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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    South Lyon, MI
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    Default Father/Daughter '55 Belair

    It's time to start a build thread. I will warn everyone, I move slow. Don't expect to see lightning progress from me.

    This is a project with my 14 year old daughter. My 4 oldest have moved out and left us some real father/daughter time. Luckily she loves cars almost as much as I do. The plan is to make a fun driver out of this that is also not afraid of corners and hard driving.

    Here is the car. The plan is to warm it over mechanically.

    - 350 Vortec roller block
    - Vintage 461 Camelhump heads - ported, new guides and exhaust seat inserts
    - 11 inch GM front brakes
    - Howe Racing tall upper ball joints
    - Some other stuff. I usually make it up as I go...

    Now some photos. Yup, it's rough. But then, that's what all I could get for $125 in 1980 when I originally bought this wonderful bucket of rust.

    And yes, it was a numbers matching 265 2-barrel powerglide car (If anyone wants a late '54 built drivetrain let me know).

    Attached Images Attached Images          


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    615
    Country Flag: Canada

    Default

    Very cool that you are building this with your daughter. I'm hoping to get my youngest involved a little more with cars this year as well. There is a not bad looking '55 Chevy 4-door just up the street from me and I never thought about a father/daughter project with something like that. You are a genius

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this car
    Todd
    '14 ZL1, 6 speed and 6.2L of Super Charged Awesome!
    '67 Camaro SS in process. A long, slow, expensive trip...


    How hard can it be...

    Project Obsession
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...ject-Obsession

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Posts
    574
    Country Flag: United States

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    Hoping one day I'll be able to do a project like this with my girls. They're only 4 & 2 now so I have time to persuade them!
    Ed Cooney
    '91 Convertible Firechicken, LO3 w/ T56, 3.73's, 17" Racestars w/ 275's - Hotchkis suspension, Koni's, C5/LS1 brakes

    '91 Formula, pending track day build

    '70 Buick Skylark Convertible, resto-mod project - on hold

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    South Lyon, MI
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    1,120
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    I got my daughter hooked the first time we went to the Woodward Dream Cruise in the Detroit area. Lucky for me she is able to sweet talk my wife in the project better than I can.

    Unfortunately, we will be slowed down a bit due to a sledding accident. She thought it would be fun to sled over a very big jump on a very icy hill. She got some serious air, but the landing was a bit to much for her right arm. She will be a bit impaired for the next 6 weeks.

    At least the engine is out now so we can tear it down and perform the autopsy. The heads should be ready this week.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    129
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    make it a two door, bust out the cutter....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    South Lyon, MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikes2nd View Post
    make it a two door, bust out the cutter....
    I've thought about it. I've even considered a three door - two door on the left and four door on the right.

    I think I'm just going to remain different on this built and leave it a four door. It works with the runs hard/looks tame concept.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Mid-Michigan
    Posts
    2,701
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    Nice project Bill, I love how you hid the dual turbo inlets right above the headlights...
    Spend as much time with your daughter now as you can... She is getting into the "boy crazy" age so the "car crazy" stage may not last long.
    Mark:
    "Bad Ast" Astro Van. Just because I did it... Doesn't mean it's possible...
    This my Bad Ast thread...
    https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...roject-Faze-II
    This is my Fotki album...
    http://astroracer.fotki.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Posts
    574
    Country Flag: United States

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    Keep the doors, more-doors are cool when done right, especially those from the 50's. I hope she heals up quickly!
    Ed Cooney
    '91 Convertible Firechicken, LO3 w/ T56, 3.73's, 17" Racestars w/ 275's - Hotchkis suspension, Koni's, C5/LS1 brakes

    '91 Formula, pending track day build

    '70 Buick Skylark Convertible, resto-mod project - on hold

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    South Lyon, MI
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    Just got the heads back from the machine shop. AMS in Fort Collins, CO. They do great work.

    They installed new guides and exhaust seats, then opened up the valves to 2.02" and 1.60".

