The circumstances of how a hot rod ends up in your garage are as varied as the cars themselves. Some folks will plan a build for years before taking the first step, and sometimes projects just fall in your lap.
Martin McGuire, who lives in Burr Ridge, Illinois, spent his youth drag racing in the ’60s with a ’62 Bel Air (equipped with a 409). He has owned some nice cars in his time, but when his son, Marty, told him about a 1957 Chevy project car for sale on eBay a couple of years ago he thought, “Why not?” So he put in a couple of bids. To his surprise, his final bid was accepted, and he became the new owner of a 210 post Chevrolet.
Kenny Davis Hot Rods not only...
Kenny Davis Hot Rods not only fabbed parts and did the bodywork on Martin’s Chevy but painted it too.
The next step was to see the car in person and find out what he bought, so Martin and his son flew to Denver to look it over. As it turned out, it was money well spent. Ron Jones had originally started the project and got some help on it from Pinkee’s Rod Shop, the well-known hot rod shop in Colorado. Much of the hard work had already been completed, and the body was in outstanding shape, and the Jim Meyer frame, LS6 Corvette engine, a Ford 9-inch rear, and a trailer load of parts were all ready to be picked up.
Martin contacted Kenny Davis Hot Rods in Rogers, Arkansas, and soon the ’57 was on their doorstep ready to be built. Working off a good foundation, Davis shaped and formed all the metal for the engine cover and wheels, and removed the bullets from the bumpers before trimming them to fit tight against the body. The gun sights on the hood were removed, too, though the door handles and iconic side trim were left intact.
Wilwood disc brakes were added to each corner, and Billet Specialties wheels (18x8 and 20x10) were shod in BFGoodrich rubber (235/40-18 and 295/40-20). The LS6, which can produce more than 400 hp, was mated to a 4L60E trans and dressed up with a Street & Performance serpentine belt system. Flowmaster mufflers were installed, too, as was an 18-gallon gas tank.
After Kenny Davis Hot Rods finished the bodywork, they painted it with a custom mixed brown from Standox. Advanced Plating chromed what needed to be shiny (there’s a lot of that on a ’57!), and soon the car was on its way to Tracy Weaver at Recovery Room Hot Rod Interiors in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. Weaver recreated the Chevy’s interior in a contemporary form by covering handmade pieces with a two-tone Ultraleather material. A center console runs from the dash and down between both the front buckets and the rear bench, and the gauge pods around the steering column now house Classic Instrument gauges. A Vintage Air A/C unit went in, as did a Sony-based stereo system; everything is linked electrically with an American Autowire kit. Finishing touches were completed after Bob Thrash added his fine-line expertise to the engine cover and body panels.
Martin credits his son with getting him to not only do the project in the first place, but also by staying on top of the 18-month job to see it through to completion. Easily nicer than any car he owned back in the ’60s, Martin can now still relive a portion of his youth while driving into the future.
Tracy Weaver from Recovery...
Tracy Weaver from Recovery Room Hot Rod Interiors did a masterful job at creating a new interior for the ’57 starting with the roof panels and working down through the door panels and seating. A custom center console runs from the dash to between the front bucket seats and back into the rear bench. Ultraleather was used throughout, and the color matches the exterior of the car. Classic Instrument gauges replace the stock factory gauges in the dash pods, and a Sony-based stereo system supplies the tunes.
The project started with Ron...
The project started with Ron Jones when he configured the car for a Jim Meyer chassis and a Ford 9-inch rearend. The rollers are 18x8 and 20x10 Billet Specialties wheels wrapped in 235/40-18 and 295/40-20 BFGoodrich rubber.
Kenny Davis fabricated the...
Kenny Davis fabricated the engine cover as well as the panels that cover the wheels (plus he also tightened up the bumper fitment both front and rear). The engine is a 400-horse LS6 and uses a Street & Performance serpentine belt system. The V-8 mates to a 4L60E transmission.