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55 Chevy radiused fender wells using front 55 fenders?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by texas rust, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. texas rust
    Joined: Nov 15, 2007
    Posts: 6

    texas rust

    Hello. Finally made up my mind to radius the rear wheel openings on my 55. I've searched the forums a bit and seen where other HAMBers were posting pics and ideas on using Volvo fender wells, of course the ever so expensive Nomad fender wells, and even 65/66 Mustang fender wells. Just curious if anyone had herd of or knew anything about using the 55 Chevy front fender opening on the rear quarter? I'm not even sure if it would look right? Just thought I would check with some of yall more experienced rodders out there, I've got a couple extra sets of front 55 fenders... Thanks.
  2. 55 Nomad rr wheel openings are the same as the front fndrs wheel opening. 55 Nomads are the only vehicle they've ever done that way.
  3. henry29
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,837


    I've seen it done before.
    I didn't think it looked very good.
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,455


    What's wrong with a piece of 1/2" EMT conduit and some bondo?

  5. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,727


    This is my old '55 Chevy taken around '75. The wheelwell was raised so I could run L60's. However, I prefer radius wells like the two lane black top '55.
  6. 296 V8
    Joined: Sep 17, 2003
    Posts: 4,666

    296 V8
    from Nor~Cal

    Good plan 55's need it bad
  7. texas rust
    Joined: Nov 15, 2007
    Posts: 6

    texas rust

    Ok. Thanks so much for all the info! I'll keep researching a bit more. And yes, nothing wrong with conduit and bondo. In my opinion that looks amazing on gasser style 55's without trim. I'm just trying to keep my trim and get a clean "could have been factory" look, much like the nomads.
  8. Canuck
    Joined: Jan 4, 2002
    Posts: 1,103


    My best friend did a 55 BelAir by raising the wheel well opening 1/2 way between the original opening and the BelAir chrome strip on the rear fender. Gave him the extra clearance he needed for the rear tires. 99 out of a 100 people didn't even notice it.

    Always liked the sleeper look.

    Sorry no pictures, work was done back in the late 60s. Car and friend no longer around.

  9. I also like, and use 1/2" emt. just roll it over a big tire. presto, done !! :D
  10. junkjunky
    Joined: Aug 19, 2009
    Posts: 110


    I've seen it on sedans. I plan on giving my hardtop that treatment.
  11. falfas55
    Joined: Apr 21, 2004
    Posts: 288


    Take 55 gallon drum lid and trace it out on the body,cut it slowly,take your time welding some 1/2 inch steel bar around the opening. you will get the results your looking for. Keyword: Take your time and don't rush. Your tire size should be no taller than 28 inches. I had L60-15 Indy tires.FALFA
  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,455


    THis sounds like a neat way to do it. I'm still suffering with the stock wheelwells on mine...they've been "clearanced" but not cut out.
  13. Rich Rogers
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 2,018

    Rich Rogers

    I'm dealing with the same thing on my 55, stock openings and 29 inch tire makes for a real pain in the ass. The tires have to go on the car flat, then inflate...LOL. I'm hoping to go gasser style this spring so I"ll be cutting the rears open. It'll really suck to have a flat on the road if I don't.
  14. redlinetoys
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,300

    from Midwest

  15. Ghost28
    Joined: Nov 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,200


    We used the front lip from a ford futura on the rear quarters of the same car.
  16. 53Hattie
    Joined: Mar 11, 2010
    Posts: 374


    I have an extra set of front fenders, and am planning to do this same thing on my '53 Bel Air, save that I'm not planning to raise the well height any higher than the rear was to begin with, ...just want to get away from the boxy contour of the original rear well [as I'm not running skirts] & happen to like the shape of the front well. When trimmed to that height, the front well is nearly identical in [overall] length to the original rear, but due to the fade-away starting further forward it appears slightly shorter. So, to compensate, I might add an inch or so of length in the center, ...there'll be enough left of the donors to scavenge the needed piece.

    GassersGarage & Ghost28, Both of your rigs look sweet done that way!
  17. overspray
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 1,297


    Don't have a picture, but I did what Ghost28 did on a 55 210 sedan. I cut the wheel openings out of a pair of bad 55 front fenders and spliced them in so I could still use the 210 qtr mouldings. It wasn't an exact perfect radius fit so I had to make a small piece to transition the lip so I could use them at the height I wanted to still be able to use the qtr mld. They turned out very good and the radius blended in nicely with the fronts, even though they weren't as high as the front or a Nomad qtr.
  18. Just going to throw this out there - I had an old AMT '57 Chevy model kit when I was doing models I wanted to redo as a custom, it had been done as a stock car, but was the original release which comes with special provisions to chop it. I had to fill in where the wheel arches had been cut out, so what I used as a donor was a junk AMT '51 Chevy body, and cut out the front fenders. It looked surprisingly good when it was done, because the front part isn't as tall as the rear I had to set them down a bit but they were bigger than a stock opening would be. Those arches are rounded but part of the top is flat.

    That might be another option for a real car, because you should be able to salvage that part out of a fender that is otherwise garbage, the only issue might be making the vertical contour match up. But because they're not completely round they'd probably fool people, or at least give them fits trying to figure out where they came from.
  19. FoxSpeed
    Joined: May 19, 2009
    Posts: 385

    from NorCal

    I cut the rear quarter panel to mimic the front opening. Then used steel rod to strengthen the radius. People look at the car, know something is different, but don't always pick it up, it looks stock.

    Attached Files:

  20. dannyjohn
    Joined: Feb 17, 2012
    Posts: 8

    from Concord,NC

    I measured the bottom of the opening of the wheel well. Divided in half. Used a string, compass point and pencil from center, traced out circle on a piece of cardboard. I was able to follow contour of the bottom of the well lip to 1/2 inch below the quarter trim. Getting ready to tack 1/2 inch emt conduit around for lip. Mold in with filler. 55 Chevy Gasser. dannyjohn.
  21. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,750

    Larry T

    It's kind of a pain to get the tires off my project too, but not near as hard as it was with 33 X 15's stuffed up under it.
    And something else to look at.

    Attached Files:

  22. Hey, I'm getting ready to do that to my Convert right now!
    Joined: Aug 24, 2010
    Posts: 88


    What i did worked out great.. went with 55 buick rear quarters... GM Factory open passenger car wheel wells from the same era....
  24. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    I always thought the nomad/front fender lip treatment looked pretty good. Guess its a seventies thing.
  25. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,006


    Me too,it looks great on other wagons, or sedan deliveries !
  26. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,562

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    Anyone got the old cut out peices laying around?
    I just bought a project 55 thats been cut out and I want to replace them.
    I actually already have one for drivers side that I cut out of a trashed 4 door quarter now I just need the passenger side.

    Attached Files:

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