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.