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Customs The Tri-5 Dork

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,868

    from Indy

    that's one bad ass looking model!
  2. Mr Haney
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,001

    Mr Haney


    Why in the hell would anybody want to customize a 55 chevy ? ?
    They were meant to be hotrods........
  3. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,410

    from Wa.St.

    How about a mild custom from the '60z..................

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  4. Rich Rogers
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 2,018

    Rich Rogers

    Totally right here. Left mine basically stock height (55-210- 2 door) added flat and alittle semi-gloss black on the upper half of the 1/4s, stuck a double tunnelram with a M-22 Muncie with an old Mr. Gasket V-Gate shifter, 15 in. smoothies on the rear and 5 spoke Rockets on the front. All hotrod without customizing
  5. Erixon
    Joined: Jul 29, 2009
    Posts: 87


    My '56 is a four door, so I shaved the handles and removed the side chrome (it was all bent to hell, plus the side chrome just emphasizes its four-door-edness). A few other things here and there. Nothing too drastic.

    I never liked the way the tri-5s looked all chopped up. Lowered can look good, but the roof is right where it needs to be, in my humble opinion.

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  6. racemad55
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,149


    Got that straight axle in yet !
  7. I don't like the square signal lights on the front of the 56. That's my only hangup with the original styling.
  8. phukinartie
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 965


    I like the 55 the best of all the years and I think most 57's look like ass
  9. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,408

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    Mild 55 Kustoms Rule........and so do redheads.

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  10. Abomb
    Joined: Oct 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,659


    As a general rule, I agree with this, although, hardtops can still be hotrods. Just not full blown straight axle gassers. As with anything, there are exceptions.....

    I'll take my hardtop as a hotrod, thanks....:D


    Of course, I'd take Moriarty's car as a custom.....anyday....


    As for the dork...of course they all need something done, at least a wheel change and altitude adjustment, one way or the other....
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  11. Jay71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2007
    Posts: 856


    Thanks for the compliment Mitch. Very cool. I'm sure we could work something out for a freshly completed 52. Your wife likes wagons doesnt she?:D
  12. Jay71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2007
    Posts: 856


  13. Steves32
    Joined: Aug 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,280

    from So Cal

    Custom 55? Never saw one I liked- ever.
    I'd put my 55 up but it's backhalfed, 600+ hp & OT.
    Stock or hot rod/drag race. Never a custom

    To me- it would be like taking a 50 Merc or Ford which is the iconic custom & make a race car out of it.

    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
  14. tommy v
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,974

    tommy v

    i wouldn't own a stock 55 ,heres mine ,327 and a 5 sp [​IMG] [​IMG]
  15. cheveey57
    Joined: Mar 11, 2010
    Posts: 676


    55's got to be a post car........

    56's they are the Red headed step child of the Tri 5's.........

    57's got to be a hardtop or a ragtop...............
  16. phatgoose
    Joined: May 25, 2010
    Posts: 40


    It wouldn't have mattered what make, model, or year ....somebody totally fucked that car up and put a lot of effort into it!!! wtf!!!
  17. LabRat
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,551


    I really dig custom tri fives ....



  18. TommyShameless
    Joined: Aug 19, 2010
    Posts: 13

    from Florida

    Tri-fives, in my opinion, look great stock or as hot rods. They look like complete butt as customs. Also, I hate lowered cars. OH GOD!!! How I HATE lowered cars!!!!!

  19. Ask anyone who wants to follow the latest treds, albeit the 2nd variation of it, and they want their '55's jacked up with a straight axle under them.

    Kustom guys want 'em Kustomized.

    Traditionalists want them restored to their 60's drag racing heyday...

    Street rodders want a Danchuk Catalog to explode over the top of theirs with all the PS, PDB, AC, Torque Thrusts II's, original colors... and stuff.

    Ask trend setters what they want and they'll want theirs to pull full a "g" on the skid pad, run a 9 second quarter mile with the AC on and drive from here to NY and get 20mpg doing it!

    Guys who remember October 28th, 1954 and know who Ed Cole is... probably like them stock or mildly modified.

    I don't see a problem with any of these variations... but my tastes have changed over the years.

    In the 80's I did my frist one modified but with stock body... you know, wheels and tires, warmed over 327 then a 383, custom interior in the same pattern as the stock interior.

    When done right... this is a "safe" way to build a tri-five, even today.

    I've gotten TIRED of the safe way... mainly because sooooooo many people have done them this way for sooooooooo many years.

    Even in the 60's... guys would swap a 327 in, get the T&R upholstery done, lower them and put nice wheels and tires on 'em.

    It was the "safe" thing to do then and is the SAFE thing to do now.

    Why were they so popular in the 60's?

    They were plentiful and CHEAP.

    And... easy to work on, and modify.

    Truly, Ed Cole's hot one got even hotter.

    While the early v8 Fords truly did create the automotive aftermarket... the '55 Chevy was one of the first cars that any guy could just go out and buy, add some hop up items and blow the doors off of the "full race" v8 Fords that dominated the hot rod scene for so long.

    From a manufacturing standpoint... the 1955 Chevrolet was a success beyond everyone's wildest dreams... even Ed Cole's.

    The clean slate concept for the 1955 Chevrolet really took off in 1952 when Ed Cole increased his engineering staff from 850 people to 3000.

