53 Chevrolet Bel Air Title

1953 Chevrolet Bel Air Custom

This is a project that has been evolving as it has progressed. The original plan was to create a 1950's to 1960's style custom, using a replacement 283ci chevy engine, as used in the 57 Bel Air's. Other plans for this model is to lower the suspension and possibly convert the stock wheel centres into lower profile alloys. But as I said at the beginning, this project is progressing and is evolving as I think of new things to do. This is the story so far.
Progress as of 12/02/2010: So off I go, started to do some de-trimming and remove the quarter light windows from the doors. Filling was done on the boot and bonnet where the badges and hood ornimate sits. In the engine bay, the battery and the shelf it sits on was cut out and a new panel was made from plasticard to fill the hole. I started to work on the engine and sat it in the engine bay, it looked too small for my liking so the decision was to go bigger. So out came a spare Chevy 454ci with a blower as a replacement for the 283ci, but after some delibaration, the thought of the blower sitting on top changed my mind. So a browse on SNC Hobbies website, I found the Ally Rat 502 TPI resin engine from Gibson and thought that would be ideal for this car. So plans change again and the car is going to be a modern style custom car, the kind that you might get from Chip Foose. More de-trimming was done to the body, resulting in the removal of the chrome trim along the side, but I wanted to keep the rear section for a little bit of the retro look. After some more thinking, out came the file and the ridge on the top half of the front wings were removed too. My plan is to french the lights so this ridge will not be required.
The new engine arrived and it was made up to the stage of the main block, heads and gearbox. On dry fitting in the engine bay, I noticed that there was no room to fit the exhaust manifolds to the heads. So some more surgery is going to be needed in the engine bay to accommidate them, this involves chopping out the existing inner wings and make up some new ones from plasticard. On the chassis, the molded exhaust system is being removed and the gapsin the underfloor will be repaired to match the opposite side. The fuel tank and spare wheel well have been cut out too, so a new floor will be made and the fuel tank will be stretched to be remounted. This is were I am at this stage of the build so far.
Update 30/03/2010: Well now, things have progressed on this project over the last month. The engine has had the mounts done for it and the inner wings have been chopped out then re-built. The suspension has been lowered by about 2mm with R&D Unique's disc brake set added. The exhaust was chopped out and the holes left in the floor was repaired, with the fuel tank stretched and refitted in position too. Other work done includes frenching the front and rear lights and more chrome trim removed.
Update 08/04/2010: I forgot there was some photographs still on my camera that were taken a few weeks ago, so they have been uploaded onto the website for viewing now.
Update 11/03/2011: I didn't realise that it had been so long since I had done an update on this project. Well, the progress is slow on the 53 BelAir due to other projects taking priority. Alterations to the inner wings in the engine bay to change their position for wheel clearance are being made. The rear suspension has had some bracing bars and a panard rod made to beef it all up. The interior has been started on with the dash being altered to fit a modern set of dials in it. I will add some new photos soon.

53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP
53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP
53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP
53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP
53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP 53 Bel Air Custom WIP
53 Bel Air Custom WIP        

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© Copyright Michael Lomax
All images © Copyright H M Lomax
Page Created 12/02/2010
Page last updated 11/03/2011