The cars from the 1950s has always received love and respect from classic car fans, the 50s cars are always enjoyed in their original condition. The classy style, reliable bodies, and great power are the reasons why the mid ‘50s cars are adored by many. The 1950s classic cars are great projects for restoration and relive their glory days of large steering wheels and bench type seats that is perfect for dates. But there is always that special person that will want something more.
That one person is Nu Nu Lowry, who wanted a powerful car that had a performance similar to the Corvette during that time, and could attract crowds in a show. Nu Nu achieved that with his 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air that looks like it just came out of production, but its performance has been greatly improved.
Nu Nu is already experienced in working with Tri Five Chevrolets after he started a shop in 1984 at Ooltewah, Tennessee. He has worked with several stock restoration and really loves working with them. “I have always found good cars to build,” Nu Nu said. He prefers working with original cars that are in great condition no matter what type of build it will go into. The featured car is a perfect example of a rush free original car that he used on his build, this car was owned by Bill Coker who is Harold Coker (founder of Coker Tire). Nu Nu said that the hardest part of this project was how to add more power and improve its drive without tarnishing the classic look of this Chevy.
Nu Nu started by modifying an original chassis in his shop, boxing the framerails, refined the factory seams, and covered the weld, perfecting the build in the smallest detail. Modified stock-style control arms were used as front suspension, Nu Nu made the suspension stronger while making it look clean. To make room for QA1 coilovers, the front spring and shock absorber’s arrangement were modified making the nose point lower to the ground with adjustable shock settings calibrated to improve the handling and comfort of the ride. A CPP power steering gearbox completes the drivetrain for faster ratios than the stock box.
The belly of the beast is where Nu Nu’s talent shines, removing everything 1955 and putting 2016. The stock small-block engine has been replaced by a Chevrolet Performance LS3 crate engine that provides 525 horsepower while still making it street legal. It would’ve been impossible to produce that much power back in the 50s. The LS engine has a 10.7:1 compression ratio, and takes advantage of cylinder head efficiency to achieve that much power. The camshaft specs were also limited, but it still gives enough lift to make a great sound together with the custom stainless steel exhaust from Craig Brooks from Knoxville, Tennessee. A Mattson polished aluminum radiator cools the powerful LS3 with its aluminum radiator support and A/C condenser. The internal AC is a Vintage Air System.
The body of the Chevy was all stock. Nu Nu together with Ken Meredith worked with the bodywork and painted it. Several coats of primer and block sanding was done before it was ready for the black paint. Ken applied the Lowry Black pain with Sikken materials which was then followed by several hours of buffing, sanding, and polishing the paint to achieve that shiny reflective surface that gives emphasis on the edgy body panels. After the trims are done, and you can clearly see the classy red leather interior through the newly installed windshield.
The greatest thing about Nu Nu’s new car is the fact that it drives and feels like a modern ride but still retaining the classic 1950s style. The elevation is just right for you to enjoy a good drive, the engine is good to go, and the 6-speed automatic transmission gives a low-rpm drive. Everything looks good and this Chevy is ready to cruise the road after a few laps on the track. The car was first seen on the Shades of the Past last September 2015 where it won as Top 25 award winner. Nu Nu certainly achieved his dream of having a car that looks as original as they come while having the performance that GM could’ve never made back in 1955.
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