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Ref # 70
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible



• Built for the 2017 ARP/STREET RODDER Road Tour
• Outstanding work by Chris Sondles at Woody’s Hot Rodz
• State-of-the-art SPEC Tri-Five chassis from Roadster Shop

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 1957 Chevrolet, we turned to Chris Sondles at Woody’s Hot Rodz to build a convertible for the 2017 ARP/STREET RODDER Road Tour. Licensed by GM, Woody’s can provide replacement body panels, complete body shells, or turnkey 1955, 1956, or 1957 Chevrolets built with new body stampings from Golden Star Classic Auto Parts, a leading supplier of reproduction body and trim parts.

Our Road Tour ragtop was based on the artwork of the very talented Eric Brockmeyer, it was then up to Woody’s to turn the image into reality. Construction began with the assembly of the Golden Star stampings utilizing Miller Electric welding equipment. We were able to watch as boxes of individual parts were combined to make a new 1957 Chevrolet—no small task, we can assure you.

With the body assembled, it was turned over to Woody’s body and paint department where the shell was covered with PPG’s waterborne Envirobase PPG Nickel Metallic. But as stunning as that color was there was more to come in the form of flames. To set the nose of the Chevy on fire a variety of PPG products were used, including a basecoat of Yella followed by a blended application of Orange Pearl and Oh So Sexy Red. Finally, for the ultimate gloss, the 1957 was covered from its flamed front to its finned tail in PPG’s DC4000 urethane clear. The final touch was the addition of XPEL Protection Film on the front fenders and hood to ward off road rash and make bugs easy to remove.

Given its classic design, other than the grille and some trim, the 1957 body was left original. However, the same can’t be said for what’s under the sheet metal. There’s nothing original to be found there, as our Chevy rides on a state-of-the-art SPEC Tri-Five chassis from Roadster Shop. Based on custom frame rails fabricated from rectangular tubing up front is an in-house-designed independent suspension system with Flaming River rack-and-pinion steering. In the rear are triangulated four-bars locating a Roadster Shop 9-inch axle housing. AFCO coilovers are used fore and aft and Wilwood disc brakes are found all the way around. Rolling stock is a combination of American Legend Racer series wheels; 18×7 front and 18×9 rear wrapped with Falken rubber, FK453 225/40-18 and 265/40/18, respectively.

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