Classics A 1955 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop Homebuilt by the Original Owner’s Son

18:53  16 april  2018
18:53  16 april  2018 Source:   HOT ROD

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“I remember my parents taking me to the drive-in movie in my father’ s 1955 Chevy , which he bought new,” he wrote. Frank’ s dad owned one of 185,562 1955 Bel Air hardtops produced, and used it to take his family to one of 4,000 drive-in theaters in America.

“I remember my parents taking me to the drive-in movie in my father’ s 1955 Chevy , which he bought new,” he wrote. Frank’ s dad owned one of 185,562 1955 Bel Air hardtops produced, and used it to take his family to one of 4,000 drive-in theaters in America.

Frank Donato of Pahrump, Nevada, was a lucky kid in the '50s. "I remember my parents taking me to the drive-in movie in my father's 1955 Chevy, which he bought new," he wrote. Frank's dad owned one of 185,562 1955 Bel Air hardtops produced, and used it to take his family to one of 4,000 drive-in theaters in America. He owned the car for the rest of his life.

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“I remember my parents taking me to the drive-in movie in my father’ s 1955 Chevy , which he bought new,” he wrote. Frank’ s dad owned one of 185,562 1955 Bel Air hardtops produced, and used it to take his family to one of 4,000 hardtop - homebuilt - by - the - original - owner -e2-80-99 s - son /ar-AAvw7H4.

"I knew how much he cherished that car," Frank said. "When he [died] I decided to restore it in his honor." The body-off rotisserie restoration took 10 years, with Frank performing all the work (with the exception of the interior) by himself in his garage.

The frame was sandblasted and repainted. Tubular control arms with 2-inch lowering spindles were installed. The Posi rearend runs 3.73 gears. Front and rear antisway bars stiffen the ride, and four-wheel disc brakes improve stopping. Frank stretched the rear wheelwells into tubs for the beefy BFGoodrich tires on 15-inch Americans.

A 383 from a 1995 Impala SS replaced the stock engine. "This engine fits the theme of the car better than an LS," Frank explained. With LS coil packs hidden in the toeboards, the 383 makes 450 hp at the rear wheels. The 4L60E trans is equipped with a shift kit.

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A 1955 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop Homebuilt by the Original Owner ’ s Son . Share this Story. Profile on a 1955 Chevy Bel Air hardtop . Author: Unknown.

"I remember that my parents took me into the drive-in movie in my father' s 1955 Chevy , which he bought new," he wrote. The number of 1955 Bel Air hardtops is harder to calculate, but Frank can be proud that the one his father bought is one of the survivors.

Red and white upholstery matches the paint. Conveniences include power steering, brakes, windows, and vent windows, plus keyless entry, electric trunk release, and Vintage Air A/C.

There are about 330 drive-in theaters left in America. The number of 1955 Bel Air hardtops is harder to calculate, but Frank can be proud that the one his dad bought new is among the survivors. "This car is going to stay in my family for more generations to come."

006-SROP-180800-IRON.jpg© Frank Donato 006-SROP-180800-IRON.jpg

Classic Instruments Tech Tip

Checking for Signal

If your speedometer quits working and you have a speedometer cable drive on your transmission, first test to make sure you still have a signal. To test the functionality of a Classic Instruments SN16 pulse signal generator, first unscrew it from the transmission. Disconnect the harness and measure the voltage on the harnesses plug between the red and black wires (with the vehicle's key on). You should be getting 12 V. Next, plug in the harness to the pulse generator and measure voltage between the white and black wires (do this from the back of the speedometer while everything is connected). Connect a drill to the shaft in the center of the pulse signal generator and spin the shaft. The voltage on the white (signal) wire should change to around 6 V if there is a good signal. If the voltage doesn't change, you may have a bad pulse generator or a problem with the connection of the white signal wire.

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