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1957 Chevy Bel Air - No Green, No Way

A Super Smooth, Super Fast '57 By Super Rides

By Andrew Schear

Any color but green, said '57 Chevy owner, Rick Clutter, to street rod builder, Jordan Quintal. As builder and owner entered their telephone discussion on what color to paint the 2-year project, Rick seemed adamant that a pearl shade of orange or tangerine was destined to coat the '57. Upon Rick's arrival to Super Rides by Jordan the color displayed on the test panel was none other that what Jordan referred to as Simple Green, a four-stage blend of bases and pearls created by Pete "Hot Dog" Finlan. Contrary to Rick's presuppositions about green, he could not deny the uniqueness of the color. The one request of anything but green made by Rick during the project's inception turned out to be the favorite element of his new ride.

Rick clutter found his '57 Bel Air project vehicle through a friend in the coastal Oregon area. The Tri-Five was free of rust and despite being disassembled, had all the original trim and components to make a whole car. After bringing the '57 back to Southern California, Rick dropped the '57 off at Super Rides for a custom firewall and a few miscellaneous odds and ends. Pleased with the quality of Jordan's work, Rick commissioned Jordan to complete the project.

After removing the body from the chassis, the entire frame was stripped and outfitted with C-4 Corvette suspension at all four corners. Using Vette spindles, control arms, and Dana 44 rearend, the theme of Rick's '57 was leaning heavily toward g-machine. In lieu of the stock composite transverse leaf spring traditionally found on Vettes, an Aldan coilover was installed to soak up the bumps of So Cal highways.

Although hidden by the steel fabrication of a custom engine cover, the power for this '57 was a blueprinted 434-inch Dart small-block sitting underneath a B&M 177 huffer. Super Rides had a stout 700-R4 assembled to handle an estimated 650 hp, produced by the lung-expanded Mouse motor. With the go taken care of, the whoa was next on the to-do list. Turing to Baer Brakes, a set of racing Alcon multi-piston calipers and 14.5-inch rotors were installed inside the Budnik billet rollers.

Alas the mechanicals were taken care of, and on to the real expertise of Super Rides by Jordan, steel fabrication. The stock '57 Bel Air body was modified with custom taillights, a fabricated rear bumper, shaved exterior paneling and of course a reverse opening hood. Once the steel fabrication was complete the '57 was dipped in Simple Green urethane. After the color sand and buff, the '57 ventured into the shop of Armando's Rod and Custom for the finishing features of the '57's interior.

Having had quite a few hot rods in his past Rick knew all too well how cool the Green Machine would look when finished. Rick is still moving the Bel Air from show to show so it won't find it's way to the streets quite yet, but when it does, watch out! Rick Clutter's Simple Green g-machine is as fast as it is smooth; don't let its color fool you.

TECH SPECS

Owner
Rick Clutter, Lancaster, CA

Vehicle
'57 Bel Air

Engine
Dart 434 small-block, Edelbrock RPM heads, Eagle forged rods, Cola steel crankshaft, JE forged 8:1 pistons, Isky hydraulic roller camshaft, .530 intake, .550 exhaust, 294 degrees advertised, B&M intake manifold and 177 supercharger, Edelbrock 750 carburetor, custom K&N air filtration, MSD ignition, machine work by Ed Hale, El Cajon, CA (619/443-4250), assembled by Gregg Scott, El Cajon, CA (619/443-4608)

Transmission
700-R4 four-speed automatic, 2,800-rpm stall converter, assembled by Positive Transmissions, Escondido, CA

Suspension
Corvette C4
(F) Corvette A-arms, Aldan coilover shocks, Baer Alcon 14.5-inch disc brakes
(R) Dana 44 center section, Aldan coilover shocks, Baer disc brakes, 3.70:1 limited-slip, chassis by Super Rides By Jordan, Escondido, CA (760/738-3800)

Interior
Glide Engineering seats, leather buckskin seating surfaces, custom leather door panels, West Tech instrumentation, ididit column, Budnik Gasser steering wheel, Gennie shifter, custom steel dash and console, fabrication by Super Rides, interior by Armando's Rod and Custom, Hemet, CA (909/765-9811)

Exterior
Custom grille, fabricated steel hood, custom taillights, fabricated inner fenders, rear bumper, belly pan, and engine compartment by Super Rides, Simple Green four-stage paint, custom mixed by Pete "Hot Dog" Finlan, San Diego, CA, paint by Possi's Place, San Marcos, CA

Wheels
Budnik Gassers
(F) 18x7
(R) 18x9.5

Tires
Nitto NT555
(F) 225/45/18
(R) 295/45/18

By Andrew Schear
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