    He hired the youngest and brightest he could find... and borrowed guys from other GM makes such as Pontiac and Cadillac.

    For instance, the stamped steel ball and socket rocker arm was being developed by a Pontiac engineer in his own basement.

    When Pontiac wouldn't pay him to work on this idea on Pontiac's dime... Ed Cole put him to work encorporating that part into the new Chevrolet.

    To further tout the engineering and design genius that was coming out of Chevrolet in the early 50's... ALL THREE front end and rear end treatments were designed at the same time!

    Many of you know the piss yellow '55 I own now left an impression on me at a very young age... 1984 I was 14 years old when I first saw it.

    As luck would have it... I ended up owning that car.

    A real 60's "gasser"... that survided the test of time.

    I don't know that it survived because the guy who raced it from 1962 until the early 70's had any foresight.

    I think he just got tired of it, and tired of racing... and just put it away.

    He still has another car he's had even longer than the '55... his high school car... yet to hit the road again.

    So, maybe he's a procrastinator too.

    Anyway... I bought the car about 5 years ago... and was on the uphill swing of the gasser craze.

    Gassers are still big, and people are still doing it... with no end in sight.

    But many people on the cutting edge of cool realize a gasser '55 is the new flat black.

    A fad.

    Oh sure... done right... they're totally bad ass.

    But as time wears on... your "gasser" will need to be more and more correct to be cool.

    A correct resotration in order to last the test of time...

    Anything less will be passe.

    It happened with traditional rods.

    Being up on the curve IS what hot rodding is all about. Staying ahead of the game and having something someone else doesn't have... being an individual is what makes this thing something we want to wake up and do.

    Don't agree? Find one guy on here that says "I want to build a car EXACTLY like so and so did."


    We find inspiration... sure... but we want to one up people, do it a little different, you know.

    Personalize it...

    And for THAT reason... ideas cycle... what is cool now becomes passe... what was passe then becomes cool now.

    People think they are a little more cool if they've ALWAYS liked something.

    I call bull shit.

    I'm not ashamed to say that my idea of the perfect '55 Chevy is constantly changing... and will continue to change as my brain is saturated with what the current population thinks is cool.

    I'd guess ryan's buddy has found the true beauty of the '55 Chevrolet...

    The history.

    I lean more towards ryan's veiwpoint...

    I'll take mine modified.

    Because lowering them... "trimming this" and "removing that" DOES draw out the beauty of what the designers had in mind.

    I would also have to say that even the original designers didn't like all the gingerbread the Bel Airs came with... making a guy really think:

    What IS the perfect '55 Chevy?

    Modified or stock?

    Or a combo of both? :D

    I'll leave you all with this quote from Duane L. Bohnstedt who was a designer in the Chevrolet studio.

    "When it came to accesories, there was a fellow by the name of Bill Beuchler. We called him bubbles. He did all the accesories. We "pure" designers didn't want anything to do with those. He did an aftermarket hood ornament with a plastic bubble over it. That's where he got the name. Bill did all the rocker mouldings, and the continental kits, the bumper ends, those kinds of things that weren't very pure. Most of us didn't want anything to do with them. Bill Beuchler did those."

  20. as far as i'm concerned, the 1955 chevy is the 1932 ford of its era.

    the designers got it right the first time, and it don't take much to make it that much better.

    the further you go, the worse it gets. however, sometimes, it just works out.

  21. Neat wagon, but we need a bigger picture so I went into your profile and stole one!!

    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,284


    SamIam, how dare you add so much "logic" to this post?:D

    I must agree with most of what you said there. The end story tells a lot if one's listening. As for the picture, like 99% of the folks reading this post Make mine the one on the left please.
  23. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503


    Love the vette grille----
  24. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503


    appears to be very good metalwork, tho---design is whacked-out. i kinda like the rear wheel wells.
  25. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503


    I seem to hear some anti-traditional thought here---i agree completely. I think this hobby will continue to evolve with different approaches to overall designs, power trains, etc. and i for one welcome that. I'm on my 5th 40 ford--from a flatty coupe to a Stude V8 powered 4-door with a packard tranny that i wish I had never sold. each one has been different---that's kinda why i do them over and over---my avatar is the latest. You have a great outlook.
  26. LabRat
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,551


    This 57 is neato !


  27. Faded Love Garage
    Joined: Mar 30, 2003
    Posts: 958

    Faded Love Garage

    I always felt alittle dorky driving my 56, but then again I'm a little dorky anyway.
  28. A while back I traded for a bone stock 57 chevy 210 2 door...never in a million years did I think I would want or have a tri-five but the trade was definitely way in my favor so I pulled the trigger ...I have been driving this thing almost daily for about 8 months now and it's become one of my favorite cars...can't explain it but every time I walk into the garage it just beckons me to my whole family fits in it I have my sights set on a 55 wagon...guess I am a tri-five guy now...keeping the 57 stock except for some supremes....the wagon I will go with a mild custom
  29. ^You got some pictures?
  30. Kripfink
    Joined: Sep 30, 2008
    Posts: 2,040

    Member Emeritus

    Living in a country with very few customs, the only problem I have with Tri-five stockers if that at American car shows over here they are the 50s equivalent of the 60s Mustangs, and I feel once you've seen a couple you've seen them all in both cases. Still love to see someone over here do one as a decent mild Kustom.Then again,over here,it would probably end up something like the one Mr Haney came up with in post #63
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010

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