This ‘55 Chevy sedan was built for John Richardson, who used to race the car at the San Fernando drag strip. John’s dad bought the car when it was only a year old. It’s been in the family since the mid-50s, despite being stolen once. This was a fun build because it allowed us to do a few things that hadn't been done before. The ‘55 Chevys were quite popular, and one appeared in American Graffiti driven by Harrison Ford. And from there, popularity of the car spread.
One of the things we did was mount the electric brake unit to the frame rail that sit under the driver’s seat. This added space and really cleaned up the engine compartment. The brakes are electric, and the best feature is that the pedal is concealed beneath the floorboards and protrudes upward, so you see it coming out of the floor. It’s something you have to experience to understand. We have since created a kit for this feature so those interested in doing it themselves can achieve the same results in their own garages.
Since we installed an LS7 motor, it was a dry sump. Not only did we not want to make a lot of room in the chassis--we didn’t have the room. To get around the space issue, we made a false transmission tunnel in the car. The tunnel appears to be stock at first glance, but it’s far from it. If you remove the driver seat, the false tunnel makes a perfect path for the oil lines, wiring and air conditioner ducting. We ran the Vintage Air unit in the trunk to make it clean and simple under the dash and ran all of the ducting forward. All of this sits on a new Art Morrison chassis. Art Morrison independent front suspension with coilovers and a triangulated four bar in the rear with a Strange Engineering 9-inch connected to a 3-inch polished aluminum driveline make this beauty as functional as it is iconic.
The wheels are Torq Thrust II, and the brakes are 13-inch Wildwood. We used a Matson radiator and Flaming River polished stainless-steel steering column. Dynamat sound insulation and a Magnaflow 2.5-inch stainless-steel exhaust add some panache. Dakota digital gauges round out the interior designed by Bill Dunn.