WELCOME TO MY BLOG

This is mostly the story of the restoration of my 57 Chevy which I bought in Tucson, Arizona way back in September 1989. This two door hardtop was my daily runabout for many years until the UK weather finally took it’s toll and it was in need of a total restoration. What I thought was going to be maybe a two year job turned out to be 10 years work on and off. Start to finish here’s the story of how I got on – I hope it’s of help to any fellow Tri-five owners thinking of doing the same, I really wouldn’t want to do it again.

HYDROBOOST BRAKES

My brake set up after the restoration was an angled 8″ dual booster, a 1″ bore cast iron master cylinder with the clevis pin one…

57 YEARS OF THE 57

Well this was the big one that spurred me on to get the car finished and we made it. What a cracking weekend it was…

NIGHT CRUISE

Me and Dave Meyer had a notion to have a night time cruise. A small gathering of Tri-Chevy’s and a Buick set off from Chelsea…

FIRST SHOW

I’d sorted most of the initial teething problems and the sun was out so it was off to the Damn Yankees show at North Weald…

PROBLEMS

Finally on the road. I can’t deny it was an unusual experience, it was a bit like when I first drove it around the block…

FIRST FIREUP

Crikey it’s finally alive. Paul joined me under the hood checking the fuel lines whilst my wife Helen was on the key and checking the…

FINAL CHECKS

With the steering done I’d now run out of excuses not to fire this thing up. I’d checked it all over time and time again…

ALIGNMENT

After a day googling the subject I tackled the steering alignment initially using a laser level and string.   It’s the first time I’d used…

INTERIOR

I started with the headliner and the first job was soundproofing. There’s a ton of bewildering online advice about soundproofing products, some are cheap, some ridiculously…

ODDS ‘n’ SODS

I finished the dash by installing a Retrosound radio as these had good reviews and they have a bezel and knobs that look like the original.…

GLASS & SIDE TRIM

Most of the original glass was de-laminated and shot to bits so another trip to Russ Pepper to pick up a new set. I wobbled…

INTERIOR – SEATS

I’d recovered the seats about 22 years ago when I first bought the car and didn’t have too much bother at the time as I’d…

WIRING

After plenty of research on www.chevytalk.com I bought an American Autowire classic update kit. It’s hard to fault these kits as every wire is clearly labeled…

AXLE – STEERING – COOLING

My Ford 9″ rear axle housing needed centring so this went down to Zane Llewellyn at Zannetec. Zane did a cracking  job, very reasonably priced…

PAINT

I’m scarred for life when it comes to the paint. After much deliberation I thought I’d commissioned one of the best painters in the country…

BODY ON FRAME

The main body was now straight and in primer and ready for having the firewall, dash and boot area painted before going back on the…

100% DIGITAL

I finally went 100% digital yesterday when I reluctantly gave away by last stock of Agfa Record Rapid paper, fabulous stuff back in the day.…

STAINLESS RESTORATION

Hi Folks, this one’s a bit long-winded but I made a lot of mistakes on the stainless restoration early on so hope this helps someone…

CHASSIS FINISHED

With the frame now painted in 2K satin black it was another long round trip and a trailer rental to fetch it back to London.…

BODYWORK BEGINS

With the frame brackets and mounts all sorted it was taken back to the paint shop to be shot blasted and painted in epoxy primer…

ENGINE ACCESSORIES

I’ll throw in some colour pics from now on although I tend to see everything in black and white through a camera. I bought my…

FRAME WORK

The old powerglide mounts had been burned off with a torch and the frame was really butchered in the past (not by me I might…

383 ENGINE BUILD

When I bought my 57 it had a 1967 350 HP small journal 327 and big valve fuelie heads. I’d researched the original GM cam…

ON THE ROTISSERIE

Once the strength was back in the body it was bolted up to the rotisserie, this was made using some plans I found here: credit…

OFF THE FRAME

Once the bulk of the welding was done at the body shop it was time to lift the body off the frame. Partially shot blasted…

BARE METAL

Time to shed 40 odd years of paint. What a mess. Rocker panels and the fronts of the rear fenders done. All the floor brace…

RESTORATION TIME

After many years the UK weather had finally taken its toll. The rocker panels and all the usual spots were starting to rot and the…

BACK IN THE UK

November 1989, registered, taxed, MOT’d and home in London. My garage in Manor Park East London was only big enough for my Mk11 Consul so…

FOUND MY 57 CHEVY

September 1989, fed up with driving a MK11 Ford Consul I took out two bank loans and headed off to Arizona to find a 56…