The power is no longer the factory 322-inch Nailhead rated at 236 hp but rather a GM Performance Parts 502 that was massaged by Mylon Keasler (Maryville, Tennessee) with a beefed-up cam, an Edelbrock (Torrance, California) dual-four intake, and a pair of Edelbrock 600-cfm carbs both topped with an OTB Gear (Walnut, California) full-fin air cleaner. Interestingly, the valve covers, an Alloway custom piece, are machined to be reminiscent of Nailhead covers over Chevy big-block heads. Supplying this 500-plus horsepower V-8 with its gasoline is a stainless steel 16-gallon tank by Rock Valley (Stillman Valley, Illinois). The ignition is based around an MSD (El Paso, Texas) distributor and box followed with Taylor (Grandview, Missouri) plug wires, with Sanderson (South San Francisco) full-length headers, Flowmaster (Santa Rosa, California) 40 mufflers, and a custom 21/2-inch exhaust system by Mile Barillaro. The transmission is a 4L60E built by Keisler Engineering (Rockford, Tennessee) equipped with a Lokar Performance Products (Knoxville, Tennessee) shifter. A Steve Long brass radiator (Indianapolis) with a Vintage Air (San Antonio) Monster fan and Front Runner system, and a Stewart Components (Escanaba, Michigan) high-flow water pump handle the cooling chores.
In 1955, the Buick was very proud of its new visored headlight appearance along with the hooded taillight. The brake, parking, and directional light are all located in the top globe of the taillight.
Well, that was then and this is now. Alloway opted to replace the stock Buick headlights and surrounding sheetmetal with '55 Chevy headlight buckets. Other custom sheetmetal touches include a '54 Buick grille, '56 Roadmaster taillights, custom bumpers, the side stainless moved up 4 inches, shaved door handles, and the addition of the four billet portholes. The brightwork was applied by Dan's Polishing (Adamsville, Tennessee). At some point all, and we do mean all, of the sheetmetal needed bodywork and paint. Alloway's HRS handled the basecoat/clearcoat PPG black.
Dan's Polishing handled the...
Dan's Polishing handled the brightwork of which there is plenty on top and especially underneath. The front suspension, comprised of Morrison components, Alloway's HRS fabricated pieces, Wilwood calipers, and Strange coilover shocks, is detailed to the max.
Back in 1955 the Buick seats were deep and soft and these cars could easily sit three across. The material was a combination of nylon and Cordaveen. Well, that was back in the day. Today the skills of Paul Atkins, of Atkins Custom Auto Interiors (Hanceville, Alabama) took '64 Ford Thunderbird front buckets and covered them in brilliant red leather. He also made the custom rear seating. The custom door panels are also covered in red leather while the carpeting is a black Daytona weave laid over a complete floorboard covering of Dynamat (Hamilton, Ohio) insulation.
The interior mods don't stop here. The dashboard is the very-popular '57 Olds with its original gauges refinished and upgraded by Classic Instruments (Boyne City, Michigan). Blended to the bottom of the dash is an ididit (Tecumseh, Michigan) steering column topped with a '57 Olds steering wheel with a smaller-than-stock diameter horn ring. The Vintage Air A/C flows through Alloway-fabricated custom air vents.
The Buick Century made three runs at American automotive history, introduced in 1936-42, then 1948-54, and then from 1973-2005. While this Buick could never get permanent traction in the eyes of the automotive public it most certainly is gaining daily in popularity with hot rodders. We can expect to see more and more of these street cruisers at events for years to come.
A Winters quick-change is...
A Winters quick-change is traditional hot rod fare but we didn't expect to see it under a full-figured car of the '50s! Polished and outfitted with Wilwood six-piston calipers and rotors, 31-spline axles, and Strange coilover shocks, the rearend strikes an amazing pose.
We've seen this treatment...
We've seen this treatment from several makes of '50s cars-the gas filler hidden behind a taillight lens. The taillights are '56 Buick Roadmaster in which Alloway neatly machined the modern filler.
The motor is GM but not Buick-look...
The motor is GM but not Buick-look past the Nailhead-appearing valve covers. The big-block Chevy 502 is fitted with an Edelbrock intake and dual 600-cfm carburetors, MSD ignition, Sanderson headers, and a Vintage Air Front Runner. The billet Nailhead valve covers was machined at Alloway's HRS to disguise-at first glance they will trick you!