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Chevy "west coast frame"? ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by vectorsolid, May 26, 2009.

  1. vectorsolid
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 498

    from Montana

    Buddy of mine with some serious junk 1955-56-57 chevy 4-door cars is convinced that what's left of these cars, which is basically a shell (no hoods, grilles, fenders, gutted and parted out interiors) and half the doors, is worth big money due to something called a "west coast frame".

    I did a bit of googling on the matter and struck out. I'm of the opinion they are worth potentially $50 each due to scrap. Nothing much left on them of value. Been picked over for 40 years.

    value? No value?

    appreciate the time.
  2. povertyflats
    Joined: Jan 8, 2007
    Posts: 8,280

    from Missouri

    We have one from a 57 wagon that we think is worth good money.
  3. The so-called California frame,or one piece tube lightweight frame is not so rare as a lot of people think.They were produced in other assembly plants also.My 56 was built in Ohio and it has one.I had another junker from up north that had one.I tried to sell it for 3 years at swap meets and finally got $100 for the frame.If it isn't rusted out I think 100 bucks is about all it is worth.
  4. leon renaud
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,934

    leon renaud
    from N.E. Ct.

    from 55-57 Chevy had 3 different frame suppliers.I got ripped a new one once when my son and I were visiting a friend of his that restores tri 5 Chevies.I spotted a "nascar" frame leaning against a wall and pointed it out to my son.I got a reaming by the guy about it along with him dragging out several restoration books and magazines one had a several page article on the different frames offered in those years.We used convertable frames or the Holy Grail NASCAR frames for building stock cars out here.The West Coast /NASCAR frame was made of bent 1 piece box tubing .The convertable frame was made of 2 C sections interlinked to form a box. tube.I don't remember every detail of the mix that you could get of the 3 different sedan frames but the tubing frames weren't that common here.I did learn that the tube frame was a regular production chassis that you might find under any tri 5 and the frames could be found in no particular order on the assembly line.I'm not sure how the NASCAR thing started but thats was the rumor out here i was raised calling them NASCAR or California frames.
    Last edited: May 26, 2009

  5. CrkInsp
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 513

    from B.A. OK

    I've seen them called alot of things including JUNK. Most of them rust out long before they should. Lack of interior coating.
  6. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,612

    from SUGAR CITY

    Here is one for a tri five on ebay right now.

    Click Here!!
  7. West Coast Frame is a mis-nomer. I have had several documented cars built at other plants (such as Norwood, Cincinnati Ohio) that had one piece frames. Different years had some different distribution, but basically there were several "suppliers" that GM got the frames from and it seems nearly random.

    Maybe they got the west coast reputation because they were more common at the CA plants, but I don't know that for a fact.

    Maybe they are a hair lighter. As far as I know, the only extra value is that if you were going total show car you could smooth and paint the one piece frames and make them look a little better than the two piece.

    There are some other differences, in the A-frame/motor mount area, and the width at the rear (if you are putting in an aftermarket shock brace, for example)

    Convertibles were all two piece frames.

    In this day and age, I have watched the value of (modified) stock frame cars dip in value - the hot setup is the Art Morrison chassis or similar, as opposed to an updated original frame.

    I wouldn't pay any extra for a "one piece" frame. I powdercoated my last one gloss black and it was a thing of beauty. But if I built another one, I'd probably use a true updated chassis.

  8. The only way they could honestly be called a "Nascar" frame would be if they still had the Black Widow sitting on top of it! :)

    Would I pay extra for that frame. Not likely.
  9. Got one for a '57.. I dont like the way they look up front where the suspension section is added.. I ended up buying an aftermarket frame.. looks way better and was a lot easier.
  10. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,492


    Exactly right. You see alot of them here in the midwest. Cars built in Janesville Wisconsin and Norwood Ohio used them. It just depended on what company supplied the frames to the assembly plants. Price for a used one should be about the same as for any other 55 - 57 frame, based on condition and body style application.

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