1955 is the first year of the Tri-Five Chevy lineup. It’s probably not the most popular choice, and most builds are either as-new restorations or gassers, paying tribute to the drag racing icons of the early 1960s. So we were shocked to find this 1955 Chevy 150 that’s basically built like a muscle car, fitted with the best components and hiding an engine designed for quarter-mile use.
Sure, there are a few exterior changes that suggest something evil is going on, like the side exhaust pipes. But we were in for a shock of the engine displacement variety. This 66-year-old car has been fitted with a brand new crate engine.
That’s the ZZ572 / 720R, otherwise known as GM’s most powerful big-block ever. It’s meant to easily take you down the quarter-mile in the 9-second range and produces massive output: 727 horsepower at 6,300rpm and 680 pound-feet of torque at 4,900rpm.
The engine usually goes in Camaro race cars and costs a whopping $22,000, though it can go higher. Maybe that’s why this car is going for $99,900. The 9.4-liter displacement combined with a high compression ratio delivers a raw sound that clashes with a body you’d normally associate with an old cab.
This V8 also comes with aluminum cylinder heads, a serpentine belt, a Holley Dominator Racing carburetor, and an MSD Pro-Billet distributor. To keep everything cool, they’ve fitted a giant aluminum radiator that’s paired with dual electric fans. Power is sent out through a 4L80E 4-Speed automatic to the Currie 9-inch rear end. Sounds scary? Well, fear not, because behind those Cragar S/S wheels, there’s a powered brake system with slotted disks.
If you’ve ever watched a Tri-Five restoration, you’ll know that the panel gaps are problematic because of the shape of the hood and fenders. But this 1955 Chevy underwent a full frame-off restoration and is looking really straight. The black paint really plays with the light in the Vanguard Motors showroom and also makes that chrome pop.
We also notice how the windows have a very strong black tint. And if you don’t like colors, this interior is for you. The steering wheel is a work of art, and the chrome dashboard perfectly captures the feel of that era.