“I capital a car that performed like my Vette, rode like my Audi, and was article that could be accepted by all.” –Bob Merckle
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A aloft allotment of an old hot rod’s agreeableness is aloof that—it’s old … it’s blatant … it’s about aggregate a new car isn’t. But for some, that accurate address isn’t so, well, appealing, yet the admiration still exists. Fortunately, our aftermarket has progressed absolutely able-bodied over the years, adopting abounding advancements the new car manufacturers accept developed in drivetrain and abeyance that can be acclimatized to those old cars we love. And back it comes to aboriginal Fords, you can accept one congenital from the arena up with not a distinct old allotment on it. But what about us Chevy folk?
For the best part, if you appetite a hot rod based on annihilation from the backward ’40s on up, unless you’re accommodating to bang out your own anatomy from breadth animate or aluminum, you gotta alpha with an aboriginal car. That is, unless you’re a Tri-Five affectionate of guy—that’s a altered story. Thanks to Woody’s Hot Rodz, Art Morrison Enterprises, and Chevrolet Performance, amid others, you can accept that 1955-1957 Chevy you’ve consistently dreamed about—even a convertible—and not absorb a minute annoying about analytic for, repairing, or advantageous a affluence for any aboriginal exoteric components. In essence, the agreeableness of that old hot rod now becomes the agreeableness of a absolutely all-new one, and alike admitting he wasn’t absent of, let abandoned in the bazaar to buy, that’s absolutely what absorbed Bob Merckle in the day he beyond paths with Woody’s buyer Chris Sondles.
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“I absolved into Woody’s on a whim on my way through the Cincinnati breadth on a trip. I had no ambition of affairs a car that day, but by the time I left, I did! What the guys at Woody’s are accomplishing with these new-bodied cars is absolutely amazing. Within that abbreviate visit, Chris and I had fabricated a plan that included best of what you see today—he aloof took it from there, gave the abstraction to Eric Brockmeyer, and back Eric was done with the apprehension all I had to do was aces the blush for the top and absolve the design—which I did!”
Two years afterward that adventitious encounter, Bob not alone had the 1955 Chevy he hadn’t advised on accepting built, but one that performs like no Bel Air convertible was anytime advised to perform. But maybe the icing on the special-occasion block was accession to his bells this accomplished summer in the fresh-outta-the-shop drop-top area he and then-fiancée Justine were affiliated in a commemoration abounding with “friends, bedrock ’n’ roll, and of advance affluence of hot rods!”
Bob may accept capital Corvette performance, which would about construe into an LS9-based powertrain depending on what era Vette we’re talking, but the accommodation was fabricated to go with the LSA/6L90e belvedere instead—still 6.2 liters of supercharged, 580-plus application achievement … but a little easier on the wallet. His administration aspect requirements acutely appear in the anatomy of an Art Morrison GT Sport Tri-5 anatomy complete with their proprietary IFS, ability arbor steering, absolutely adjustable dampers, and Morrison’s advanced CAD-designed frame. All of that rides on a quartet of Billet Specialties 18-inch Concave Wedge auto with abounding window blast for the Wilwood six-piston brakes they’re army onto. The Woody’s aggregation handled aggregate you see that sits aloft the scrub, concealing the anatomy below—from the sheetmetal accumulation and consecutive modifications (pancaked hood, angled corners) to the PPG Daytona Sunset brownish paint, to the custom handcrafted covering autogenous below the Chevy’s bolt top—when it’s up, that is. Danchuk supplied assorted adamantine parts, Dakota Digital provided the instrumentation, and the altitude controls came via Vintage Air (the closing two powered through an American Autowire harness).
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