'56 Chevy

During the late 70s a friend of ours was heavily involved in mid 50s Chevy's, he was always telling us about the latest neat car he'd found. One of these was a '56 and when we first saw it it didn't look all that great. We thought about it for some time, the more we thought about it the more fascinated we became at the idea of restoring and owning a '56 Chevy. Since we'd recently sold our '70 396 4-speed Nova, we no longer had a fun ride. The kids were still pretty young so if we owned this particular car we'd be able to stay involved in the local Hot Rod scene and still bring the family along.

After purchasing and bringing the car home, we decided to replace the frame, as it had been kinked. The body was reasonably solid aside from some minor panel repairs and a few under-floor body mounts. Since we didn't own a garage at the time, all the initial work was done in the driveway, the neighbours thought we were starting our own scrap yard. We took the body off the frame and had it stored, then we found a frame and blasted and painted it.

We were able to use the garage at work for a while to complete the project bodywork. Once the underside of the body was scraped down and painted we put it back on the newly painted frame. We decided to update the weak braking system by adapting disc brakes to the front. Next came the engine and installing all the body panels, all done with oxy-acetalyne welding, then finally a coat of paint. This was our first official "paint job" the lack of funds makes you learn all kinds of things.....:-) Six coats of lacquer…….it didn't turn out too bad!

The interior had been in rough condition, so J being handy with a sewing machine, reupholstered the old seat frames in a diamond tufted pattern with black vinyl. Brian rebuilt the LS6 454/460hp that we had saved in the basement (for just such an occasion), then he ported and polished the heads and installed a healthy cam and headers, and finally the car rolled under it's own power...:-) What a lot of fun we had with it too, we'd cruise to the drags and local shows with the kids in the back seat.

But being the motor head he is, Brian heard about a blower motor that was for sale, such a deal.....;-) It had been blown up. But after some serious work and custom pistons......it ran.

"You aren't going to put that thing in the '56?" I kept asking him, and he assured me that he wasn't.............well not immediately anyway.

I could hear it whining from the top of the street, like a high powered sewing machine. When I looked outside, there it was, the '56 with a hole cut in the hood and the blower sticking out. I used to drive the kids to school in it occaisionally and if I answered "What's that thing sticking out of the front of your car?" once I answered it a thousand times. It was pretty quick, and gave many a Porche owner a good scare. We often laugh about that car. Interesting note about the "Blower Motor", after we sold it, it appeared in the Movie "The Great Outdoors" with John Candy and Dan Ackroyd. Remember the speed boat? It was under blower power... It's still around, we know who has it now, and it's going into a '68 Camaro, talk about longevity!

'56 under constructionMotor Motor Blower Motor Special assistants