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Whats the ride like on a '55-57 chevy?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Tumbler, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Tumbler
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 107

    Tumbler
    Member
    from Tucson, AZ

    I'm a FNG looking to get a '55 chevy. I've only had muscle cars. Started out with a 68 plymouth about a year and a half ago when I was a junior. I've also had a '67 cougar and 65 fastback mustang. The oldest cars I've driven would be a 65 442 and a 65 mustang. Whats the ride like on an old tri 5 compared to say an early 60's muscle car?
     
  2. seldom scene
    Joined: Oct 9, 2002
    Posts: 867

    seldom scene
    Member

    Depends on the condition of the car, ask for a test drive before you buy.
     
  3. Tumbler
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 107

    Tumbler
    Member
    from Tucson, AZ

    What ever I get probably won't be running so thats why I thought I'd ask.
     
  4. jimmyv
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 620

    jimmyv
    Member

    Depends on the condition of the car. I had a 56. I rebuilt the suspension and put new tires on it. Drove fine for an old car.
     

  5. 2-TONED
    Joined: Jan 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,683

    2-TONED
    Member

    5-6-7s ride & drive NICE!! -- probably better than the uni body cougar or mustang that you were driving. -------- get one you WILL like it!
     
  6. Tumbler
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 107

    Tumbler
    Member
    from Tucson, AZ

    Nice. Thats what I wanted to hear. Now I gotta find the right car. All I seem to find around here are 55-56-57 sedans. Maybe I'll just go with one of those. Would be cheaper too. Do you guys like seeing pictures of car people find "in the wild"? I can throw some up if you guys would like.
     
  7. 32SEDAN
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,308

    32SEDAN
    Member

    I do. Throw'm up!
     
  8. jimmyv
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 620

    jimmyv
    Member

    I think everyone around here likes seeing pics of old cars people find. Especially so called "barn finds". I know I do.
     
  9. Haywood
    Joined: Feb 17, 2007
    Posts: 444

    Haywood
    Member
    from M'boro,TN

    I usually prefer to be IN the car and not On it......:rolleyes:


    you knew somebody would say that,right?



    I'd drive my 56 to the west coast and back without a second thought. They can be made to ride just as well as anything on the road. I've owned a 67,71 and 80 model camaros. The tri-fives won't feel as tight (unless you throw some bucks at them) but you won't feel every rock and crack in the road either.
     
  10. Tumbler
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 107

    Tumbler
    Member
    from Tucson, AZ

    Yeah I thought it looked weird the way I worded it. Sat there looking at it, but couldn't put my finger on what it was. haha.

    Alright well I'll wait to post pictures until later tonight. I'm going to swing by and take a look at an old 55 sedan I've seen sitting around. I'll wait till I have those pictures.
     
  11. Bluesfella
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 146

    Bluesfella
    Member

    I drive my '55 sedan every day...even with worn-out rear suspension, it drives great. I did a full rebuild on the front end and used poly bushings, seemed like it's tighter, hard to tell since it was also worn out before the rebuild.

    They are great cars, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
     
  12. Tumbler
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 107

    Tumbler
    Member
    from Tucson, AZ

    My plans for the car I get (atleast for the time being) are to make an all business street brawler. Get the body straight enough and I'll just spray it flat or satin black (or maybe not even paint it), throw some Mexican blankets over the seats and I'd like to put a pretty nasty small block with a 4 speed in.

    The muscle cars I had before, I depended on as daily transportation but now I bought a good daily driver (93 BMW 318iS, I4 with a 5 speed) for every day use and I'd like this to be my hobby/weekend car.

    Bluesfella - what kind of gas mileage are you getting? I checked out your website, thats a cool sedan.
     
  13. If mine didn't have the flat cam its got right now:(, I'd be driving mine. Everyday...

    And, it does ride really nice for an old car. Even with the bias ply tires...
     
  14. jimmyv
    Joined: Dec 1, 2006
    Posts: 620

    jimmyv
    Member

    I'd do all the mechanical stuff first. Brakes, suspension, motor/tranny, then worry about the body and interior.
     
  15. ^^^ What he said...
     
