Ronnie Staples 1957 Chevy Bel Air 150 - Businessman's Special

Ronnie Staples Wanted To Build The Car Chevrolet Didn't In '57-A Real Business Coupe.

Patrick Hill Nov 1, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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Inside, bucket seats from a Saturn replaced the factory bench, a Custom Auto Sound stereo supplies driving tunes, and a Flaming River steering column with Corvette wheel keeps the '57 under control. Paul Atkins wrapped the interior in bright red leather, along with '57 custom console and door accents made by Paul and Nelson Cunningham.

After modifying the body so much, Ronnie couldn't put the stock '57 chassis underneath the car. A phone call to the gurus at Art Morrison Enterprises, and a brand new, complete Morrison GT chassis was bought to fit underneath the business coupe. The new setup features Aldan shocks up front with 13-inch Wilwood brakes and six-piston calipers, with rack-and-pinion steering for quick cornering. Out back, a set of Ride Tech air shocks support the Strange 9-inch rear packed with 4.56 gears and limited slip, and Wilwood 12-inch brakes with four-piston calipers bolstering stopping prowess. The whole unit rides on Boze custom Injected wheels, 18x8 up front and 20x12 out back, wrapped in Toyo Proxes GT rubber.

For power, Ronnie found a wrecked GTO to donate an LS2, T56 six-speed, and all the necessary computer controls and peripherals. The stock LS2 cam was tossed in favor of a GM Performance Hot Cam, and after some tuning cranks out about 475 hp. Exhaust is handled by Morrison 1.75-inch ceramic-coated headers, Flowmaster mufflers, and piping built by New Vision Auto.

When Ronnie saw the finished car for the first time, it blew his socks off.

"To see the finished result of a hand-drawn concept, seeing an idea take form, how great it is, was just amazing."

At shows the '57 gets a ton of attention, but at first most spectators don't notice the shortened roof and other subtle body modifications. The looks people get when they realize how heavily modified the car is priceless, and Ronnie enjoys letting people pour over the car and explore its many nuances. Which begs the question: Should Chevrolet have built a business coupe in the Tri-Five era?




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