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Chevrolet’s Golden Era!

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SPECIAL REPORT
2016 DACC 40th Anniv
'55-'57 Chevy Show



SPECIAL REPORT
2011 Lone Star

Classic Chevy  Convention



SPECIAL REPORT
2010 Nomad Convention



SPECIAL REPORT
2009 SEMA SHOW



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2008 Hot August Nights



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2007 Power Tour



2007 Dallas Morning News
50th Anniversary Review of the 1957 Chevy



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Dallas Area Classic Chevys


February's FEATURE CAR
Mark & Cathy Lambrecht's
1955 Bel Air Hardtop
Anna, Texas

As with many Tri-Five owners, this story started fifty-five years ago with my first car…a nice 1955 Bel Air convertible that I purchased in 1963 for $350.  A lot of money in the day, especially for a junior in high school.

I spent all my extra cash upgrading the car to my liking.  After all, it needed some work.  First was a new paint job; I wanted my car to stand out with fresh candy apple red paint and a new white convertible top.  And, of course, a new interior which was white rolled and pleated vinyl.

Then I focused my attention on the mechanics.  First came the engine.  I upgraded the 2 bbl. 265 to a junkyard find; a 283 powerpack 4bbl.  Then I switched out the manual 3-speed for a four speed and a 4:11 rear end.  Nothing better than cruising Austin in a beautiful ‘55 Chevy convertible with all my friends, and able to hold its own if I was challenged.  At least from stop light to stop light!

Then came college, girls and other priorities, so I sold the ‘55 and moved on to a beautiful white with red/black hounds-tooth interior ‘60 Impala with a 348!  Then life, career, family and things… just happened.

Fast forward to 2016.  As I was thinking about retirement, and, looking for a hobby to keep me busy…it hit me like a “ton of bricks”.  You need to find a restored ‘55 Chevy that you can tinker with.  One that is in great shape but still needing some special TLC.  That’s when I found my current ‘55.  A driver with great body, paint, interior and mechanicals.  Her name... “Peggy Sue”.

Her history is pretty straight forward.  She was born as a red/white 6 cyl. automatic beauty, delivered to an Iowa dealer and sold to a family in Wisconsin, where she spent most of her life.  Later, at some point, she was purchased by a Cincinnati, Ohio car enthusiast who performed a terrific partial restoration; body, paint, interior, carpet, new SBC engine, four-speed, and more completed in 2007.  This restomod was later purchased by a Pennsylvania car collector whom I bought her from in 2016.

After looking all over, both locally and online, and making several offers for similar cars that didn’t work out, I finally made the purchase and had her shipped to Texas.  She was exactly as expected; great body, paint and interior, good mechanics and smooth ride.  But I just couldn’t leave things alone.  After all, I wanted to tinker. My goal was to make this ‘55 look original, but improve the ride, and performance and safety…something I would be comfortable driving whenever and wherever I want.

First priority…rewire and convert to digital gauges.  Once I saw that a prior owner (probably the restorer) had tapped the original seven-circuit fuse box with an additional seven or eight piggy-backs on an overloaded fuse box with original glass fuses, I knew my first move was to rewire the car, with new circuit breakers, and upgrade the gauges to digital.  So, American Autowire and Dakota Digital gauges to the rescue.  Voila!

Then came the wheels and tires.  For some reason, the restorer added 14” wheels, with lancer style wheel covers and WW tires.  Since my game plan was to visually bring the ‘55 up to original standards, visually…the 14” wheels, lancers, etc. had to go.  I immediately replaced them with 15” wheels and OEM style wheel covers and new WW tires.  Now she looks like she’s supposed to!  All dressed up and ready to dance!

From a distance, she looks like an original ‘55 Chevy Bel Air two door hardtop.  But lift the hood and you see a different story.  A chromed SBC with all the goodies, including Vintage A/C, variable speed electric fan, front power disc brakes, Hedman headers, electronic ignition, aluminum radiator, and much more.

Next, I wanted to improve the stance and suspension.  So, I replaced the original front end, lowered springs, sway bar, and steering with all new parts, lowering the front-end stance 1.5”. Wicked!

The next item on the project list was to improve the highway performance.  The four-speed was nice but had to go.  So, I installed a new Tremec 5-speed with overdrive.  A huge improvement in performance and highway gas mileage.  And I upgraded to power steering.  Route 66, here we come!

But the biggest improvement came with the engine.  You see, I was told several stories about what the engine was; 350 crate, ZZ4, Vortec, 30-over, etc.  So, I spent quite a bit of time running down block and head numbers, to really find that I had a respectable 1987 to 1995 truck engine. I decided to upgrade this SBC by rebuilding it by adding new higher compression free-flowing vortec aluminum heads, high rise intake, flat-top pistons, roller cam, lifters, rockers, big carb, etc.  So, I did and now have an SBC that really gets down the road, after dyno-tune.  And looks great too!

