1956 Chevy Bel Air Convertible - Lake Effect Shoebox

This '56 Convertible Was Built At Home By The Lake

Tony Kelly Dec 1, 2001 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0112_01_z 1965_chevy_bel_air_convertible Front_view 1/6

Randy Haapala lives in Lake Elsinore, California, where most people water-ski, hang glide, or jump out of perfectly good airplanes for the fun of it. Randy, however, spends his time customizing cars in his own garage, and we're glad he does. This '56 ragtop has the looks of a Pro-built car, but it's owner-built over a six-month period. The stance was achieved with just the right combination of Moog springs (cut 2 inches), KYB gas shocks, and Intro Wheels. Even the brake lines were raised by running them through the X-member in the frame and through the floor. This car is low, but it has enough clearance to ride right and the tires don't rub.

Sucp_0112_03_z 1965_chevy_bel_air_convertible Rear_view 2/6

Tri-Power is a very cool touch but how many 502ci crate motors have it? Haapala took a '67 Corvette 427-inch manifold, polished it, and installed it under a custom 2-inch K&N filter, along with an owner-built fuel rail. The driveline ends with a Grand National rearend turning 3.42:1 Positraction gears.

Black and Sunset Pearl paint from House of Kolor was applied by Body Palace in Huntington Beach, California, and the black leather upholstery was done by Gabes in Bloomington, California. The custom dash and console was done by the owner, and the custom aluminum dash insert was supplied by Ken's Precision Mfg. in Huntington Beach.

Randy has what it takes to build beautiful cars. We just hope the nearby lake doesn't call him away, and he winds up with his work in some boat magazine.

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