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1955 Chevrolet Bel Air - Quality Time

The Trials And Tribulations Of Male Bonding

Dakota Wentz Jan 1, 2004
Sucp_0401_01_z 1955_chevrolet_bel_air Front_headlights 2/8

There comes a point in a boy's life where he begins to make those leapsinto manhood. Times like the first time he sits down and has a brewski,stops going to parties where boys are on one side and girls on theother, and of course, when dad sits down and says, "Son, its time tobuild a hot rod!"

However, what the boy doesn't see is the ulterior motive for dad'sintentions. For instance, when Thomas Shubin found out that his12-year-old son was interested in 1955 Chevrolets, he HAD (wink, wink)to accommodate. What soon-to-be men don't realize is that dads know thisis the perfect chance for them to build a hot rod. Now they can swingthe male bonding, responsibility, and "every boy needs a cool car" linesto the misses. In fact it's almost like magic, because all of a suddenbuilding a hot rod doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

So it was settled, Thomas and his son began looking for their newproject. They looked at car after car, but everything was either toobeat up or too expensive. Then along came an ad in Hemmings for a '55two-door Bel Air post. In the picture the car looked original andintact, but once it arrived it's was a whole new story. The front andtrunk floors were rusted through, the eyebrows of the fenders wererusted out, the passenger quarter was shot, and on top of that, duringthe delivery the hood flew off midway down the interstate. In otherwords, what started as a simple father-son project turned into afull-blown job for the pros.

Thomas took the chassis to Earle Williams Classic Chassis Works in LaVerne, California, where they whipped up a state of the art chassis. Therear springs were relocated with a spring pocket kit, a cross member wasadded, and all the unnecessary holes were filled in. Then the body wassent to Gordon Forbes in Calimesa, California, where it was coated inPorsche Guards red. Chuck Smith Performance Services in Calabasas,California, then assembled the car and all that was left to do was thefinishing touches. Gabe's Street Rods Custom Interior finished the caroff by covering the seats in shades of gray leather.

Now that the cars all done, you can be sure that both Thomas and his songet their quality time, only now it's with the hot rod!



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