While down by the floor, heads and shoulders together in the bliss that is father and son bonding, they decided to mini-tub the car to allow them to use the aforementioned 20x12 wheels. As if this wasn't enough custom chassis work (remember we haven't even gotten to the actual body), the Hunter duo decided to weld the floor to the chassis, in essence making it a unibody. Normally, the front of '57 frames are open around the suspension, but Brett, being slightly obsessed about chassis mods that no one ever sees but himself and ants, decided to box it in and strengthen and smooth it over. Of course, the entire underside of the car has been Bondo'd and painted to match the top. In fact during our photo shoot, trying to attach a magnetic rig, we couldn't find enough metal, which explains why there's only one rear shot taken from this special camera tool. Brett, next time could you be just a little less fastidious with your "smoothing"?
In order to get better weight transfer from the placement of the motor, they recessed the firewall six inches. Then they started on the radiator support. This had to be custom built by Brett as the stock set-up would surely scrape up rocks with the 2-inch body drop.
"I also welded the radiator support to the inner fenders," said Brett. Did we mention that they also had been "smoothed"?
Before we get to the body mods that are actually visible, we have to mention two more relatively invisible ones. Brett didn't want seat bolts showing from the bottom, so Brett took 1/2-inch boxed-tubing and welded it into the floor where the bolts would normally go. On top of that (or on bottom as the case may be), Brett "Bottom-Massager" Hunter as he will be known, installed the suspension: Air Ride Technologies new Strong Arm tubular front A-arms with shockwaves. The new 4-bar suspension from the same company for the rear was supposed to be bolted in, but Brett opted to weld it because as he says, "We wanted the bottom to be as clean as possible." While Brett's attention to detail may seem borderline-O.C.D., his work will be eternally appreciated when he drives over workers in manholes or by ants.
Which brings us to the motor-sort of. At this stage, Brett and Co. took a mock-up of the fire-breathing, 509-blown, big-block Chevy. With an 8:1 compression ratio and a 420 Megablower running 6 pounds of boost, this bad Bow Tie puts out 890 hp and 900 lbs-ft of torque. A SuperChiller intercooler helps to keep charge temps down as power is transferred to the narrowed 9-inch rear end and the Moser 31-spline axles before twisting the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires on the tarmac. Of course, when all this needs to be kept in check, the disc brakes can reign it all in.
These days, many bodies are shaven-strippers, cyclists, swimmers and, of course, hot rods. This '57 Chevy is no exception to the search for sleekness with shaved doors, handles, emblems, and latches in the door hinge on the suicide doors to start it off.
Brett then chopped out the old dash, replacing it with 18-gauge steel and recessed Auto Meter gauges which happen to reside on the wrong, I mean right, side. Like a man on the beach in a wrap, it seems sarong, but it feels so right. Look at the way the B&M shifter sidles into the door card while the other door's handle is an identical shifter that, for those who want to commit to it, will open the suicide door. Last but not least, the '57s windshield has been chopped 4.5 inches to complete that speedster look. It looks like the air grabber may be higher than the windshield.
With looks that kill and a motor and stance to match, its no wonder this '57 has them stopping dead in their tracks.