In a remarkable tale of style and performance, former NBA player Steve Blake, along with his father, undertook a stunning makeover of a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible in 2004. The end result is a masterpiece that marries the classic allure of the ’55 Bel Air with modern power and flair. Let’s take a closer look at the details of this remarkable transformation.
A Visual Marvel: Refinishing and Chassis Upgrade
The original factory finish of Shoreline Beige and Gypsy Red was outshone when the car’s body was meticulously refinished in a captivating red and white scheme. As part of this extensive restoration, the body was separated from the frame and placed on a Morrison GT Sport chassis – a vital upgrade that set the stage for the car’s exceptional performance and handling.
Heart of Power: LS1 V8 Engine
At the heart of this Bel Air beats a potent 5.7-liter LS1 V8 engine, a testament to modern engineering prowess. This powerhouse is paired with a four-speed automatic transmission equipped with overdrive, delivering a seamless and exhilarating driving experience.
Refined Interior: Comfort and Style
Step inside, and you’re greeted by a meticulously reupholstered cabin. The front and rear bench seats are elegantly trimmed in red with white accents, creating an inviting and luxurious ambiance. The dashboard features an aluminum insert with a distinctive Bowtie motif, housing a clock, a VintageAir climate control system, and a Custom Autosound stereo. Every detail has been carefully considered to provide both comfort and style.
The Wheels and The Roar: Performance Upgrades
A set of chrome 17″ Cragar wheels, wrapped in high-performance Cooper Zeon RS3-G1 tires, ensures a confident grip on the road. The suspension system has been enhanced with a QA1 setup and rack and pinion steering, transforming the driving dynamics of this classic convertible. Braking prowess is amplified with four-wheel disc brakes sourced from a C5 Corvette, providing both safety and performance.
Unveiling The True Essence: Underneath and Beyond
Beneath the gleaming exterior lies a host of modifications that elevate this Bel Air’s performance to new heights. A dual exhaust system with Flowmaster resonators not only adds a distinctive growl but also enhances engine efficiency. The 9″ Ford rear differential and sleek chrome-finished Weiand intake manifold further accentuate the car’s impressive capabilities.
A Journey Through Time: Service and Ownership
Throughout its history, this modified Bel Air has seen careful ownership transitions. Acquired by the current owner in 2010, the car’s allure prompted its reacquisition in 2018. Recent service in November 2022 further attests to its well-maintained status, with tire replacements, fluid changes, and speedometer drive seal replacements ensuring that this classic convertible is in top-notch condition.
The LS1-Powered 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible stands as a testament to the fusion of classic aesthetics and modern performance. From the meticulously refinished exterior to the powerful LS1 V8 engine, every element has been carefully curated to provide an unforgettable driving experience. This remarkable transformation, helmed by former NBA player Steve Blake, captures the essence of automotive artistry.
FAQs About the LS1-Powered 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible:
- Who is Steve Blake, and what is his connection to this Bel Air? Steve Blake is a former NBA player who, along with his father, modified and refurbished this 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible in 2004, elevating its style and performance.
- What makes the LS1 engine special? The LS1 V8 engine is renowned for its power and efficiency, making it a popular choice among enthusiasts and performance aficionados.
- How has the interior been upgraded in this Bel Air? The interior boasts reupholstered bench seats, a VintageAir climate control system, and a Custom Autosound stereo, creating a comfortable and stylish cabin.
- What are the key performance upgrades to the chassis and suspension? The car features a Morrison GT Sport chassis, QA1 suspension, and rack and pinion steering, enhancing its handling and driving dynamics.
- Is the LS1-Powered 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible available for sale? Yes, this modified Bel Air is currently offered on dealer consignment, complete with a recent service record and a clean Oregon title.