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1955 Chevy Bel Air - What Comes Around Goes Around

And Though Time Passes, Desire Seldom Does

Bob McClurg Apr 1, 2003
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Broken Arrow, Oklahoma's Mike and Teena Boyce are a hot rodding family. Over the years, they have raised three girls and one boy, and all of them grew up riding around in hot rods. Not surprisingly, Boyce's first car was a classic Chevy Shoebox, and "Grandpa Mike" always wanted to build another one. So, when Boyce had the opportunity to purchase a rock-solid, '55 Bel Air for a reasonable price some two years ago, he jumped at the chance.

By his own admission, Boyce has spent "too much money," and nine months' time, transforming the Bel Air into the showpiece you see pictured. Since Mike is in the powdercoating business, the Bel Air's frame and other related components were obviously powdercoated black. Along the way, however, Boyce also upgraded to a new polyurethane engine and transmission mounts for a yet-to-be-installed '90 Chevrolet 350 and TH350, along with a GM "605" power steering box, 3.42:1 geared, 12-bolt Posi rearend, a set of Pro Shocks, H&H Classic Chevrolet 2-inch dropped front spindles, H&H Classic/GM four-wheel disc brakes and master cylinder, and 16x8-inch Billet Specialties wheels sporting 245/45Rx16-inch and 255/50Rx16-inch Toyo rubber.

The aforementioned late-model GM small-block was machined by Tulsa's Moritz Machine and features a micro-polished steel crank, Clevite bearings, "Pink" connecting rods, 9.8:1 compression, TRW forged-aluminum pistons, and a GM Performance Parts hydraulic roller cam and valvetrain.

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The cylinder heads are also late-model Chevy items and feature a Crane roller camshaft and valvetrain. The 350's valve covers and engine dress-up hardware was either polished and/or fabricated by Boyce, while the polished intake and 750 Performer carburetor are Edelbrock items.

Setting things in motion is an MSD Pro Billet electronic ignition, while the exhaust is a combination of GM and Flowmaster. You will also notice that the radiator support, radiator top and side covers, and other items in the engine compartment are made out of polished stainless steel-more of owner Boyce's handiwork. Backing all of this up is a Dawson Auto-assembled TH350, using a B&M torque converter and transmission shift-improver kit. The final link is a custom-fabricated driveshaft by Drivetrain Specialties of Tulsa.

When it came to preparing the Bel Air's 47-year-old sheetmetal for paint, Mike wisely elected to have the folks at Broken Arrow's A-1 Auto Body handle the job. Then Mike sprayed the '55 in PPG two-tone Yellow and White. On the inside, Tulsa's After Dark Interiors installed a set of Monte Carlo bucket seats and re-upholstered the entire interior in tan tweed and leather with contrasting black carpeting. To dress things up even more, you'll find window cranks, door handles, and a trick steering wheel, all from Billet Specialties. Tunes come in the form of a Kenwood AM/FM/CD with CD changer and amps mounted in the trunk. Driver and passenger personal comfort is achieved through interior coolness by Air-Tique.

Completed in February 2002, Boyce's '55, to date, has won two 1st Place trophies at the Darryl Starbird and Coweta, Oklahoma, shows. Mike and Teena (and the nine grandkids) are members of the Classic Chevrolet Club of Oklahoma.



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