Things sure ain’t what they used to be. Pretty much you name it, and chances are, it ain’t anywhere near or anything like what it once was back in the day. And that day, to be completely honest, wasn’t all that long ago—much of our change we now see around us has occurred in more recent times. I’m not one for change, as you readers know where this editor stands on that particularly broad-ranged topic when it comes to the majority of its applications. One such area that has yours truly on the fence, however: multi-featured feature vehicles, aka double dippers.
The subject of the same vehicle being featured in multiple publications at the same time has been addressed here in the not-so distant past, but nothing real in depth. This is something that, up until say the last 10 years, was more commonplace than taboo, despite what any magazine editor tells you today. Now the same as then, personally I feel that most any car has more than one tale to tell, another angle to show off, and most importantly, the ability to one-up the other magazines. And it’s those precise duties that I take on with utmost honor—that is, when—and if—I break the unwritten rule of re-featuring, because my biggest responsibility is to avoid the issue altogether and feature everything first!
Case in point this go ’round is Woody Carrell’s ’55 Chevy 150. Now, while it may not jump right off the page(s) screaming “ex-STREET RODDER” feature car, if the above hasn’t already spilled the semi-Gasser beans, save for the now-matched quartet of Rocket Racing five-spokes (as opposed to the rear steelies it previously wore), the 150 Utility Sedan is primarily as-featured. So then the question for some may arise, “Why re-feature?” Well, the first and obvious answer is, why not?! For one, it’s without question a cool car, something few could win any arguments against (about the only valid point being whether or not you’re a fan of metallic blue!). And not only is it cool, but it’s done in an almost universal style—not a Gasser, but close; not a muscle car, but close; above anything else, a pure hot rod is really as close as you’re gonna get to pinning a name on this Tri-Five. Ultimately, beyond the ultra-cool factor, it’s the all-purpose-ness that won Woody’s sedan its repeat treat.
Even for those who had the fortune of seeing/reading the spread in STREET RODDER, it’s unlikely each and every one of you will automatically flip straight through R&C’s offering … or will you? That brings us to the part of the feature where you—our faithful readers—come into the picture. What are your thoughts, pro/con/otherwise, on the matter? Obviously, one huge change this magazine has unfortunately had to endure of late: fewer pages to devote to car features (and in turn, less car features). So, for some, re-featuring may not be such a welcomed feature, regardless of the vehicle being, well, re-featured. We’re all ears here, and really want to know what you think, as this undeniably won’t be the last time something like this occurs in the magazine.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, hopefully you’ve stuck around to further enjoy the fruits of not only Woody Carrell’s labor, but of Woody’s Hot Rodz as well. (Apologies for the digression—please refer to the specs for all the … specs?!)
Rod & Custom Feature Car
1955 Chevrolet 150 Utility Sedan
Beneath the almost-monochromatic exterior of Woody Carrell’s ’55 post car is about as near a “stock” chassis as you’ll find beneath a not-so-stock Tri-Five Chevy. With the exception of an ’86 Camaro rearend and sway bars and a front disc brake conversion from Danchuk, the sedan’s platform conforms to OE standards, yet suits this hot rod very well indeed.
Won in a raffle from the Tri Five Chevy Car Club in Charlotte, NC, the engine powering Woody’s sedan is not only reliable and more than efficient (getting a reported 20 mpg on the highway), the Chevrolet Performance crate motor is likely his best investment toward the project—the 330hp 350 set him back a whopping $5! Externally, the small-block’s been equipped with an Edelbrock intake, Holley Street Avenger 670-cfm carb, Hooker Super Comp headers (feeding Flowmaster mufflers, and an electronic ignition system. Transmission duties are handled by a Tremec TKO500 five-speed stick.
For that old-timey look and ‘60s feel (but at the same time, not the best contributor to the above-mentioned fuel efficiency!), Woody chose a quartet of Strikes from Rocket Racing Wheels—15x6 and 15x7, respectively—wrapped in Firestone bias-ply rubber from Coker Tire—7.10-15 and 8.20-15, respectively.
Notice, if you will (given you already hadn’t done so), the black-and-yellow ‘60s California plates on the Ohio resident’s Chevy, in all likelihood paying homage to the sedan’s heritage. According to Woody, the ’55 is the 37th Utility Sedan to have been manufactured/sold in Los Angeles (original build date: Oct. 21, 1954). Furthermore, all sheetmetal is that which came factory-installed some 60-odd years ago, including the areas most prone to rust—the trunk and floors. Found in an ad from Hemmings, Woody purchased the car and ended its California residency in 1981, however, the transformation to its current guise took only seven months under Chris Sondles’ direction at Woody’s Hot Rodz (Bright, IN). Also fairly stock, the exterior’s only slight deviations from OE would be its PPG Glacier Blue hue (applied by Sondles and Brett Davis) and LED taillights from Technostalgia.
Woody’s Matt Baldwin dressed the sedan’s interior with black vinyl, in the process making a set of custom door panels. Inner amenities include a Flaming River tilt column topped by a ’59 Impala steering wheel and a vintage Sun tach—nothing more, nothing less … other than an American AutoWire harness, that is.