Basic black bucket seats with Simpson five-point harnesses are right at home, accented by
Fast forward a number of years and after meeting and marrying his lovely wife, Mickey, and raising a family it was time to get back involved in the hobby. Still owning the original ’57 his dad gave him as a teen, he tore the car down to bare bones with the intention of rebuilding it into a Gasser while at the same time owning a number of Tri-Fives, Camaros, and Novas. You never know when that next car will come calling and one afternoon the phone rang and it was good friend Courtney Accititer, of Old Town Automobile in Huntingtown, Maryland, to tell him about a lead he just received on a wicked ’55 Chevy Gasser. That’s all it took to generate Andy’s interests and without wasting any time he immediately went to check out the car. When he saw it, he was immediately transported back to the ’70s when he was a teenager watching cars launch hard from the line at the local tracks. The car was everything he’d ever hoped for and was even lettered to pay homage to one of the greats of the day, the Tuff-E-Nuff ’55 (originally campaigned as Mr. Tuff). The deal was made and the car was driven home to his shop and parked alongside the ’57 currently undergoing the resurrection. Although he’d done quite a bit of research to locate the car’s original builder, it remains to be determined at this point in time so let’s just check out what it took to bring this wicked ’55 to life. To create a rock solid base ready to take plenty of abuse, a new spine was constructed from 2x4 rectangular steel, complete with custom crossmembers, floor bracing, and tubular firewall support tubes. For a bulletproof rear, a Ford 9-inch was packed with 3.55:1 gears and anchored in place by a combination of Carrera coilover shocks and Speedway Motors ladder bars ensuring plenty of traction. Nothing says Gasser like a nosebleed stance, and a Speedway Motors kit provided all the right parts straight from the box. A dropped tube axle was matched to fresh ’49-54 Chevy spindles, and secured in place by a combination of multi-leaf, semi-elliptical springs and chrome tube shocks. To tame the beast a dual reservoir master pushes fluid to each corner through stainless lines with 12-inch Wilwood discs and matching calipers out back and 10-inch versions up front. For a classic look, 15-inch Cragar S/S wheels set the pace capped with Moroso Drag Specials up front and Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials out back.
Nothing says wicked horsepower like a 454ci Rat packed with goodies like a COMP Cams stick
With the stance and chassis completed, it was time to ensure there was plenty of horsepower on tap, starting with a fresh 454ci big-block Chevy packed with loads of speed shop goodies, including a COMP Cams roller stick, 8.5:1 slugs, and warmed-over GM cast-iron heads. A pair of Holley 750-cfm carbs suck plenty of air though a Weiand 6-71 huffer while an MSD ignition lights the fire and spent gases get dumped from 2-inch baffled Hooker fenderwell headers. Power moves through a Richmond Super T-10, four-speed to a custom driveshaft to spin plenty of rubber out back.
It’s obvious a lot of attention to detail went into the body both in the prep and finish stages prior to a flawless coating of vibrant blue pearl being applied. To personify the Gasser Wars era, the body was then lettered with just enough classic accents inspired by the original Mr. Tuff ’55 Chevy. Completing the exterior look, a Moon tank was mounted in place atop the front tow bar, and a Hilborn-style intake scoop proudly protrudes through the fiberglass tilt nose while a fiberglass trunklid and rear bumper round out the look. The final icing comes via the blue tinted glass and venomous stance.