Oh, and of course, I needed to tinker with the tunes…new speakers and slide-bar digital radio with Bluetooth, iPod, USB and Sirius/XM satellite radio.  Happy Times!

Next big project; upgrade to either a 9” Ford or 12 bolt Chevy rear end and new rear suspension.  Maybe next year.

This all sounds like more than tinkering, I know.  But, with all 63-year-old classic cars…there’s always something else to do.  After all, I’m retired with plenty of time and never satisfied.

My wife and I have bought her out too many gatherings and shows over the last couple of years.  We hope to expand our “territory” a bit each year and look forward to meeting more DACC members along our journey.

“Love You, Peggy Sue”

Mark & Cathy Lambrecht, Anna, Texas


 

MORE PHOTOS
HERE

2019 Feature Cars

January
Steven Mensik

1957 Panel Truck


February
 

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

 

2018 Feature Cars


January
Duffy Oyster
1957 Convertible

 


February
Andy Kuchta
1955 Pickup

 

March
Steven Mensik
1957 Convertible

April
Duffy Oyster
1957 Bel Air Hardtop

May
Bobby Bonds
1955 210 Sedan

June
Kevin Sears
1955 Bel Air Sedan

July
Matt Heit
1956 Bel Air Sedan

August
Ken Horton
1957 Bel Air Hardtop

September
David Graves
1956 Corvette

October
Don Beck
1955 Bel Air Hardtop

November
Robin Collord
1955 Nomad

December
Clint Davis
1955 2nd Series Pickup

 

2017 Feature Cars

January
Larry Myers

'57 Nomad

February
David Hudson
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

March
Diane Bray
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

April
Dale Maddox
'56 Nomad

May
Terry Adams
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

June
Al Burgess
'56 Bel Air Hardtop

July
Joey Truelove
'56 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Duffy Oyster
'55 Bel Air Convertible

September
Roy Bilberry
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Dale Maddox
'56 Nomad

November
Johnny Gentry
'57 Pickup

December
Dennis Fletcher
'55 210 Sedan

 

2016 Feature Cars

January
John Green

'55 Bel Air Sedan

February
Dennis Gormley
'56 Nomad

March
Ken Burton
'56 Bel Air Sedan

April
Joe Angelini
'55 Bel Air Sedan

May
John Gibson
'56 Bel Air Sedan

June
Keith Brogdon
'55 Bel Air Sedan

July
No Feature Car

August
Mike D'Uva
'55 Nomad

September
Charles Haley
'57 Bel Air Sedan

October
John Yoby
'55 210 Sedan

November
Duffy Oyster
'55 Convertible

December
Ed Giolma
'57 Nomad

 

2015 Feature Cars

January
Al Thomson

'57 Convertible

February
Gunnar Grove
'55 Handyman Wagon

March
Carl Mitcham
'57 Convertible

April
Rico Padilla
'57 Bel Air

May
Bobby Wallace
'56 Bel Air

June
Donna Johnson
'57 Convertible

July
Jody Stiff
'55 Bel Air

August
Bill Preston
'57 Corvette

September
Ronnie Ruyle
'56 210 2dr Sedan

October
Patrick Briney
'55 Bel Air 2dr Sedan

November
Marvin Johnson
'55 Bel Air 2dr Hardtop

December
James Lair
'57 150 Sedan

 

2014 Feature Cars

January
Marvin Johnson

'57 Nomad

February
Gina Cammarata
'57 Be Air

March
Joe Angelini
'55 Handyman

April
Jack Stewart
'55 Convertible

May
Marvin Johnson
'57 Bel Air

June
Jac Broussard
'57 Bel Air

July
Terry Sealock
'57 Nomad

August
Bill Lewis
'56 Deluxe Pickup

September
Tom Entrekin
'56 Corvette

October
Donna Thomson
'56 Convertible

November
Mike Reeves
'56 Nomad

December
Jim Baughan
'55 Convertible

 
2013 Feature Cars

January
Don Andre
'57 Bel Air 2dr Hardtop

February
Don Sebert
'56 Corvette

March
Mike Dodson
'56 210 2dr Sedan

April
Dennis Gormley
'55 210 Sedan Drag Racer

May
Sharkey Nelson
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

June
AJ Pilie
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

July
Joe Harrington
'56 Pickup

August
Jim Gary
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

September
Kenneth Taylor
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Don Howard
'56 210 2dr Sedan

November
Tommy Sims
'55 210 2 Dr Sedan

December
Leroyce Jones
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2012 Feature Cars

January
Tom Walker
'56 Sedan Delivery

February
Don Mullins
'57 150 2dr Sedan

March
John Rogers
'56 Nomad

April
Jim Leinart
'55 210 Sedan

May
James Carter
'57 Bel Air

June
Rob Bryngelson
'57 210 Sedan

July
Mike Jones
'55 Bel Air Sedan

August
Jon Ellison
'57 Pickup

September
Jim Leinart
'55 210 Sedan

October
Ken Dobbs
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

November
Rich Purvis
'55 Nomad

December
Philip Romo
'55 Bel Air Sedan

 

