When we think of Roy Brizio Street Rods, images of Deuce roadsters race around our imagination. But get Brizio together with Fred and Scott Hawley of Burlingame, California, and the result is not going to be a traditional Ford roadster, but an extraordinary Tri-Five Chevy—or two, or three.
One was a genuine historic and rare SEDCO "Black Widow" 1957 Chevy race car that Brizio restored for the father and son hot rodders (Fred's the father, Scott's the son) a few years ago. Number two and number three are the 1955 and 1956 210 sedans featured here.
Both of these latter two Chevys were Northern California cars, owned by the same person for more than 25 years. When that owner sold them in the '90s they went in separate directions. Dave Cattalini, who works with Brizio, found the 1956 in 2009 and told the Hawleys about it. Fred and Scott bought the car and started making plans with Brizio as to how to build it.
A year later, Scott saw the 1955 sitting in front of Brizio's shop and fell in love with it. It belonged to Jack Stratton, who works there, but it was for sale. After the Hawleys bought it, they learned the coincidental history of their two 210s from Cattalini. Scott drove the car for about a year before talking to Roy about tearing it apart and rebuilding it.
Just the Facts
Model: 210 Two-Door Sedan
Owner: Scott Hawley
It's not just the two-tone varsity jacket paintjob that makes Scott and Fred's 1956 210 look cool. It's the steelie wheels with rings and caps, the just-right rake, and, when you get around to lifting the hood, the turbocharged inline-six engine staring back up at you. And that's just the beginning.
This is no ordinary inline-six. The turbo’d 292 was built by B&B Machine Shop. The bee
The 1956 Chevys are both Fred and Scott's favorite Tri-Fives. Fred had driven a 1956 growing up and had always wanted another one. As already mentioned, the Hawleys found this one with the help of Dave Cattalini at Roy Brizio Street Rods. The condition of the car was fair, but it provided plenty of potential for the crew at Brizio's shop to turn it into something amazing.
The 1956 had its factory frame and suspension swapped for a new Tri-Five chassis from Art Morrison Enterprises (AME). It features Strange Engineering coilovers front and back, antiroll bars at both ends to stiffen the ride, and a four-link in the rear. The 9-inch limited-slip rearend is packed with freeway-friendly 4.11:1 gears. Wilwood 12-inch disc brakes at all four corners are controlled with a Wilwood master cylinder and proportioning valve.
Powering the 1956 is a turbocharged 1968 Chevy 292, cooled by a mix of methanol and water. The original engine was a 235 and Fred liked the idea of maintaining inline-six power, but with something a little different and more potent. B&B Machine Shop in Chico, California, machined and assembled the 292 engine. The cylinders were bored 0.060-over and filled with custom JE pistons with the stock crank and rods. A powdercoated ProCharger bonnet maintains an even airflow from the Garrett turbocharger to the Holley 650 and Clifford intake manifold. Clifford Research headers and Brizio pipes capped with Flowmaster mufflers take care of the exhaust. B&B's stout inline-six makes 360 hp at 4,700 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. The mighty inline-six is backed up with a TREMEC TKO600 transmission with a Hurst shifter for gear selection.
Joe Compani at Compani Color in Hayward, California, executed the final bodywork and sprayed the two-tone paint on the 1956. The lower portion of the body, shot with PPG black is contrasted by PPG Signal Flare Red for the rest of the car. Sherm's Custom Plating in Sacramento provided the chrome plating.
The wheelwells were filled with General high-performance radials, sized 255/60R17 at the rear and 225/55R17 in front. Black Smoothie wheels from Wheel Vintiques measure 17x9 and 17x7, and are dressed up with beauty rings and 1956 Chevy hubcaps.
The interior was entrusted to upholstery master Sid Chavers. The front and rear bench seats from Glide Engineering have some of the look of 1960s-era buckets, especially once Chavers wrapped them in red and black leather upholstery with rolls and pleats stitching. Quality Restorations restored the 1955-56 Chevy 210 wheel, mounted on an ididit column. Classic Instruments gauges fill the instrument panel. A Sun tach mounted atop the dash and the Hurst shifter complete the look. Vintage Air A/C keeps the cabin cool, with air routed through Vintage Air vents in the dash.
