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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys:

Since I'm not too far along yet with this build I figured I'd start a thread here from the beginning. I also have some pics of this on the tri-five forum and Hotrodders.com site.

I bought my '55 a few years back as a stalled race car project. It was nothing more than an empty shell with a rotted floor and a few parts bolted onto it. It sat as I finished up my '67 Firebird project and now that my 'bird is running I have slowly started on this one. My first task was to get the paperwork squared away, and then I tore out the rusty floors. I've since replaced the inner rockers, rebuilt some of the floor supports and reinstalled that. I also added some extensions onto the frame for future roll bar structure. I also replaced the rusty trunk floor, however, I only used smaller patch panels as I didn't see the benefit of paying more $$ for a full trunk floor when I'd be chopping half of it back out to make room for the wheel tubs that came with the car.

The previous owner chopped out the wheel wells with a plasma cutter and took out too much material, so I'll be making some flanges to fill in the gaps (you'll see that in the last pics). That'll be my next task and then onto the passenger side tub.

My goal with this build is to make a rough looking yet wallet friendly build. I spent way too much on my last car so I'd like to keep this one a little more reasonable. It'll be streetable, have a clutch pedal, run on pump gas, and scare prius owners. It'll probably more poser than full on race car. No idea on powerplant yet. The car came with some aftermarket leaf springs and traction bars, and I've located a front axle from a '57 chevy truck so it'll have a good stance, and I've already scored some 200s rims (same as the '55 from 2 lane blacktop).





photoweb2.jpg DSC_0002web.jpg IMG_4940web.jpg IMG_4942web.jpg IMG_4943web.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
IMG_5520web.jpg IMG_5529web.jpg IMG_5534web.jpg IMG_5535web.jpg IMG_5546web.jpg

I made some flanges to attach the wheel tubs to the insides of the quarter panels. these were tricky as they are compound curves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
IMG_5547web.jpg IMG_5881web.jpg IMG_5882web.jpg

One wheel tub in, and I noticed that the previous owner didn't install the quarters as accurately as I'd like. So I trimmed part of the corner off to align the bumper flange area better.
 

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Wow looks like you got your work cut out for you....It also looks like you want it done right...great job, Brendon
 

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Hey Brendon welcome to the site. Nice fabrication work. That 55 is sweet. It's third on my wish list. Lol. 41 willys 1st. My Chevy 2nd and 55 third.
Looks like you're no stranger to fabrication. Nice work. Keep the pics coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, guys! I tend to be a glutton for punishment, but I'd rather do it like this than spending a lot of money buying something I'm not happy with and end up re-doing that anyhow. I figure I'm money ahead this way, plus I get to learn a lot along the way, and I get to be proud of what I've built when I'm done. I've also come to realize that I have as much fun building a car as I do driving it.

I'll be busy these next several weeks but I plan to get more done on this over the winter
 

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I've had a few friends who started builds with what appeared to be very solid cars, only to find them full of rust and bondo. I'd rather start out knowing it was rusty, than pay for solid and then have to fix rust. That's some major work there, but when you're done you'll know exactly what you've got.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've had a few friends who started builds with what appeared to be very solid cars, only to find them full of rust and bondo. I'd rather start out knowing it was rusty, than pay for solid and then have to fix rust. That's some major work there, but when you're done you'll know exactly what you've got.
I agree completely.

The funny thing is, after all the work I did on my '67 Firebird- this project feels like a model kit
 

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At least with a '55 Chevy there is no shortage of aftermarket sheet metal you can buy! I feel sorry for the guys who buy something less common, and have to make every piece of metal they need to patch in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I had some time this weekend so I got back out in the garage and worked on my car a little. I roughed out the wheel openings, and made more flanges for the pass side. I also made a patch for the trunk floor to fill in some material that a previous owner chopped out and cleaned up the area where the wheel tub will go on the pass side.

I had to make a small patch pice on the back of the driver quarter after moving the panel down to align the bumper area better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
IMG_6090web.jpg IMG_6091web.jpg IMG_6092web.jpg IMG_6093web.jpg Here's a few pics to show why it takes me so long to do this- I make my parts the hard way as I don't have the industrial shop tools like a nice big hand brake or metal shear to make this job quickly. Actually, I find it fun to do this and I get a good sense of accomplishment from it when it turns out well.

With this I hammered one side down 90º, used a hammer and dolly to straighten it out as best I can, and trimmed it out. Then I use a shrinker/ stretcher to shape as needed. I made this part into the flange in my trunk floor.
 

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Brenden, the angle looks great. For the trunk floor have you considered using a bead roller, which will add strength to the sheet metal floors? You can pick up a bead roller from Harbor Frieght fairly cheap. You are making great progress! What a cool car.
 
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