  16. Tumbler
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 107

    Tumbler
    Member
    from Tucson, AZ

    Yeah I was getting ahead of myself talking about the big picture but those things will definitely be taken care of first. I've got a pair of 3 point retractable shoulder belts that I bought from XV motorsports for my Plymouth. I'll probably see if I can get those in there as well. I do have plates with a threaded hole for the top bolt, but I'll have to see what I can do where the belt mounts to the floor.
     
  17. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    And as dumb as this is going to sound, make sure you rebuild the front seat. Make sure the springs are all good and not broken, replace the burlap and small wires that go across them from side-to-side, and put new seat buns on them.
    A lot of the comfort in driving an old car is the quality of the seat. And in '50s cars, that makes a big difference.
    Front sway bars will also make a huge difference.

    The fact is, if you rebuild the front end, get new springs, good shocks, sway bars, rear springs that aren't cracked, sagged or "fixed" with extra leaves, and a rebuilt steering box, you're going to have a very good ride.

    The suspension in my '62 Suburban isn't rebuilt yet, and the seat sucks, but I know that going in, and drive it every day, and have taken it on several long trips (1,800 miles down and back to Florida, etc.). I don't expect a lot out of it, and I'm never disappointed. Once the front end gets rebuilt, and the seat is restored, it'll ride like a caddy! I was worried a couple years ago, because we drove a new Suburban--with all the comforts-- from Virginia to the far shore of Newfoundland, Canada, for two weeks. I thought getting back into my truck after 14 days straight of the new vehicle, 12 hours a day, would kill me.
    I never gave it a second thought after getting home.

    -Brad
     
  18. primed55
    Joined: Feb 7, 2005
    Posts: 313

    primed55
    Member

    They drive great!!! (even with blow out suspention), the only warning is if you're not used to driving old heavy cars, give yourself plenty of stopping room, old drum don't stop on a dime.
     
  19. Paul Y
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 633

    Paul Y
    Member

    Splash out on a new set of springs, shocks and a front anti roll bar and you will be very pleased as others have already mentioned.

    If you feel inclined I can recommend the QA1 coil overs, fitted them to mine and with some other mods (roll bar, tubular upper a arm, boxed lower arm and poly bushes) the drive is like a modern car.

    Oh yea, and buy the workshop manual and adjust the steering box correctly, you will be amazed at the differance this makes to the road feel.

    Post some pictures.

    P.
     
  20. The ride always sucks when you are in the back seat wearing handcuffs.
     
  21. When I bought mine I specifically looked for a 2 door sedan. With a big block and a 4 speed I plan on abusing it.....
     
  22. Bodacious
    Joined: Apr 4, 2008
    Posts: 286

    Bodacious
    Member

    These cars ride and drive great. Anyone who would "clip" one of these ought to have their dumb ass kicked.
     
  23. oldsman71
    Joined: Apr 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,037

    oldsman71
    Member

    they ride good, watch fer loose wheel bearings,if there loose it will seem to have a loose front end. if every thing is right they drive good, sometimes the drum brakes pull one way or another, ya got to keep them adjusted.
     
  24. They are better than a 55 56 ford lots better than a 65 mustang or early camaro. just have good parts and tires. OldWolf
     
  25. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    For not much money, you can also buy a self-adjust drum brake conversion kit. They're very easy to install.

    That will help a lot with the drum brakes...keeping them adjusted is the biggest problem with them.
    They ain't discs, even when adjusted properly, but they're not that bad either.

    -Brad
     
  26. 55X150
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 66

    55X150
    Member

    mine rides pretty good. don't feel all the bumps in the road like i did with my old mustang or camaro. have a front disc conversion on there and it stops pretty good even tho thet aint power.
     
  27. front sway bar, gas shocks, RADIAL tires and a general steering/suspention rebuild will make tri fives drive like a dream. oh yeah disc brakes help a lot too.
     
  28. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,769

    belair
    Member

    What scotty t said. And like Brad said, rebuild the front seat. And try to get a front seat and the skirts with the car. They are pretty pricey and not all that easy to find.
     
  29. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,464

    40StudeDude
    Member

    The ride must be fantastic...I've been driving a '57 (one of about 10 different ones) Chevy since 1960...I've never been without at least one in my life and at one time I owned 30 of 'em...there ain't nothing better than steering a '57 Chevy down the hiway at about 75 per ...

    R-
     
  30. Nomadness
    Joined: Oct 26, 2007
    Posts: 462

    Nomadness
    Member

    Rides nice, stock brakes ain't so good.
     

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