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1955 Chevrolet Bel Air - Quality Time

The Trials And Tribulations Of Male Bonding

By Dakota Wentz, Photography by Andrew Schear, Kevin Lee

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!

Owner: Thomas Shubin
Vehicle: '55 BelAir Two Door Sedan
Engine: '01 Chevrolet 385 Fast Burn, aluminum cylinder
heads, Holley 750 Carburetor, MSD Ignition, Earle
Williams headers, Dyno Max Mufflers, 400-plus
Transmission: Muncie M-21 Wide Ratio, assembled by Ron
Worthen of Garden Grove, CA 714/537-8028
Rearend: Chevrolet 12 bolt with 3.73 gear ratio, assembled
by Earle Williams in La Verne, CA 909/392-1358
Suspension
Front: Earle Williams 2-inch drop spindles, Monroe
shocks, Wilwood 10-inch brakes
Rear: Earle Williams hangers, Ford Explorer disc brakes
Wheels
Front: American Racing Torque Thrust "D" 15x7
Rear: American Racing Torque Thrust "D" 15x8
Tires
Front: BFGoodrich Radial T/A 215/65/15
Rear: BFGoodrich Radial T/A 275/60/15
Body
Color/Paint: Porsche Guards Red with Danchuk Stainless grille
Painter: Gordon Forbes, Calimesa, CA, 909/795-0757
Interior: Stock Chevy seats wrapped in two-tone gray
leather, Custom leather door panels, wool carpet
by Gabe's Cutom Auto Upholstery, Bloomington,
CA, 909/877-3521, Budnik Steering wheel, Hurst
Boomerang Competition Plus shifter
By Dakota Wentz
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