With the dry-building complete, the '55 next went to George's friend James, who finished the body prep and laid down the two-door post's new Dragon Fire Red DuPont hue. After paint, a new egg-crate grille from Danchuk was bolted in place, along with other new chrome and stainless pieces. The car was originally a Bel Air, but George decided to go with the simpler 210-level trim pattern. Once ready, the body was mated to the new chassis, and the interior assembly could begin.
Custom-done brown plush wool carpeting was laid down on the floors by Kurt Underwood's Upholstery in Spotsylvania, Virginia, then a new Glide front bench in camel-colored leather bolted on top. The rear seat was custom-made to match the new Glide unit up front. A Custom Autosound stereo pumps tunes through a combo of Rockford and Kenwood speakers with an Infinity subwoofer. For readouts, George went with Classic Instruments Bolera series gauges with a tan face. The steering wheel is also Billet Specialties, bolted to a Flaming River column. A Vintage Air unit keeps the inside comfortable, even on the hottest days.
After about three years of patient building and tweaking, the '55 finally left the Keels' garage under its own power, but still with a few minor things left to finish up. It wasn't until early '11 that the car was completely finished. They proudly debuted it at the season-opening Super Chevy Show in Florida.
Says Linda, "George calls her 'The Money Pit,' but I think she is worth every dollar. He won't admit it, but this red raving beauty stole his heart, as well as his wallet."