Starting its 19th year, the AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour embarks on its most ambitious build yet. The beginnings of this year's car started with an original 1959 Chevrolet Impala. Next it was broken down to every last nut and bolt and reconstructed, leaving nothing untouched, no detail too small, making this a standout among hot rods.
The PPG Ferrari Red body rests on a Roadster Shop chassis, featuring a fully independent front and rear suspension complete with Penske shocks, Wilwood six-piston calipers, and Circle Racing Wheels wrapped with Michelin rubber. The street cruiser is set in motion by a 600-plus horsepower LS motor built by Shaver Racing outfitted with a SCAT crank, accompanied by COMP Cams internals that are cooled and lubed by AMSOIL while an Inglese LS 8-stack induction is held in tune by a FAST computer. Holding the LS together, and used throughout the remainder of the car, ARP was called upon to supply the 12-point stainless steel socket head hardware. Plenty of fuel is supplied and highly monitored by the Aeromotive fuel system that incorporates a Phantom internal fuel pump and filter along with plenty of fuel line to bring the "go juice" forward to the injectors. Another critical computer is the one monitoring the Hughes Performance 4L80E overdrive trans, which guarantees the power will move rearward via the Dynotech driveshaft to the IRS. The Road Tour Chevy will use all of the state-of-the-art components as the car will be driven 20,000-plus miles during the summer of 2014, traveling back and forth from coast to coast leading the way on eight individual road tours that will visit many events and dozens of interesting automotive and family designed locales.
The car is vintage in its appearance but thoroughly modern in its amenities. Painless Performance Products was called upon to supply the required electrics to operate the Dakota Digital custom face gauges, Custom Autosound stereo complete with iPod hookup, Specialty Power Window electric windows, and windshield wiper system. From here a Flaming River tilt steering column and a Lokar floor shift that pops up through a center console from Classic Industries, who also supplied much of the interior and exterior trim, can also be seen. Of course many trim items were retained from the original car and these pieces were lovingly restored through polishing or freshly chrome-plated steel by Sherm's Custom Plating.
The interior is custom indeed and while featuring a number of original items it becomes apparent that Hot Rod Interiors by Glenn paid special attention to the Impala, not the least of which are the custom-upholstered Procar front buckets and the modified rear bench seat. An interior is only as comfortable as its own "climate." Making sure the temps are cool when they should be and toasty when called for, a Vintage Air A/C and heat system were installed, while resting beneath the red carpeting is plenty of Dynamat heat and sound insulation. It should be noted that the engine must maintain its cool as well. U.S. Radiator supplied the copper and brass radiator complete with dual electric fans to make sure the LS is happy too! Furthering the comfy surrounds, the fullsize Impala sports lots of tinted glass from Classic Industries while SoffSeal provided the definitive seal against any intrusion from the outside. However, there is one external sound that any hot rodder will enjoy and those come from the exhaust "tunes" and this LS plays a mighty fine chorus through the Jet-Hot–coated Flowmaster headers, stainless steel pipes and mufflers.
The 2014 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour '59 Chevy wouldn't have come together during the nine-month build if it weren't for the craftsmen at Hot Rods by Dean. Through their use of Eastwood tools, Miller Electric Manufacturing Company welding equipment, and Speedway Motors, who supplied all of those last-minute detail items, they handled the disassembly, body- and paintwork, any and all fabrication, plus the final assembly to give us what you are watching on this video.