1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
"I bought this '55 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop in 1970 from a man named 'Booty' for $200. I was 13 years old. I fooled around with it for about 10 years, then got it painted in 1984 or so. Around 1994, I started to put a small-block Chevrolet in it. I had a 392 Chrysler lying on the shop floor. I measured it and figured it would fit. I thought that if a big-block would fit, this Chrysler would. After about 20 times in and out, it finally fit.
"Since then, it has been through two fires, one engine demolition, and one transmission explosion that came through the floorboard and broke my right foot! The car has a '58 392 Chrysler that is balanced and ported, with a Reed Reymond camshaft and two carbs on a Weiand manifold. I have now retired and have made it fairly reliable. It also has a 727 transmission using a Wilcap adaptor, disc brakes all around, and a 3:07 rearend. Hopefully I will leave it to my daughter."
David V. Tandy
Buchanan, New York
David Tandy owned a '48 Plymouth coupe back in 1960 that was nosed and decked and ran a mild cam in the Flathead six, along with headers, dual carbs, and an aluminum head. Fast forward through the numerous cars in between and in 1998 he bought a '48 Plymouth restorod, with plans to change it to look like his old coupe from 1960.
This later version now has a Hagan gas cap, frenched headlights, a '49 Chevy license surround, a Lokar steering column, and power rack-and-pinion steering. The body's nosed and decked, while the running gear is still Mopar, but comprises a 318 small-block, 727, and 8¼ rearend.
Laguna Niguel, California
Longtime R&C reader (since the little pages in fact) Travis Craig wrote to share his '49 Merc with fellow readers. Rebuilt in 2009, the original Flathead is still running strong under the louvered hood. A Fatman Fabrications front clip and 5-inch lowering blocks out back are augmented by RideTech airbags at each corner, while behind each '58 Lancer-equipped, Coker bias-ply–shod steel wheel are new drum brakes. There's also a new steering box and an oversize radiator, which keeps the ol' Flatty running at between 160 and 180 degrees.
Craig installed a new MagnaFlow exhaust system, while all the chrome is new, and the stainless and glass are refurbished. He also added a very rare '50 Merc convertible steering wheel. Unfortunately, with the continuing economic turndown and unemployment, Craig has put the Merc up for sale. Hopefully seeing it in R&C will go some way to easing the pain of the sale.
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