Frame-off, rotisserie build completed in early 2016 / Build completed by the RKM Performance Center
6.2 liter Chevrolet Performance LS376/525 V8 / 525 horsepower
GM 4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission / Limited-slip differential / 3.73 gears
Custom genuine leather interior / Vintage Air conditioning / Modern audio
Custom PPG Jade Metallic and Mercedes-Benz Silver paint
Art Morrison chassis / Fourth generation Corvette suspension
Power rack-and-pinion steering / 4-wheel power disc brakes
18 and 20-inch Billet Specialties wheels
Custom Kooks exhaust
Sale includes restoration photos and restoration receipts
As the old saying goes: in life, only three things are guaranteed - death, taxes and Bel Airs at classic car events. At least, that's how the saying goes in OUR octane-fueled world. Of course, that list is a little unfair to tri-fives because, unlike death and taxes, old school Chevys are a lot of fun. And this RKM-built sedan, with its massaged LS3, incredible aesthetics and thoroughly modern mechanicals, blends an array of custom, driver-friendly attributes into a pro-touring package that virtually anyone can enjoy!
Sure, this killer combination of green and silver wasn't on the Chevy color chart back in 1955, but it certainly looks the part on this awesome Bel Air. These cars lend themselves to classic 2-tone better than anything in the hobby, and this hardtop's remarkable combination of Jade Metallic and Mercedes-Benz Silver certainly freshens up a timeless hot rod paint scheme. Interestingly, that scheme, and the car it's sealed to, came about through quite a bit of observation and planning. For starters, this Chevy's present owner purchased a clean classic http://www.rkmotorscharlotte.com/sales/inventory/sold/1955%20Chevrolet%20Bel%20Air/134437 from our RK Motors Charlotte inventory page. Then he cited a second Bel Air http://www.rkmotorscharlotte.com/sales/inventory/sold/1955%20Chevrolet%20Bel%20Air/134398 from our sold inventory page, that he loved the appearance of. Finally, he contracted the pros at our own RKM Performance Center to combine solid metal and lofty vision into an incredible, 6-figure pro-tourer.
The build began when the car was fully disassembled, mounted to a rotisserie and completely soda-blasted of its predictable Candy Red pigment. As we assumed, all steel was solid with the exception of the hood, which was replaced by a high quality reproduction piece. After some epoxy, a bit of primer and hours of blocking, the scene was set for wet-looking PPG 2-stage. But, as you probably noticed, the car that inspired this Bel Air's paint scheme actually had a Champagne Metallic base. Well, everyone seemed to agree that Mercedes-Benz Silver was a bit fresher looking. And as for the Jade, it was lifted directly from the muse with one exception: Fab Manager Darell Johnston mixed in copious gold flake to make it REALLY pop. The build was completed in early 2016, just in time for the car's owner to enjoy a full season of cruising. And, as you can tell from our high resolution photography, the RKM Performance Center's level of expertise pretty much speaks for itself.
Despite a relatively custom appearance, this bowtie's finishing pieces look so natural they could be mistaken for factory-spec. At the front of the car, a guarded bumper rides beneath a polished grille, clear parking lamps and bright halogen headlights. At the top of that grille, a peaked hood hangs an ornate Chevrolet crest opposite smoked glass that's founded in polished stainless and cleared by electric wipers. At the base of that post greenhouse, chrome door handles and classy Bel Air emblems dodge a polished driver's mirror and traditional trim spears. And at the back of that trim, retro blue-dot tail lamps illuminate polished exhaust tips, a second Chevrolet crest and a second guarded bumper.
Glance under this Chevy's domed hood and you'll find a gorgeous Chevrolet Performance LS376/525 that's been built, polished and tweaked to 10.7 to 1 compression and a stout 525 horsepower! At the top of the block, custom cold air components funnel wind in to a proven GM throttle body, which feeds a lightweight GM intake. That air meets spark in rectangular-port L92-style heads, which hide high-rate springs under polished Holley valve covers. A nodular crank, powdered connecting rods and hypereutectic pistons compress that volatile union. A racing-inspired ASA cam maximizes intake efficiency through better breathing. Speaking of breathing, the smooth mill funnels spent gases through ceramic-coated Sanderson headers. There's a polished Be Cool radiator that's slid between a polished condenser and spry puller fans. Modern serpentine components spin a rebuilt alternator beside a GM water pump. Quality ancillaries abound, including fresh AC Delco plug wires, a proven Wilwood master cylinder and polished Eddie Motorsports hood supports. And the car's smooth, Mercedes Silver engine bay is detailed with niceties like trick dipsticks, custom fuel rail covers, a polished expansion tank and a Mercedes Silver intake shroud.
Structurally, the '55 Chevrolet is an extremely versatile platform that can accept a wide variety of enhancements. And one look under this Bel Air provides a glimpse of how major modification can make a major difference. A full Art Morrison chassis rolls on a fourth generation Corvette suspension that's supplemented with adjustable coil-over-shocks. Behind the hot small block, a 3,000 RPM stall converter kicks a GM-supplied 4L60E 4-speed, which easily torques a limited-slip differential and big, 3.73 gears. At the front of the car, aluminum control arms frame power rack-and-pinion steering. Stops come courtesy of Baer and Corvette calipers, which utilize hydroboost assist to squeeze drilled and slotted rotors. An official soundtrack is composed by $2,350 worth of custom exhaust, installed by Kooks of Statesville, North Carolina, which wraps stainless, Mandrel-bent pipes around beefy mufflers. Grip is provided by stylish Billet Specialties blades, which spin 235/40ZR18 Michelin Pilot Super Sports in front of 275/35ZR20 Michelin Pilot Super Sports. And everything, from the car's finished floors to its fresh fuel tank, is purpose-built to tackle the asphalt.
Between the doors, traditional '50s style is augmented with $16,500 worth of custom leather that was installed by Chuck's Hot Rod Interiors of Mooresville, North Carolina. The car's gray and green seats, firm buckets that were sourced from a 2011 Camaro, feature power operation for both the driver and front passenger. In front of those thrones, a leather-capped dash dresses Dakota Digital telemetry and Vintage Air Gen III climate control in bowtie-branded stainless. Below that dash, a custom, full-length console anchors a short Lokar shifter between chrome power window switches and Pioneer touchscreen audio. Beneath that island, clean Daytona Carpet floats piped and color-keyed floor mats between stylized foot pedals and thorough Dynamat insulation. Opposite that rug, a German Wool headliner frames a polished mirror and custom dome lamp. In front of the driver, a small diameter steering wheel laps a tilting Ididit column. At the sides of the passengers, custom door panels hang sculpted grabs beneath billet handles and color-keyed frames. And behind the cockpit, a custom-upholstered trunk hides a built-in battery tender beside $2,100 worth of sound equipment that includes a JL Audio amp, JL Audio speakers, a hidden antenna and a JL Audio su...for more information please contact the seller.
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