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How to Add Vintage Flair to a Modernized V8

Bow Tie Nostalgia: A Resto-Nod to Bypass Oil Filters

John Gilbert Nov 17, 2015
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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.

Vintage V8 Engine Flair 2/5

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.

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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.

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