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1957 Chevy Bel Air - Dragon Heart

A Fire Breather

Building a car like this can knock you out. Joe Mouton, Jr. from New Orleans had it all planned out. His beautiful two-door post '57 was all set for several Super Chevy Shows at the start of the '02 season. Then he got an offer he couldn't refuse and sold it. Mouton still wanted to have a car for the Super Chevy season, especially Indy, so what did he do? He built this Bel Air in four months, that's what!

Maybe it's because so many people said he couldn't do it, or maybe Joe likes a challenge, but that must have been the busiest 16 weeks in his life. Not only has Mouton had five bypass surgeries, and suffers from diabetes, but at the most inconvenient times, kidney stones lay him low. Shortly after finishing the body and paint on this hardtop, the "stones" began their latest tour.

Taking a short break for that episode, Mouton had the car essentially ready by July 1 (Indy is in the middle of July), but when he went to fire it up for some friends to hear the awesome motor, it did one turn and made a "noise." Thinking it was just a starter, Joe got underneath the car only to discover a flywheel with four teeth gone! Because of the custom work on the chassis, the rear trans crossmember was molded to the frame. Of course, everything was polished and plated, so the parts couldn't just be unbolted and dropped.

Everything actually worked out and the car made it to Indy. Even better it made it in to Gold Class. The car's name came about due to the myth of the dragon's heart healing and craving life, which Mouton can relate to.

TECH SPECS Owner Joseph Mouton, Jr., New Orleans, LA
Vehicle '57 Chevrolet Bel Air
Engine 460ci Chevy big-block, balanced, blueprinted,
  BDS 871 blower, 12 percent underdrive, dual
  Holley carbs, K&N filters, MSD ignition,
  Hooker 2 1/2" custom headers, Flowmaster 3
  1/2" exhaust
Transmission TCI Turbo 400
Rearend 9" rear, 3.89:1 gear ratio
Suspension
Front Heidt's Polished spindles and shocks,
  Wilwood polished brakes
Rear
Wheels
Front Aluma Star, 15x3.5", 1.75" backspacing
Rear Aluma Star, 15x15", 4.38" backspacing
Tires
Front Mickey Thompson, 15x4
Rear Mickey Thompson, 33x21.5
Body
  Color/Paint PPG /Torch Red
  Painter Owner
Interior Electric windows, custom made seats
  covered in Mercedes leather and wool,
  custom door panels, Auto Meter gauges,
  Billet "Eagle" steering wheel, B&M shifter, by
  M&M in Holypond, AL
Stereo Jensen
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