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This Guy's Garage - Gary Kollofski

May 2014

By , Photography by Gary Kollofski

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, it may be that this photo could be worth an easy 10,000 words because it might take more to detail all that's been done and will be done to Gary Kollofski's latest 1957 Chevy adventure. Let's start with the game-changer. It's difficult to see the engine—but the four Holley carburetors are feeding a pair of BMW V12 engines mated side-by-side. Think of this as a W24. Of course, that also means there are 24 separate exhaust pipes, which is a Herculean packaging effort all by itself. And that's just one system in this amazing car. The front suspension utilizes coilover shocks actuated by rocker arms that are bolted transversely across the front of the chassis. The complete custom fabricated frame uses the stock wheelbase, but the wheels have been moved forward an equal distance to create room for the engine(s). And we haven't even talked about the adapter necessary to combine two crank flanges into one.

If all this sounds like the supreme challenge for a team of engineers with a budget that would make NASA proud, you'd be mistaken. Gary and his amazingly talented friend and collaborator, Dale Pelvit, have conspired to build the ultimate alternative to cookie-cutter cars. Perhaps even more importantly, this one photo speaks volumes to what a couple of guys can accomplish in a simple one-car shop with a few basic tools and an immense amount of talent. We will have more on this amazing car as it progresses, but with Gary's first photo, let's go on a quick tour through a car crafter's version of Adventureland. Keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times and enjoy the ride.

A. A box and pan brake like this 48-inch-wide model is a very handy tool for making simple sheetmetal bends. The term box brake means that it has removable blocks or fingers that allow clearance for bending metal.

B. When making compound curves in metal, nothing beats an English Wheel like this Enco version. It's also a wonderful finger-pincher if you're not careful.

C. This is an Enco mill-drill that combines both drilling and milling operations into one machine with a movable table. Below it is a 14-inch, Evolution Rage 2 carbide chop saw. Gary says, "This tool is really valuable as it does not heat the metal when cutting it."

D. Barely visible through the driver-side window opening, you can see that Dale has mounted the rear coilovers horizontally over the rear end.

E. So what kind of tools does it take to build a car like this? Fabricator Dale Pelvit uses a simple Craftsman MIG welder for much of the work. To the right of the MIG is a Pexto 4-foot-wide sheetmetal shear that makes quick work for trimming metal.

F. Over the engine, Dale is working on the new cold air/hot air panels. Gary tells us that a small scoop in the front will bring in cool air ducted across the 12 header tubes located in between the adjacent V12 engines. The ducting will then vent out the top of the hood via horizontal louvers. Fresh air for the intake side will come from the base of the windshield.

G. While expensive drill presses are nice, for the average guy this Central Machinery bench top drill press will get the job done. Gary says it's at least 20 years old. Alongside the drill press is a Woodard Fab tubing bender.

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22 comments
Bonney Schnabel
Bonney Schnabel

Our garage has looked like that for years since Ron has built a 56 Chevy and a 35 Ford.

Mike Macdonald
Mike Macdonald

Along with the first 55 I believe he built a yellow 33 Willis coupe . He has good old fashioned talent and ingenuity.

David Ormsby
David Ormsby

awsome ! put a rat engine in it blown 454 injected and tub it.

Dennis Wilde
Dennis Wilde

I'm with you Dave. Got mine stuffed to the gills with tools & trucks, lol

Dave Boyer
Dave Boyer

Man, I wish I had that much room! Mine is filled with cars..

Paul Williams
Paul Williams

His black '55 Chevy in the mid - late 70's inspired me to build my own big block powered '55.

Jason Livesey
Jason Livesey

Awesome Joe Coughlin need to turn my nans garage into that and build a monster!

Travis David
Travis David

Matt McCoy, show this to scharf. I've got the hard copy.

Kevin Hogan
Kevin Hogan

He also built one of the first, if not the first, pro street type 55 Chevy's way back in the 70's or early 80's. I spent many an hour as a young man studying that magazine.

Pete Kaskinen
Pete Kaskinen

He also had a very fast black '55 in all the magazines way back.

Kevin Morris
Kevin Morris

And the same guy that has a V-12 in a 55 chevy and he is from my home state of Minnesota. :-)

Everett Lanier
Everett Lanier

im reading ur book now. that 57 is going well be bad.

Gipson Keith Lee
Gipson Keith Lee

Isn't he the man that had the yellow 33 willys with the twin turbo small block?

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