One of my all-time favorite songs by Bruce Springsteen and the "E" Street Band is entitled "Born to Run." Remember those great lyrcs-"Sprung from cages on Highway-9, chrome wheels, fuel injected, and stepping out over the line." Well, we're not exactly near New Jersey's famous Route 9, but ever since purchasing Project "X" in the early '60s, it certainly was born to run.
Just imagine, this all-conquering 1957 Chevy Model 210 has been abused on some of Southern California's most storied pieces of pavement, many of which are distant, but glorious memories in the hearts and minds of gearheads around the globe. A few of those include Lions Dragstrip, Orange County International Raceway, and Irwindale Raceway. During its earliest incarnations, Project "X" was put through its paces at these legendary race tracks, thoroughly thrashed while testing just about every type of performance part known to man. In reality, Project "X" was always along for the ride as the speed equipment industry began to establish its roots. By the same token, Popular Hot Rodding was there, as well, reporting on those hot new parts, educating its readers on installation procedures, tuning tips, and cosmetic accessories. Right from the get-go, Project "X" was deemed a win-win situation, as the publishers and editors were continually involved in the high performance hobby, just like the readers were.
From its cameo-role in the movie "Hollywood Knights," to its cross-country excursion on the BFGoodrich Tour in the '80s, this bright-yellow '57 has been a tool that's served us well. Everywhere it's been, readers have embraced it with reverence, a fitting honor to its benchmark status. This time, our intent was to bring it back with more of a contemporary look.
Seeing as how so may engines have thundered from within its frame rails, these days, Project "X" is proud to have received the very first Ram Jet 502 to be forklifted from the confines of GM Performance Parts. As it turns out, this healthy big-block, combined with its 4L80E transmission, makes for a perfect Tri-5 combo. After all, '57 Chevys are comprised of a great deal of metal. In turn, it's appropriate to give 'em a great deal of pedal (as in throttle).
If your memory is up to snuff, you'll remember reading that the only structural part of Project "X" that's not original is its chassis. Reason being, so may holes were drilled in it (some for lightening purposes), and so many brackets were welded on, cut off, ground smooth, and welded over again, that the original frame was junk. Our freshly powdercoated chassis was hauled over to John West Fabrication (Costa Mesa, CA), where it was prepped for new polished stainless control arms from Heidt's Hot Rod Shop up front, and a Fab-9 rearend from Chris Alston's Chassisworks. Its ride characteristics come by way of coilover shocks from QA1 Motorsports, while our aforementioned big-block spins a gearset from Reider Racing with 31-spline axles from Strange Engineering. The Boulevard Brute reduces its forward motion with a four-wheel disc setup from Baer Brake Systems, which reside behind a set of Legacy wheels from Billet Specialties, and BFGoodrich tires.
Moving to the obvious, The actual signature for Project "X" has long been its bright yellow colorcoat. For this go-around, a hearty tip of the hat goes to Mark Mahood (Mahood's Auto Body, Stanton, CA) and Wendell Pittman-two guys who have been friends for a long time. Although they work hard, they also play hard, as Wendell serves on the crew of Mark's multi-Championship winning, Goodguys A/Gas '69 Camaro.