Gorgeous, Old-School 1955 Chevy 210 with a Big-Block Crate Engine

Younger readers will not know what we’re talking about. One reason: It’s likely that they never drove a Tri-Five when they were coming up. If you’re a geezer, though, a graybeard or a coot, you were around when those rascals littered the landscape. They were everywhere and great fodder for as great as projects could be back then. Now they’re tar-pit memories, gone the way of the Buffalo nickel, wafting hot-tar stink.
Maybe Craig Crawford was old enough then to be a force. I think not, but he readily admits to having an interest in such cars like the 210 he has now. “As a kid growing up in the small town of Newtown, Kansas, that’s all we did, was work on cars. I always wanted a ’55 with a big-block in it,” he gushed. Like most projects that consume three to four years, the timeline got skewed and plans changed. The object was to re-create the aura of the car when it was new, not to change or obscure the original intent, and that the interior treatment continued with that philosophy as well.

Tech Check
Owner Craig Crawford, Wichita, Kansas
Vehicle 1955 Bel Air
Type Chevrolet Performance Ram Jet crate engine
Displacement 502 ci
Compression Ratio 9.6:1
Bore 4.470 inches
Stroke 4.000 inches
Cylinder Heads Aluminum oval port, 2.25/1.88 valves, 110cc combustion chambers, 290cc intake ports
Rotating Assembly Forged crankshaft, forged (shot-peened) rods, forged pistons
Valvetrain Stamped steel rockers 1.7:1 ratio, 3/8-inch pushrods
Camshaft OE hydraulic roller (224/234-deg. duration at 0.050; 0.527/0.544-inch lift)
Induction Ram Jet fuel injection, Spectre air cleaner, Rock Valley stainless 18-gallon fuel cell, Walbro pump
Ignition MEFI 4 controller, HEI distributor, MSD 6 box, 8mm primary wires
Exhaust Earle Williams Classic Chassis Works (La Verne, CA) headers w/ anodized 2-inch primaries, H-pipe, anodized 3-inch mild steel system, Flowmaster Super 44 mufflers
Ancillaries Alan Grove Components accessory drive system, thermostat fan, Be Cool radiator, 150-amp alternator, American Autowire harness, Mark Bauer mini-tubs
Output (at the crank) 502 hp at 5,100 rpm, 565 lb-ft at 3,200 rpm
Transmission Chevrolet 4L60E, shift kit, 2,200-stall converter, Power Drive prop shaft
Rear Axle Currie 9-Plus, Detroit Locker differential, 3.89:1 gears, 31-spline axles
Front Suspension Chevy “California 1-piece” frame, Heidts 2-inch drop spindles and tubular control arms, OE springs cut for 1-inch drop, Monroe gas-charged shock absorbers, Danchuk 1 1/4-inch antisway bar
Rear Suspension Stock springs de-arched 2-inches and pocketed, Monroe gas-charged shock absorbers
Brakes Chevrolet 11-inch discs, two-piston calipers front; Ford 11-inch drums rear; 1987 Corvette master cylinder; 7-inch booster; proportioning valve
Wheels & Tires
Wheels American Racing Classic Torq-Thrust II 15×6 front, 15×10 rear
Tires BFG T/A Radial 215/70 front, Drag Radial 325/50R rear
Upholstery Walt’s Upholstery (Mulvane, KS)
Material Vinyl/cloth
Seats OE bench with Glide Engineering armrest
Steering ididit column w/ revised shift indicator, 605 box, 15-inch replica wheel
Shifter OE column modified to work with four-speed automatic
Dash OE
Instrumentation Auto Meter Ultra-Lite
Audio Custom Autosound head unit, 5-inch front speakers, 6×9-inch rear speakers installed by Craig Crawford
HVAC Vintage Air
Bodywork Bauer Restoration (Wichita, KS)
Paint By Mark Bauer
Paint PPG Silver and White
Hood OE
Grille OE
Follow the video below and be amazed of this one truly great piece of Americana