For Brian Baker, growing up in Springfield, Ohio, certainly had its perks since it was a part of the country steeped with an appreciative car culture. Starting at home, his dad was heavily involved with a number of Ford Model As and the pair spent plenty of time wrenching alongside each other where Brian absorbed all the basics.
The stock dash was smoothed and given a stylish insert filled with Moon dials.
It didn't take long for Brian to step into the deep end of the pool, owning a 1956 Chevy at age 15. By the time he was in high school he was commuting with a small-block–powered 1966 Nova 'til a mishap left it wrecked. While using his bicycle as transportation in the interim, his dad gave him a lead on a clean 1955 Chevy 210 coupe. A deal was made and Brian drove the car through the remainder of high school. While a number of cars followed, including a 1929 Ford roadster with a 327ci mill and a Flathead-powered 1937 Ford coupe, Brian held onto the 1955 as it was packed with memories. As the years passed he married, had a family, and opened his own business, Bakers Vintage Auto, in Bellefontaine, Ohio.
Plenty of custom fabrication frames the engine bay to showcase a 468ci big-block Chevy mil
Having always been a fan of hard-edged cars with big horsepower, the design elements for the rebirth of the 1955 infused a level of elegance with a slammed stance and a nasty big-block mill. With the support of his wife, Charlene, and sons, Brandon and Justin, the time was right to haul out the car and build it from the ground up. Accompanied by good friends Dave Bacher, Mark Schertzer, and Rick Parsons, it was torn down to bare bones. To get started, Brian wanted to give the car a low-slung feel that would offer superior handling. He designed his own IFS utilizing Corvette C4 suspension components, including upper and lower control arms and spindles combined with Aldan Eagle coilover shocks and Corvette rack-and-pinion steering. Working his way down the frame Brian added custom tubular crossmembers. Out back a 9-inch Winters Performance aluminum rear was packed with a Ford nodular centersection featuring 3.00:1 gears and Summers Brothers Racing axles suspended in place by a custom stainless four-link, Panhard bar, and Aldan Eagle coilover shocks. To tame the beast a Corvette power master pushes fluid through stainless lines to C4 Corvette discs and calipers anchored at each corner. Completing the package a set of 18-inch front and 20-inch rear Billet Specialties Stiletto wheels capped with BFGoodrich rubber connects the car to the pavement.
Lyons Custom Trim then worked their magic with plenty of oxblood leather adding comfort an
Wanting to give his shaker a unique signature, Brian contacted Nick Arias Jr. Racing Components in Gardena, California, to build a fire-breathing behemoth laden with a speed shop full of go-fast goods. A 454ci block was bored and stroked to 468 ci and filled with a steel GM crank linked to Manley rods and capped with Arias 10:1 pistons while a COMP Cams stick keeps the beat. On top a set of aluminum Arias Hemi cylinder heads add the crowning touch to the mighty V-8 complemented by an owner-fabbed aluminum intake cradling a pair of Edelbrock Performer series 500-cfm carbs wearing a custom-designed air cleaner. The dyno'd 724 hp at 6,350 rpm gets transferred through a B&M Turbo 400 trans to a custom driveshaft.
In order to add just the right amount of refinement to the body it underwent a number of subtle updates. Changes included having the rockers moved up to correct the door gap, fenders sectioned to match the rockers, windshield wipers relocated under a removable cowl panel, custom grille and rear roll pan, a mild body shave, and tucking the bumpers, all completed by Brian. Dave worked with Brian to make the body razor sharp as well as laying down the seductive PPG custom-blended platinum vibe to bring the project to life. Inside the sophistication continued with the dash being smoothed and filled with a custom insert, complete with limited-edition Moon gauges by Classic Instruments while Vintage Air keeps it cool and a custom owner-fab'd steering wheel sets the course. The final touch came from Lyons Custom Trim of Brookville, Ohio, who stitched up a winning combination of oxblood leather across custom buckets with matching plush wool carpeting. This is one street shaker combining enough stance, attitude, and wicked power to make it a stand out in any crowd.
Create More Power With Rockers Alone
By increasing the rocker arm ratio, it is possible to increase valve lift without ever touching the camshaft. Valve lift can typically be increased by as much as 10 percent by increasing rocker ratio.
Always Ground the ECU to the Battery
People will sometimes ground the main ECU wires to things like the engine block, firewall, or a shared ground lug. It is important to remember, however, that the battery acts like a swimming pool, soaking up waves when you jump in. All of the electrical waves bouncing down the wires are soaked up when they get to the battery. This helps isolate any electrical interference.
Tune Your Weber Carbs With Precision
When tuning a carbureted Inglese system, it is always best to use a synchrometer tool featuring number dials to tune the Weber carbs. This allows for much more accurate tuning than you would be able to achieve with a synchrometer featuring only three lines, which forces you to estimate the amount of air flowing into each carburetor.