'55 Bel Air Convertible
When Bill Collopy set out to build what would turn out to be one of the nicest '55 Chevys in the country, he kept one important thing in mind: He wanted to keep the classic lines and look that made the car a timeless pillar of '50s culture. Bill has had several Tri-Five Chevys in his time, but didn't get to start them from the beginning until now. He got started on this one about three years ago with a decent shell. He had it completely disassembled so that special care could be taken with each part. He sent the body to Nostalgic Auto Body of Island Lake, Illinois, where it got some minor modifications to make it stand apart from the rest without radical changes to keep true to the car's roots. It also came back with a custom burgundy and cream color combo.
The frame went to Barnes Automotive in Arlington Heights, Illinois. There it got a complete overhaul with Heidts suspension, Wilwood brakes, trick hidden windshield wipers, and many other special parts to help clean up the factory bulk.
Since the car's completion, Bill has taken the '55 to three shows where it won Best of Show each time. For the first one, the Classic Chevy International Show, he had to show it just before the finishing touches, but it still scored 994 points out of 1,000. Bill didn't feel like we featured enough Tri-Five Chevys in our magazine, so he wanted to share this one with us because it's really something special. We're glad he did!
By The Numbers
1955 Chevy Bel Air
Bill Collopy, 59
Arlington Heights, Il
||383ci small-block Chevy
||Be Cool radiator
||coated block hugger headers, stainless exhaust tubing
||700-R4, 2,500-rpm converter
||GM 12-bolt with Strange axles
||Heidts stainless steel coilovers, 2-inch drop spindles
||four-wheel disc brakes
||Vintage Auto Radio system with iPod hookup
||custom, LED lights
||power accessories, heat, and A/C
|| 17-inch Torq Thrust II
|Mothers Picture Perfect Award
This is the place to show off your pride and joy to the rest of mankind, so we figure those readers who took the time to capture a really cool shot of their hot rod should get a little bonus. Mothers agreed, and decided to come to the party with some freebies for the best picture submitted to PHR.
Each month, the editors at PHR will sift through the images and pick the one with the best composition, lighting, and overall quality. The winner will get a cool assortment of Mothers products to keep his or her ride looking nice and shiny. Mail us a photograph or, if you're a modern guy, email us a digital image. Remember that digital images need to be 300 dpi, and the bigger the image, the larger it can run. Also, be sure to include info on the car, along with your name and address. Good luck!