When you are talking Tri-Fives, there are all kinds of iconic items on them, from the egg crate-style grille on the '55, the bullet taillights on the '56, to those sweet fins on the '57. One thing all these cars share from the basic 150s to the fully trimmed Bel Air is a healthy dose of stainless along the side. The stainless breaks up the flat sides of the car, and adds all the style because they didn't stamp anything in the bodies. There is good and bad that comes with that. The good is the looks and style; the bad is trying to find good stainless for your build. If you are lucky enough to have original trim, then it's probably gonna need polishing at the least, or hammer and file work at its worst. The issue with that is money. There has been aftermarket trim available, but it was all imported, and the quality has been inconsistent at best.
These issues are now a problem of the past thanks to Danchuk, a well-known name in the Tri-Five industry. Danchuk has just finished tooling up and is now ready to ship out the first set of part numbers in a long list to come of Tri-Five stainless trim. The first offerings are for the '56 Bel Air.
"We decided to make all the stainless for the cars for a few reasons. First, we have always had supply issues with keeping them in stock. Second, we weren't happy with the quality, and didn't feel we were supplying our customers with the quality they deserve. And last, we always felt the stainless, just like all of our chrome exterior parts, should be made in the United States," says Steve Brown, Danchuk Manufacturing's general manager.
Because we are all about showing you the latest and greatest here at Super Chevy, we took a trip over to Danchuk with camera in tow. We can attest to the made in the United States claim because we saw the press stamping trim out of 304 #8 mirror finish stainless during our visit. Not only did we want to see the stuff being made, we also wanted the experts there to walk us though installing it properly. Luckily for you, they had a freshly restored '56 sitting in the showroom that needed new trim, so we shot how it all went down.