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1957 Chevy 210 - Nostalgia Shoebox

Fatman Fabrications '57 210.

By , Photography by Team Super Chevy

Driving Impression
On The Street

"It's a clone of a car that never existed," joked Brent VanDervort, owner of Fatman Fabrications. We'd been hearing about this one for months and I couldn't wait to get behind the genuine racecar steering wheel. The interior, fitted with aluminum door panels and race seats up front, definitely looked the part of an early Grand National stocker, but it was surprisingly accommodating. It even had air conditioning for old timers/comfort junkies like me.

In keeping with the nostaligic theme, the transmission was a Ford Top-Loader four-speed. While lacking such modern amenities as fifth and sixth gear overdrive ratios, it was a joy, with tight gates and flawless action. While the clutch had been giving the Fatman crew fits, it behaved nicely for my test drive.

The steering was tight and direct, with excellent feel. Turn in was crisp, but not overly fast. You can't ask for much more than that in a street machine. As for the rest of the chassis and suspension, I gave it high marks. From the log book: "Perfect for the street. Excellent balance of grip, ride and comfort." The fact that it went through the slalom cones faster than a new Camaro SS speaks volumes about its capabilities.

You could go streaking with Paris Hilton in downtown L.A. and probably attract less attention than you do cruising around in this car. It's just a blast. All we would have asked for was a steeper rear gear and the kind of horsepower that's in keeping with the Tri-Five's radical appearance. Unquestionably, this would have greatly improved its performance in our high-speed autocross.

As he did two years ago, Brent brought an absolutely delightful vehicle to our Nitto Tire Suspension & Handling Challenge. While it looked the part of a Grand National warrior and made you feel like a hero just by turning the key, it was a pure pleasure to drive on the street. Well done. - Jim Campisano

SPECS

Engine
Type: Gen 1 383 small-block
Block: Stock iron
Fuel Delivery: GM aluminum heads, Edelbrock 650 carb, Air Gap intake manifold and fuel pump
Drivetrain
Transmission: Ford Top Loader four-speed, Lakewood bellhousing
Clutch: Hays
Rearend: John's Industries 9-inch, 3.00 gears, Posi
Chassis/Suspension
Chassis: Fatman X-member style
Front Suspension: Fatman Stage III
Steering: Mustang II rack-and-pinion
Springs: 600 lbs
Spindles: Wilwood 1-inch drop
Shocks: QA1 Proma Star double adjustable
Sway Bar: Fatman spec Hellwig 7/8-inch 250-lb rate
Brakes: Wilwood six-piston, 13-inch drilled rotors
Rear Suspension: Fatman four-bar and Z-link
Springs: 375 lbs
Shocks: QA1 Proma Star double adjustable
Sway Bar: Fatman-spec Hellwig 1-inch 105-lb rate
Brakes: Wilwood six-piston and 13-inch drilled rotors
Cost of Suspension
Total: $15,000.00
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Stockton Wheel Service Explorer 72 Series, Front 17x9, Rear 17x9
Tires: Nitto NT05, Front 235/40R17, Rear 275/40R17
Weight
Total: 3,530
LF= 946 lbs, RF= 924 lbs
LR= 825 lbs, RR= 835 lbs
Percentage
F= 53
R= 47

RESULTS

1957 Chevy 210
Skidpad 0.85g Slalom 48.50 MPH Autocross 55.54 Sec.

2010 Chevy Camaro SS
Skidpad 0.91g Slalom 47.70 MPH Autocross 53.28 Sec.

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