As much as we wish the ’55 in the photo was ours, that nice car belongs to someone else. If you are a fan of ’55 Chevys, then no doubt you recognize the car in the photo. This car was the star of the movie, Two Lane Blacktop. The movie featured James Taylor, Brian Wilson and Warren Oates. I had a passion for ’55s before I ever saw the movie but the movie definitely sealed the deal. And just as a side note, the same car modified to fit the era was shown again in American Graffiti, driven by this actor no one had heard of, Harrison Ford. My car is going to require a lot of work to get anywhere near that one but isn’t that the fun of it?
As you may have surmised this blog is intended to be something of a DIY for building your own hot rod. And while the word “hot rod” can sometimes mean just pre-49 machinery to some of the purists, I use the word to describe anything that has been modified by its owner, hopefully with the intention of improving the performance of the machine. So, my hot rod of choice is a ‘55 Chevy, yours might be something else and that’s cool. It doesn’t matter what it is, it just matters that you enjoy it and have fun with it.
You can read the stories in a number of different ways, either chronologically or by category. By and large, it really shouldn’t matter that much, although there might be the occasion where if say you read all of the interior stories together, bits and pieces might be missing from the drive train area just yet. Don’t worry about it; you will see that it makes sense eventually. One of the things that will happen is that I tend to jump around a lot when building a car although I do know that it is somewhat like a Chinese puzzle in that this part has to be in place before that part and that part can’t be put in before this one. I am okay with that, I have been doing this for a long, long time. You may see other guys build up their entire car, and then blow it apart to do paint work, plating, etc. And that makes sense to me when you’re building a show car. But I am not building a show car; I am building a hot rod. By and large, when I finish something on the car, it’s finished. Oh, I may have to unbolt it for unknown reasons, but that doesn’t happen too often.
A little bit of a bonus for my readers is available too. I recently scored a number of articles about building the ’55-’57 Chevys, some of them are old Popular Hot Rodding Magazine articles about Project X, others are about a drag car that Rick Vogelin built in Car Craft Magazine in the early 70’s. There are also one-off articles about other cars and some original shop manuals. I am going to make all of this available to you. You will be able to read it online and also download it if you care to retain a copy of it. Someone else in the hobby charges for this stuff but I think that’s rather silly on their part. I hope you enjoy it.
My car has been sitting in the wings waiting very patiently for a number of years now. This winter she is finally moving to the garage for the build to begin. I look forward to sharing the build with you and I hope that you will find some ideas that spark your imagination and hopefully be entertained as well.
Below in chronological order are the stories about our ’55 Chevy.