Daily Features

THE 57 CHEVY PROJECT-A 50S LIFESTYLE IN THE 21ST CENTURY PART 3

By on February 14, 2010
57 new clip

57 new clipTwo years later, Trevor was in a position to upgrade the 57 Chevy but it wasn’t open season on his bank account. Like everything he did on the car this was a realistic approach that worked within the constraints of a young guy with a young family.

In the mid 90s the hobby began to gravitate toward the “resto-mod”. Resto-mod is a new term for something that hot rodders have been doing for 70 years-adding and combining car parts like engine, brakes and suspension to give a car better handling and a lot more power-

Trevor is a “young” old-school guy, so he dug up the 1976 Chevy Nova clip to give his 57 Chevy a new road feel and much better braking power-“A rebuild of the original front end would be expensive and still not have power steering! I still had the 76 Nova body that had all the good stuff = power steering, power brakes, and a anti-sway torsion bar. so in the winter of 1996 in my 20 ft x 20 ft garage I tore off the front sheet metal and grafted on the Nova clip”…

As most car guys know, this is a fairly standard swap and a number of guys take a ‘cost is no object’ approach.

Not Trevor.

The car had to stay on budget consequently the swap was done with a total hands-on attitude.

Dragging out the donor parts, cutting the front frame and grafting the new one clip on were all done within the framework of Trevor’s limited spare time.

He did have an advantage over the first stage of the project because much of this work was done inside instead of outside in bone-chilling Western Canadian winter weather-“so in the winter of 1996 in my 20 ft x 20 ft garage I tore off the front sheet metal and grafted on the Nova clip”. Trevor admits that he was probably getting a little soft with this real garage, but production sure went up.

The motor had a few minor issues“The 305 ran great but the valve seals leaked, so you would get that puff of smoke every time you fired it up“.

Trevor’s own skills kicked in at this point in a big way because even though a front clip swap is fairly routine, things like bumper horns have to be fabricated-“Like I said, the difficult part was making the front frame horns and modifieing the rad support to fit around the power steering box. While I worked on this I had mechanic buddy Ron Patton freshen up the 305 with new valve seals,cam shaft,and lifters. I had the car ready to roll by the Father’s Day weekend”.Trevor paid serious attention to this facet of the project because most drivers don’t like to hear a sickening snap as the frame breaks from some shoddy welding.

It makes those 75 miles per hour  jaunts a lot less fun.

57 new clip 3

The 1976 Nova 305 motor was left as is at this point-it was a strong engine and Trevor saw no need for  an expensive change other than Ron’s minor freshening-“At this point the car had new paint, new interior and the 305 V8 that came out of the 1976 nova with 100,000 miles on it”.

In fact, Trevor drove this bulletproof 305 for another 10 years in the 57 Chevy post-he just couldn’t kill it so he sure couldn’t justify replacing it.

But the lure of another freshening for the classic Chevy was pretty strong-after ten years of faithful service, the 57 was back in the body shop for a new heart and cosmetic surgery.

Trevor was now in the market for a holiday trailer but the wheels literally came off the project immediately after this stage…..

Stay tuned

57 new clip 2

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