The most challenging part of the buildup of the 1956 is also the thing that is the most interesting: the engine. The turbocharged inline-six draws a ton of attention from spectators—especially when they hear it winding up—but finding the right induction combination to make everything work right took some talent. Scott says that this is the first six-cylinder–powered car built on an AME chassis, and making that combination work also took some custom engineering—or "hot rodding", as it's also known.
The steering wheel is a two-spoke 1955-56 Chevy 210 wheel with a half-circumference horn r
The trunk, covered in German loop carpet, houses a 1-gallon container of the methanol and
The factory 1956 benches were replaced with Glide Engineering front and back bench seats,
Just the Facts
Model: 210 Two-Door Sedan
Owner: Fred Hawley
It's not just the black leather jacket paintjob that makes Scott and Fred's 1955 210 look tough. It's the 1960s-style five-spokes, the tinted glass, and, when you get around to lifting the hood, the 427 Rat motor staring back up at you. And that's just the beginning.
Scott told us that he'd always wanted a 1955 with a big-block, so when this car turned up it must have seemed like the moment he'd been waiting for. There are plenty of different big-block engines he could have chosen, and he ended up with one of the most exceptional versions. In 2008, Chevrolet Performance produced the limited-edition anniversary 427 engine to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the legendary ZL1 427s hand built in GM's Tonawanda plant in 1969. Scott and Fred got #46 out of the 427 new ZL1s produced. Like the originals, the anniversary engines feature an aluminum block and heads. Induction on this one is beefed up with dual Edelbrock carbs and a 2x4 manifold. The AME Tri-Five headers run to 2-1/2-inch exhaust pipes built at Brizio Street Rods with DynoMax Super Turbo mufflers to quiet it down. Backing up all that engine is a TREMEC TKO600 five-speed, set up with a McLeod Racing clutch, flywheel, and disc.
The stock chassis was never meant for anything like the 480 hp and 444 lb-ft of torque this engine is producing. A new AME Tri-Five chassis is up to the job. Strange Engineering coilover shocks and antiroll bars are mounted front and back. The Ford 9-inch rearend features 3.70:1 gears and limited slip, located by an AME rear four-link and Panhard bar, and tied to the rear wheels via 31-spline axles.
The tire and wheel combination provides a 1960s personality to the 210. The 17x7 and 17x9.5 E-T Classic V five-spokes from Team III Wheels have a cast textured finish. They are mounted with 225/55R17 and 275/55R17 high-performance blackwall radials from General. Wilwood disc brakes were mounted all around, with 11-inch rotors in back and 12-inchers up front.
Wilwood brakes are visible behind the 17-inch E-T Classic V five-spoke wheels.
Black is about the most difficult color of paint to shoot—especially when it's a high-gloss, eight-ball level of black. But that seems to be the specialty at Compani Color. The car was in good condition when the Hawleys got ahold of it, but Joe Compani made sure it was perfect before spraying, because if it wasn't, every blemish would stand out once the PPG paint was sanded and buffed to a patent leather shine. The shiny black paint is matched with shiny new chrome from Sherm's Custom Plating. Tinted windows all around add to the Chevy's attitude, a combination of classy and sinister and whatever else is in the eye of the beholder.
Following the factory design of the 1955 210 Del Ray, Sid Chavers covered the stock seats and door panels in two-tone vinyl. The stock restored dash was customized with a Classic Instruments BelEra II gauge set for Tri-Five applications. The ididit steering column is topped with a restored wheel from Quality Restorations, and a Hurst floor shifter contributes to the 1960s hot rod look. Air conditioning is provided by a Vintage Air system. Jim Vickery at Roy Brizio Street Rods made sure everything is wired to work.
The final result is the 1955 with a big-block that Scott had always wanted. He told us that fitting that 427 into the engine compartment was the biggest challenge during the course of the buildup. But he also says that the most enjoyable thing about driving the 1955 is pushing the throttle down and letting that 427 come alive.
The 1955 210 Del Ray interior was restored using the stock seats. Seatbelts are from The T
The Classic Instruments BelEra II six-gauge package is designed just for ’55-56 applicatio
Sid Chavers built the 1955 sedan interior, maintaining the stock appearance with a handful