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1955 Chevy Bel Air Suspension - Episode I

Attack Of The Handlers

By Dakota Wentz, Photography by Dakota Wentz, Terry Cole

Not another suspension story! Oh yes, another suspension story. But this one's got a dramatic twist to it. Forget about "Joe Millionaire," "The Bachelor," and so on because there's a new reality program coming to a Super Chevy near you with more drama and excitement than ever.

That's right, the build up of this '55 Bel Air has more twists and turns than a day in the life of Michael Jackson. Now what I mean by that is we here at SC are taking a completely bone stock '55 and turning it into a late model g-machine. And I do mean bone stock! This baby blue beast is an all-original '55 with 34,000 miles on it! In fact it even has the original owners manual sitting in the glove box.

For the first episode SC has teamed up with McGaughey's Suspension Parts and Coker Tire to conquer handling and braking. This shoebox is going to receive a complete new suspension up front with McGaughys tubular upper and lower control arms, drop spindles, springs, shocks, and disc brake set. While out back the '55 will receive a set of leaf springs from McGaughys. Also from McGaughys, the brakes will receive some much-needed backup from a new brake booster and dual master cylinder.

Here's where the drama kicks in: duun . . .dun . . .du . . .duuuuuun. Before the '55 went under the wrench we took it out to the track to get some baseline numbers. The '55 was even sportin' bias-ply tires thanks to the people of Coker tire. However, not only did we test Coker bias-ply tires but we also tested Cokers traditional looking whitewall radials. I bet by now you're wondering how the big blue boat did, huh? Well to find out stay tuned until next time when we unveil the numbers, because as always . . . to be continued. Don't ya' just hate that!

Now as for the install, it's just like any other suspension enhancements. Simple at times but can get a little difficult. The trickiest part of the build up is bending and shaping new brake lines. But its nothing a few moments of thought and geometry can't figure out.

By Dakota Wentz
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