Growing up in the Midwest and then relocating to the beaches of Southern California, I find myself taking the little things for granted. But after a recent trip to Phoenix, my eyes were once again opened to the creature comforts of modern-day automobiles. You see out here by the ocean, the weather doesn't drastically change with the seasons. Granted some days are hotter or colder than others, but for the most part the weather is comfortable. We can simply roll the windows down and cruise comfortably. Move inland a few miles and the temps begin to rise, leaving the ocean breeze behind. No doubt about it, it's much cooler (in more ways than one) to cruise with the A/C turned on than it is to sweat the heat from both Mother Nature and that powerful small-block under the hood. When I was driving the streets of Phoenix and went to roll the windows down, comfortable was the last thing on my mind. More than anything it felt as if I were standing behind a jet engine. I had completely forgotten what summers were like away from the beach. Needless to say I immediately thanked whoever invented that lifesaver known as air conditioning. Then I started thinking beyond that, "What would I do if I were driving my hot rod with no A/C?" I couldn't go a whole summer without the beast, but yet I don't wanna be hooked up to an IV while driving to keep hydrated? I would have to modernize. Primedia Tech Center guru Jason Scudellari started off our Tri-Five install by screwing the condenser mounting brackets to the Southern Air condenser. When doing this be sure to not damage the condenser rails. Primedia Tech Center guru Jason Scudellari started off our Tri-Five install by screwing th Although many hot rods don't have A/C (and probably never did), it doesn't mean they're doomed forever. With a simple call, a classic can be transformed into a modern-day driver with all the comforts of climate control. Companies such as Southern Air even make specialized kits for certain makes and models. One such kit they make is for the granddaddy of all hot rods, the legendary '55 Bel Air. The kit is a complete replacement that not only includes the components to keep the cabin cool, but also controls the heat and defrost functions, as well. The state-of-the-art unit mounts in the location of the stock heater assembly, and uses all-new custom ducting. The Southern Air package comes complete with everything needed to make the swap complete. Worried that the kit won't be compatible with your machine's engine? No concerns here. The kit is made to work with stock applications, Ram Jet 502s, 383 strokers, virtually any kind of combination you can imagine. Here's the best part about it: The finished result blows ice-cold air-key word here is cold. I'm sold! Installation requires a little time, but if you are mechanically adept and have basic tools, Southern Air has the directions down pat to where they are clear and understandable. Of course, you do have to drill a few holes and mount some brackets, so do yourself a favor, make the time to do it and do it correctly, because the results are well worth the effort. And if you can get a friend to help, the easier it will be. Remember the old saying, two heads are better than one. And we're sure that two cool heads are better still. The condenser was then mounted in the center of the radiator. Once again don't damage the condenser or the radiator rails. The condenser was then mounted in the center of the radiator. Once again don't damage the Here's what the correct installation of the condenser looks like. Check out the state-of-the-art one-piece radiator and core support assembly from Sweet Components. This is the best looking setup for the Tri-Fives that we've ever seen. Here's what the correct installation of the condenser looks like. Check out the state-of-t The fittings were screwed onto the Southern Air dryer. The dryer is mounted at the bottom of the passenger side on the core support. Here Jason is outlining two holes in the core support that will be drilled out to make a passage for the A/C lines. The dryer is mounted at the bottom of the passenger side on the core support. Here Jason i Our '55 is sportin' a GM Performance high-powered 350 crate engine. Therefore Southern Air sent us the correct brackets and spacers. Our '55 is sportin' a GM Performance high-powered 350 crate engine. Therefore Southern Air We painted our brackets semi-gloss black solely for cosmetic purposes. The correct bracket was mounted to the Southern Air compressor. The rest of the brackets and spacers were bolted to the block. Then the air compressor and alternator were attached to the brackets. The rest of the brackets and spacers were bolted to the block. Then the air compressor and We moved inside and began removing the stock heating equipment. 1 | 2 | » | View Full Article By Dakota Wentz Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!