    The heads are real 461 Camel-humps. They are not the best flowing heads by today's standards, but look right on a '55 and will flow enough for our 350 hp target. Remember, this will be for my daughter to drive in high school. 350 hp is probably too much.

    Next week we will try to get the screw-in studs and pushrod guides in.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. George, Utah
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    1,572
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    Sorry to hear she got banged up, hope she's back at it soon.

    That's the perfect color! Throw some body color 20" smoothies and some air bags on that bad boy, er, girl, ala DSE's Nova wagon... Yeah!
    -Ben, Your friendly neighborhood Rendering dude

    SRD on Facebook

    79 Cutlass wagon build


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    South Lyon, MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by astroracer View Post
    Nice project Bill, I love how you hid the dual turbo inlets right above the headlights...
    Spend as much time with your daughter now as you can... She is getting into the "boy crazy" age so the "car crazy" stage may not last long.
    I have actually considered using them for brake ducts. Stealth!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    South Lyon, MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRD art View Post
    Sorry to hear she got banged up, hope she's back at it soon.

    That's the perfect color! Throw some body color 20" smoothies and some air bags on that bad boy, er, girl, ala DSE's Nova wagon... Yeah!
    That does sound cool. Brook is taken by the 60's paint schemes with lace paint and scallops. We'll see where it goes.

    The current budget is guiding me towards the 14" Ansen Sprints stacked up in the corner of my garage. Real vintage stuff. The downside is finding tires that are worth mounting on them.

    I now am splitting funding between the Belair and the Nova. When push comes to shove, the Nova gets the cool stuff and the Belair the paid for stuff.

    I hope the next go-round with the Belair will bring more funding and some nicer wheels and paint.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Holly Springs, GA
    Posts
    55

    Default

    Cool project. My 11 y/o daughter and I are working on a '69 Camaro with an LS engine and 4l80e trans that'll put out about 375hp. Hope to have it running by the end of March, which wil only increase her level of excitement in the project. We just inherited a '65 Thunderbird that will be built for my 9 y/o.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Thomasville, NC
    Posts
    203
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    Looking forward to watching this project progress.....love the four doors.
    1966 Pontiac Catalina Ventura
    389/TH400, Wide-Track Darksider
    Bars, springs, disc brakes, etc.

    1962 Falcon 2-dr
    "just getting started"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    South Lyon, MI
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    I spoke to the machine shop Friday. They have shot peened the block and will rough bore it today or tomorrow to see if .060" is enough to clean up the bores. If not, they will go .080". Since this motor will have old Camel hump heads, it won't be making enough power to be an issue at .080" overbore.

    Hope to get the block back this week so I can order my crank and pistons.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    South Lyon, MI
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    The block is done, cleaned, shot peened and bored 0.060" over. The machine shop told me it cleaned up just fine except a couple of rust pits above the top ring that will not affect anything.

    I will pick it up today. Then begins the gathering of parts. $$$$$

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    South Lyon, MI
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    It's home!

    The block turned out great. AMS machine in Fort Collins did a great job as always.

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  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Crofton, MD
    Posts
    161

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    I can't wait to build something with my daughter - she is only 2-1/2, but she already goes to the track with me and climbs up in the recliner with me to watch racecars! Awesome to see so many Dad's spending car time with their girls!

    GM EFI Tuner
    1980 Z28 Pro-touring project - sold
    2002 Trans Am 9.41 at 143mph on pump gas and drag radials - sold

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. George, Utah
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    1,572
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    Any updates bill? I saw replacement sheetmetal for above the headlights recently in a magazine. I forget who carried them but they're out there.
    -Ben, Your friendly neighborhood Rendering dude

    SRD on Facebook

    79 Cutlass wagon build


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    South Lyon, MI
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    Ben,

    I missed your questions. There are no updates on this project. I have the motor and trans sitting next to the car ready to drop in, but no time to do it. I am focused on getting the Nova on the road. It will be the fun car to drive.

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