One of the neatest things about building a restomod style car, is one can delve into the cool old-timey original stuff without having to sweat the icky-picky details of completing a 100 percent factory correct restoration. A good example is the Torq Storm-blown 383ci stroker Classic Trucks editor Ryan Manson built from a bare block up for his ’55 Chevy Bel Air two-door hardtop. To the point of total deception, Ryan wanted to keep the nostalgia inherent of a stock 1955 small-block 265 under the hood. To do that, he went to some very creative lengths.
And this brings us to what was factory correct for the bypass oil filters seen under the hood of almost every restored-to-stock 265-powered ’55 Chevy these days. Starting at the ground floor, one should know that first-year 265-inch engines didn’t come with a boss on the block to facilitate mounting a full-flow canister style oil filter, that came in 1956.
Typically, when a person restores a ’55 265 they go right for the blue bypass canister with the orange top. Which is interesting because if a ’55 came factory equipped with an oil filter, the canister would be painted black. Deduct two points for committing the cardinal sin of not being factory correct. Remember, the blue-with-an-orange lid was a dealer-installed option, or bought at the parts department and installed somewhere else. Black was how oil filters came as a factory installed option.
Getting back to Ryan’s creative streak; Ryan modified the oil filter canister to serve as the power steering fluid reservoir, and he hard-lined the mechanical fuel pump with a genuine A/C glass bowl fuel filter? That’s just another trick intended to confuse the experts.