The super-sized bumpers; the rap of a small-block; all-metal bodies with no plastic or space-aged material; the feel of a "Captain"-sized steering wheel; and the essence of pure cool. These are some of the thoughts that flow through our minds when we think of Tri-Five Chevys. Some of you may share the same sentiment, and to some, all sorts of different thoughts may run through your heads. But the bottom line here is that Tri-Fives were a hit when they first rolled onto the dealerships, and even today they still remain to be quite popular. As some of you may or may not know, 2006 marks a half-century of '56 Chevys roaming the streets. Believe it or not, billions have been feasting their eyes on some '56 Detroit-built Chevy steel. In recognition of the '56 Chevy's anniversary, Danchuk Manufacturing in Santa Ana, California, is pulling out all the stops.
For those of you who don't know, Danchuk is the world's largest manufacturer of Tri-Five Chevrolet restoration parts. There is nary a Tri-Five part that Danchuk doesn't have. In fact, if you have a Tri-Five, it would be a pretty safe bet that somewhere down the line you picked up the phone and contacted Danchuk. If any of you have been to their place of business, odds are you remember their marquee '56 ragtop parked on the hill just in front of the entry doors. Danchuk purchased the '56 back in 1989 as an R&D/display vehicle. They used the car to develop the hundreds of parts you now see in the catalog. The '56 is once again being called upon for duty.
The year 2006 not only marks the 50th anniversary of the '56 Chevy, but it was also 30 years ago that Dan and Art Danchuk opened their doors for business. In honor of the car's and business' anniversary, Dan and Art plan to completely restore the '56 to as close to perfect as it can be. However, the normal run-of-the-mill frame-off restoration will suffice for the Danchuk's '56. When this Chevy is done, it will be built just like Detroit intended-all-original, all-metal, and all-class. Dan and Art have decided that not one drop of filler, plastic, or even lead (with the exception of the factory seams) will touch this ride. Every part will either be original or replaced with NOS, if possible. The body will then be 100 percent metal finished. The only difference the Danchuk '56 will sport from its previous life is the color, which will be changed from red and ivory to Tropical Turquoise and India Ivory. Also, the frame and rolling chassis will be powerdercoated, instead of painted, and a urethane basecoat/clearcoat paint will be used. Other than that, the suspension is original, down to the rearched correct rear springs with the channel in them, the motor will be cleaned up to factory specs along with the trans, and the interior will be salvaged and reupholstered to OE specs.
Since the Danchuk '56 is going on quite a journey, we thought we'd tag along on some of its stops and see all the car's gonna go through. As we witness the work, we're going to record and document everything. For the next few months, look for the '56's progress. As for now, check out what we're startin' with.