Lot 39
1957 Chevrolet Custom 'Imagine' Hardtop



• Built at a cost of over $2 million
• 2018 Detroit Autorama Ridler Award winner
• SEMA Best in Show winner
• The most highly awarded car on 2018-19 ISCA circuit
• Stunning engineering and build quality
• Amazing radical custom creation

515 cid Nelson Racing Chevrolet V-8 engine, twin turbochargers, 1,000+ HP, Bowler TH400 three-speed automatic transmission, front and rear independent suspension, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes; wheelbase: 115”

Representing one of the most celebrated of all auto designs ever to come from GM’s famed styling studios, the ’57 Chevrolet is quite possibly the most difficult of all to improve upon. However, the designers and builders of this 1957 Chevrolet 150 two-door hardtop managed to accomplish the feat. Dubbed “Imagine,” it is the only car of its kind and its offering at Riyadh delivers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own the most highly awarded car of the world-famous International Show Car Association (ISCA) circuit in 2018-19. “Imagine” is the result of more than 10 years and countless man-hours of planning, design, construction and perfection. Literally, the only parts that were purchased for this ride can be counted on one hand: four tires and one dipstick. Everything else was either fabricated by hand or meticulously machined from forged alloys.

Based on artwork and design renderings penned by Jason Rushworth, “Imagine” was built for Greg and Judy Hrehovcsik and evolved though several versions before construction began at Johnny Martin’s custom shop – Johnny’s Auto Trim & Rod Shop in Alamosa, Colorado. Literally no part of the car was left untouched, with Johnny’s crew performing hundreds of modifications while retaining the basic styling theme of the beloved ’57 Chevy. The roof was chopped by three inches and extensively recontoured. Window glass was sunk and laid back for a sleeker profile. The hood was pancaked and sectioned, with the popular 1957 hood bullets retained and modified to act as small air scoops. The body was channeled three inches over the chassis frame and also wedged and sectioned one inch at the rear and three inches up front. Special 19- and 21-inch, one-piece custom wheels were designed and built in the style of stock Chevy hubcaps. The beautiful paint finish was applied using PPG paint products.

“Imagine” shares none of its suspension nor chassis components with any other car. Instead of the usual GM LS engine, the builders chose the best, a Nelson Racing Chevrolet big-block V-8 fed by two of Nelson’s patented mirror-image turbochargers. Delivering over 1,000 horsepower on pump gas, this 515 cid (8.44-liter) mill is impeccably detailed and matched to a Bowler-modified GM TH400 automatic transmission which sends the massive power output through a torque tube located by a Corvette independent rear suspension system including 4.11:1 ring and pinion and custom-fabricated coil over shocks. Using racing fuel raises the engine’s power potential to 1,800 ponies. Consistent with the rest of “Imagine,” nothing about the interior is shared with another car. While inspired by the stylish original ’57 Chevy interior, 21st Century styling permeates the hand-built bucket seats, punctuated a custom floor console. A new single insert was incorporated into the dash and contains one-off custom gauges created by Classic Instruments. An Evod steering wheel was also created to lend the perfect finishing touch the richly finished and appointed Terra Cotta interior.

Following completion, “Imagine” immediately created a sensation everywhere it was shown and earned a succession of awards at many elite custom-car shows, including the aforementioned Ridler Award and inclusion in the “Great 8” at the 2018 Detroit Autorama, plus the Top 10 Battle of the Builder’s Young Guns and the Mother’s Shine awards at the 2018 SEMA show in Las Vegas. The 2019 show season was equally rewarding, with the multitude of awards garnered by “Imagine” including the Al Slonaker Award (Best in Show), Stitch of Excellence Award, Best Custom, Best in Class (Radical Hard Top) and Outstanding Display at the famed Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California. Other top accolades for “Imagine” in 2019 were earned at the World of Wheels at Birmingham, Alabama, the Darryl Starbird Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a return to the Detroit Autorama and the induction of Greg Hrehovcsik and Johnny Martin into the event’s Hall of Fame Circle of Champions. At the Chicago, Illinois World of Wheels, the ISCA finale, “Imagine” earned the ISCA Summit Racing Equipment Custom Champion of the Year, ISCA Summit Racing Equipment Grand Champion of the Year and Jack Trepanier Legacy Award (Johnny and Ryan Martin). At Canada’s Draggins Car Show, “Imagine” was named Best of the Best in Canada. The stunning product of a recently completed build with over two million dollars invested, “Imagine” is quite likely the most dominant award-winning custom in recent memory. A complete list of shows and awards accompanies its sale at auction. The new owner will certainly achieve an amazing new centerpiece for their collection – get ready to bid and “Imagine” it’s yours - one of the greatest custom cars ever built.

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