Although some initial fiberglass work had been performed several years ago to reattach the roof, restoration work on the Biscayne began in 2005 with the reconstruction of the vehicle's frame.
The original frame had long ago rotted away in the Michigan mud at Warhoop's yard. Luckily, the Biscayne was essentially a fiberglass tub bolted to a conventional frame. With the body intact, fabricating a frame would be a relatively straightforward task-not necessarily an inexpensive one, but straightforward, nonetheless.
Building the frame fell to street rod builder Kerry Hopperstead. Having fabricated frames for countless hot rods during the last 30 years, creating the Biscayne's foundation was easily within his capabilities.
This is the point where Super Chevy caught up with the project. We visited Hopperstead's shop to get a look at the frame, and some background information from Bortz himself. In an amazing stroke of luck, he was able to obtain internal GM photos from the car's construction more than 50 years ago. They are detailed enough to give Hopperstead the reference information needed to produce an exact replica. And, the front section of frame was obviously from a '55 Chevy, so a frame was purchased and its front section lopped off and mated to the custom rearward section.
Obviously, there is still much more work to be done on the Biscayne. In addition to the frame, the body and interior require extensive work. The engine also has to be cleaned up and rebuilt. Bortz says the work should consume the next couple of years or so.
When finished, it promises to pull the spotlight back onto one of Chevy's most important concept cars.