2011 Feature Cars

January
Andy Salinas
'56 Bel Air

February
Scott Hengemuhle
'57 Bel Air

March
Joe Mason
'57 210

April
Mike Reeves
'57 Convertible

May
Josh Hart
'55 Bel Air

June
Ed Robertson
'55 Nomad

July
James Sparrow
'56 Bel Air

August
Mike Russell
'56 210

September
Top 5 Lone Star Picks

October
Jim Leinart
'55 Bel Air

November
David Sherman
'55 Nomad

December
Michael Brown
'57 Convertible

 

2010 Feature Cars

January
Larry Freeman

'56 Convertible

February
Michael Brown
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

March
Ray Langford
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

April
Billy Walker
'55 Drag Racer

May
Terry Sealock
'57 Convertbile

June
Carl Soeffker
'55 Pedal Car

July
Tom McGee
'55 Bel Air Sedan

August
Scott Hengemuhle
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

September
Bryan Greenfield
'56 210 Sedan

October
Larry Rogers
'57 210 Sedan

November
Mike Bresler
'55 210 Sedan

December
Terry Hitch
'57 Nomad

 

2009 Feature Cars

January
Doug Pedersen

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

February
Bennie Zimmerman

'57 Cameo Pickup

March
Ralph Sandlin

'57 210 Wagon

April
Bob Caruth

'56 Bel Air Hardtop

May
Glen South
'57 210 Sedan

June
Brian Sherwood
'55 1st Series 3100 Pickup

July
James Carson
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Marvin Cowden
'55 Bel Air Sedan

September
Loren Baxter
'56 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Mark Baker
'55 210 Sedan

November
Michael Brown
'57 Corvette

December
Geoff Clark
'55 Handyman Wagon

 

2008 Feature Cars

January
Debbie Guido

'57 Bel Air Sedan

February
Tim Page

'57 Bel Air Station Wagon

March
Greg Strader

'55 Bel Air Sedan

April
Stu Jacobs

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

May
Terry Box

'55 Bel Air Sedan

June
Rex Buzan

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

July
Joe Sanders

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Mike Dodson

'56 Nomad

September
Irv Engelbrecht

'55 210 Sedan

October
Bill Raley

'56 Pickup

November
Bob Brandenburg

'57 Bel Air Sedan

December
Tommy Simmons

'57 210 9 Pass Beauville Wagon

 

2007 Feature Cars

January
Lorenzo Castillo
'55 210 Sedan

February
Phil Haynes

'57 150 Sedan

March
Joe Ortega

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

April
Robert Black

'55 Sedan

May
Ben Weehunt

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

June
Jim Sellstrom

'55 Bel Air Sedan

July
Bob Smolik

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Mike Reeves

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

September
Larry Epperson

'57 Bel Air 4dr Hdtp

October
Mike Cook

'55 Convertible

November
Don Clark

'56 Nomad

December
James Carter

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2006 Feature Cars

January
Jim Conkle
'55 Bel Air Sedan

February
Nick Roppollo
'56 Bel Air Sedan

March
Dennis Gormley
'55 210 Sedan

April
George Caruth

'57 Sedan Delivery

May
Bob Vaughan

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

June
Doyle Irick

'57 Cameo Pickup

July
Mark Lamkin

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Ralph Ellis

'57 Convertible

September
Chuck Rader

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Dan Bunch

'57 Bel Air Sedan

November
Frank Makarauskas

'57 210 Sedan

December
Carl Mitcham

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2005 Feature Cars
January
John Rush
'56 210 Sedan
February
Sharkey Nelson
'57 Limo
March
Joe Gaikoski
'56 Convertible
April
Dean Schmidt
'57 Bel Air Hardtop
May
Lewis Reynolds
'55 210 Sedan
June
Tom Walker
'57 Bel Air Hardtop
July
George Johnson
'56 Nomad
August
Sonny Poteet
'55 Bel Air Hardtop
September
Alan Strong
'57 150 Sedan
October
Rodney Nevils
'56 Corvette
November
Tom Blackburn
'57 Bel Air Hardtop
December
Dennis Lind
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2004 Feature Cars
January - none February - none March - none April
Steve Pratt
'55 Bel Air Sedan
May
Larry Rollow
'57 210 Sedan
June
Marvin Johnson
'56 Bel Air Hardtop
July
Kevin Brown
'56 210 Sedan
August
David Graves
'55 Bel Air Hardtop
September
BJ Bucher
'57 150 Sedan
October
Greg Hedum
'55 Bel Air Hardtop
November
Bill Preston
56 Nomad
December
Ron Davis
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

 

 


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