40 Days And 40 Nights

Boyd Coddington Builds The Junkyard Dog - a'56 Chevy

Scott Parkhurst Feb 20, 2004 0 Comment(s)

We hope you've been catching the cool car and bike buildups on Discovery Channel. This new style of gearhead reality TV has been getting great ratings, and such interest has provided an outlet for enthusiasts to see how great cars and bikes get built. These TV shows are serving to bring hot rodding into Americas living rooms, and we hope the next generation of rodders is being properly influenced.

Building great cars is not easy, especially when hand fabrication is a big part of the game plan. The TV shows have served to bring a new respect to those of us who build cars, and especially to the professional builders who do this type of work all day long. For too long, craftsmen have been stereotyped and have not been given the respect they deserve, and cars like this one will serve to change the generalizations forever.

You'll see this car come together on an upcoming series of episodes, but we're here to offer you a sneak peek at the final results. The '56 Chevy is based on an Art Morrison chassis, complete with all the spit and polish common on Boyd-built creations.

Dig on the independent 9-inch Ford rear axle, and Pro coil over shocks to adjust ride height. A slew of Kugel hardware makes it happen, all the way outboard to the disc brakes. The front suspension goodies also came from Kugel Komponents, and the trick tubular control arms are steered via rack-and-pinion and stopped with Wilwood discs.

Powering the Junkyard Dog is a fresh new GM Performance Parts 502ci Ramjet EFI mill, identical to the one urging our own Project "X." We can assure you power is plentiful, with over 500 horses on tap and good street manners to boot. Backing the fat rat is a Richmond 5-speed trans, accessorized with a Long shifter, McLeod clutch, and Powertrain Industries driveshaft to link it to the 9-inch.

The body retains its stock sheetmetal, straightened to perfection and covered with tasteful PPG red and white paint in a factory-style two-tone scheme. The relatively-mild appearance is offset with an aggressive wheel/tire combination consisting of 17x7-inch front runners and 18x10-inch rear diggers. Wheels are from Boyd, of course, while tires are Goodyear Eagle F1s measuring in at 245/45-17 up front and 295/45-18 on the rear. The body boasts immaculate trim and great fit-and-finish, but there are a few subtle mods. The rear bumper is a Nomad piece (chosen for it's license plate recess to negate the need to mount a plate on the deck lid, like the factory did), and the bumper bolts have all been shaved for a smooth appearance. The stance is perfect, thanks to the custom chassis and appropriate wheel and tire combination.

The interior looks fresh and inviting, as a combination of retro-flavored threads and cutting edge details work together to offer the best of past and present. A modern billet wheel stands before a series of modern gauges living in the stock panel. Traditional red and white tuck-and-roll pleats set off the white knob atop the shifter handle. Gabe Lopez (Bloomington, California) did a great job of making the interior cool without overdoing it.

The entire car came together in a 40 day period at Boyd Coddington's Garage in LaHabra, California. This banzai build was representative of what can happen when resources are available, and TV cameras are recording. You'll see it all on TV soon enough, but enjoy the final product on our pages now. Owner Nick Barron sure digs it, and while it might not be the most radical car Boyd has ever brought back to life, it sure raises the bar for killer Tri-Five Chevys built in 40 days and 40 nights.

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