trim and bright stainless wipers. At the base of that glass, a straight and solid profile is decorated with factory-optioned trim spears, traditional GM door handles and beefy fenderwell headers. And at the back of that profile, bright tail lights illuminate a second Chevrolet crest and second body-width bumper.
By now it’s probably pretty obvious this classic was built to be seen. But thanks to the 409 cubic inch, dual-quad V8 under its rolled hood, that might be easier said than done! At the top of the Chevy Orange mill, big Carter carburetors hang circular filter elements over a small stainless fluid line and cool AC fuel bowl. Below those carburetors, a proven aluminum intake funnels a perfect air/fuel mixture into big, free-breathing heads that hide slick roller rockers under finned Weiand valve covers. When the juice hits the cylinders, an aftermarket distributor shoots spark through loomed Mallory Pro Wires while a solid lifter cam pushes spent gases into impressive, ceramic coated headers. Cooling for that fire is provided by a polished brass radiator, which hangs in front of a stylish chrome alternator. And the car''s clean engine compartment is exceptionally well-done, centering glossy, body-matched fenders between chrome springs, chrome hardware and a reproduction Delco battery.
Not surprisingly, the bottom of this road ready Chevy continues the theme of pairing proven hardware with enhanced technology. Behind the awesome big block, a smooth shifting Muncie 4-speed sends power to a posi-traction rear end that’s equipped with big, 4.11 gears. Turns come courtesy of traditional manual steering, which gives the car a vintage, connected feel. Speed is scrubbed by manual, 4-wheel drum brakes, which provide solid, confident stops. An impressive true-dual exhaust system, which is equipped with optional side-exit dumps, funnels spent gases through great sounding Flowmaster dual-chamber mufflers. The car’s glossy black frame and clean green floorpan complement a rebuilt ‘glide ride’ ball-joint suspension that’s fitted with fresh shocks and thick traction bars. All that reliable hardware rolls on a sweet set of polished American Racing Torq Thrust IIs, which spin A78-15 Glass-Track Twin Guards in front of 9.00/9.50-14 Racemaster Super Stocks. And fully sorted details like stainless fluid lines, an Ansen scattershield and a familiar stainless fuel tank ensure this classic bowtie is ready for years of carefree cruising.
Inside this sedan, traditional tri-five style is augmented by an array of green and gray detailing. At the center of the car, firm bench seats wear comfortable cloth skin that’s framed in bright chrome trim. On the doors, two-tone panels, which almost look custom, hang small handles, subtle trim and simple armrests below substantial chrome frames. At the floor, fresh Daytona carpet looks as crisp as the day it came out of the box thanks to rugged rubber mats. On the roof, a clean and tight headliner stretches from the car’s curved windshield to its straight package tray. At the front of the cockpit, a Neptune Green dash hangs factory telemetry and a stylized delete over small Stewart Warner accessory gauges. The driver stays connected to the road thanks to a chrome-trimmed steering wheel and trick Hurst shifter. And the passengers carry their essentials in a fully restored trunk that anchors a full-size spare tire between a correct jack, a fresh fender decal and new rubber mat.
What started out as America’s first low-priced hardtop has now become a legend. And today, the 1955 Chevy is one of the most exclusive and highly-sought collector cars of all time. If you’ve been searching for a top notch tri-five custom that’s as much fun to drive as it is to show, this cool sedan’s attractive combination of great performance and classic style simply can’t be beat!