Rod & Custom Feature Car
1955 Chevy Bel Air
The Chevy frame and suspension remain mostly stock. The cut front coils and lowering blocks on the rear springs provide the appropriate altitude adjustment. The original rearend sports 3.55:1 gears.
A Schiefer clutch and flywheel mate the '59-vintage 364ci Buick Nailhead to the Chevy's original 3-speed overdrive transmission. The engine is fed by three Rochester carbs atop an Offenhauser intake, with a Mallory dual-point distributor throwing sparks. The engine compartment shines with an abundance of chrome, polished aluminum, and rolled-and-pleated covers.
Wheels & Tires
Mark replicated the Chevy's '60s-era rolling stock using 15x6-inch chrome reversed wheels from Wheels of Steel, spider caps from Night Prowlers, and 6.70x15 Firestone wide whitewalls from Coker Tire.
Body & Paint
The Bel Air's distinctive grin was created with canted '59 Chevy headlights flanking a grille crafted from two '58 Corvette pieces on a chrome mesh background. The frenched signal lights originated as aircraft wingtip lamps, while the split bumpers are '55 Pontiac items. Matching Pontiac bumpers protect the back side, which also features '59 Chrysler taillights, a custom scoop above the deck-mounted license plate, and a smaller scoop in the roof. A heart-shaped antenna well rounds out the body mods. The custom blue paint is accented with '58 Ford side trim.
Original builder Paul Savelesky custom made the bucket seats that swivel automatically when the doors are opened. These are complemented by a wrap-around rear bench. All of the seats and side panels still wear the pearl white Naugahyde upholstery stitched in 1961. The modified Chevy dash is filled with Stewart Warner instruments, a Sun tach and scores of switches for the various electronic functions. A '60 Olds wheel tops the shortened chrome-plated column, while a chrome-plated wire recorder and speaker covers dress up the upholstered package tray. Mark plans to replace the modern television and stereo with era-appropriate items he got with the car.