While working the show at SEMA this past fall, we stopped by the Classic Industries booth and checked out the very cool 1956 Chevrolet “Open Air” Bel Air that was part of a build sponsored by Classic Industries, and restored on Chop Cut Rebuild with Dan Woods. The television show on SPEED has shown us that you can resto-mod a classic car with thousands of parts that anyone can get from Classic Industries through their parts catalogs.
We, as well as many others, fell in love with the ’56 Chevy at SEMA. When we saw that this Bel Air and the other five resto-mods were all heading out to the Grand National Roadster Show on January 25-27 in Pomona, California, as part of Classic Industry’s 35th Anniversary celebration, we knew we had to share these beauties with you.
If you followed Chop Cut Rebuild regularly for the past few seasons, some of these cars may look familiar to you – they’ve been on television and in many national publications, and all over the interweb. If you haven’t seen them before, then you’re definitely going to get some eye candy with these red and silver themed vehicles.
The list of parts on these cars is a virtual who’s who in the performance aftermarket, and nearly all of these parts can be purchased through Classic Industries or OER. These parts come from Painless Wiring, Chris Alston’s Chassisworks, RideTech, Magnaflow, BeCool, B&M, Afco, Ididit, Dakota Digital, Moser, Heidts, Holley, Flaming River, Art Morrison, and the list is almost endless. With eight classic and modern parts catalogs, Classic Industries is bound to have what you need for your classic Chevrolet or Mopar.
Camotion – 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
Starting with the 1969 “Camotion” Camaro, you’ll find a GM LS1 crate engine under the hood, backed by a Tremec T56 Magnum 6-speed manual transmission. It started life as a shell of a car that needed some sheet metal in a bad way. With new sheet metal from OER, the car began to look like it used to, and the Swiss cheese look was no more.
The Chris Alston Chassisworks Subframe and RideTech four-link rear end glue this car to the ground with VariShock coilovers all the way around. Auto Meter Carbon Fiber Series gauges inform the driver of vital engine functions, and Scat’s ProCar low back seats keep him in place.
Sweet Imotion – 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS
Who says big cars from the 1960s aren’t cool? This ’64 Impala proves that they are very cool, and that you can still find awesome parts for yours if it’s in need of some help. Classic Industries provided parts for “Sweet Imotion”, which started it’s resurrection as three donor cars, and the media blasting and stripping began to make one sweet ride out of this ’64.
The ZZ454 BBC is a beast of a motor in this Impala, topped with a Holley Street Avenger carburetor and twisting the crank through a TH400 transmission and a Super Torque Street Converter. RideTech supports this car with air suspension, giving the driver the ability to change the stance on this Impala to match the attitude it exudes. Classic Performance provides 2″ drop spindles, and the Currie 4.11 9-inch rear end puts the power to the rear wheels.
Innovation – 1966 Chevy II/Nova
The Pony car of the bunch is “Innovation”, an ultra cool 1966 Chevy II/Nova that shows big things can come in smaller packages. The 350ci SBC is putting the power through a TH350, with a 600 cfm Holley carburetor sitting on a GM Performance Parts dual-plane intake manifold. Pulling the air out of the engine is a custom Magnaflow exhaust system.
The B&M Quicksilver Shifter looks right at home in the interior, as is the Ididit tilt steering column. Braking on this mighty-mite is done with 12-inch Wilwood rotors and and calipers, and the 2-inch drop spindles give it just the right look. Heidts’ Superride II subframe is also a great fit to help stiffen up the front end and give this pony car the performance it needs in the front suspension, and the Diff-Works 3.42 geared 12-bolt posi keeps traction to the rear wheels.
Shop Truck – 1953 Chevy Pickup
This 1953 Chevrolet Shop Truck took on a different aspect of restoration. Although a couple of trucks were looked at prior to the build to be donor vehicles, this truck was a completely “new” vehicle that was built and completed by employees at Classic Industries.
Rather than having a professional shop do the deed, enthusiasts at Classic who spend time wrenching on their own cars gave up their time to show off the new Tech Center at Classic, a 5,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility with all the latest in restoration tools and equipment. The reproduction ’53 truck body covers up their handiwork, and that body came straight from the Classic Industries parts catalog.
The TCI chassis has SSBC Force 10 brakes and a GM Performance ZZ383 SBC for power, with Doug’s Headers and a Magnaflow exhaust complete with Race Pro mufflers. MSD handles the juice for the ignition system, and the B&M 700R4 turns the driveshaft back to the Moser rear end. Like the rest of the vehicles, the American Racing Salt Flat wheels give the classic look to a cool build.
“Twisted” – 1972 Plymouth Duster
Even the non-Mopar fans have to admit that this “Twisted” 1972 Duster is a great addition to the resto-mod stable at Classic Industries, built for SEMA 2011. Powered by a modern Gen III 426 HEMI, this Duster breathes new life into a never-aging body style that looks good on the road and at the strip. Changing gears is done by a TCI 6X 6-speed automatic and is controlled by an EZ-TCU, and even pays homage to the push-button transmissions of yore with a push-button console by Mastershift mounted just to the right of the Dakota Digital instruments.
Putting the power to the 245/45/17 BFG rubber is a Moser built 8.75-inch rear end with a Detroit Locker spinning 4.11 gears. Stopping power comes from Wilwood brakes tucked up inside the themed Salt Flat American Racing wheels, and suspension is handled by an Alter-K-tion tubular K-member and control arms up front, and a Street-Lynx rear suspension kit.
“Open Air” – 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air
And for SEMA 2012, the 1956 Chevrolet “Open Air” Bel Air proved that even though Twisted was a hard act to follow it’s in great company. The only roadster in the bunch, this Bel Air makes for one classic “Open Air” charmer that turns heads everywhere it goes. It was hard to get a picture of this super-clean ’56 without a crowd around it, and of course we had to talk to Dan Woods about this build.
With a modern powerplant, the potent supercharged LSA from GMPP and a TCI 6X 6-speed auto, cruising anywhere with this car is going to be done with plenty of response from the go-stick. Using a complete convertible body from Real Deal Steel Bodies, the transformation of convertible to roadster required the new body and an Art Morrison chassis because the original body was so rusted that it wasn’t going to hold up. The staggered four-link rear end supports the Ford 9-inch with Currie internals, and the coilover suspension makes this Tri-Five handle with the best of them.
And don’t forget that Classic Industries has parts for your classic Chevrolet car or truck as far back as 1943, modern Chevrolet Camaros, and also Mopar A, B, and E bodies from 1960-76. When it comes to restoring – or resto-modding – your favorite car, be sure to check out Classic Industries, and to look for these six red-and-silver beauties at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona this month. Happy 35th Anniversary Classic Industries!