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1955 Chevrolet 210 Shoebox - Uncompromising

An 8-Second, Street-Driven '55 Chevy

Photography by , Terry McGean

Car Craft Q&A

Car Craft: What made you decide to build a car like this?
Mike Landi: I've always liked drag racing, but I also like to drive my cars. Fast street cars have been around as long as there've been hot rods, but we wanted to do both legitimately well.

CC: How did you determine your goals?
ML: Initially, we were just trying to build a dead-reliable 10-second street car, but before we knew it the car was in the 9s. That led us to figuring out ways to control the heat and the traction to improve e.t.'s while maintaining streetability. Later, we found ways to shave some weight as well, which also helped.

CC: Anything in particular that makes the '55 more/less streetable?
ML: The EFI is the key to running that engine on the street-I don't think we could get it that smooth and reliable with carburetors. We did use 31/44-inch spherical rod-ends in the suspension to limit deflection, rather than urethane bushed ends, which would be more street-friendly. The spherical joints must be replaced every few months if the car is street-driven, so we consider them sacrificial parts.

The Details

Car: '55 Chevy 210

Owner: Mike Landi, Pasadena, CA

Engine: Aluminum Donovan big-block Chevy, 540 ci, machine work and engine development by Russell Kelly

Heads: Brodix BB-2 Xtra, ported and polished, 119cc chambers, 2.30/1.88-inch valves

Induction: Littlefield 8-71 supercharger 18-percent overdriven (16 psi), Littlefield manifold, Enderle injector, Plan B EFI system using eight 80-lb/hr injectors in custom plate between injector hat and blower

Camshaft: Crane Cams solid-roller, custom grind, specs not disclosed; lift in excess of 0.630-inch, duration in excess of 270 degrees @ 0.050, Jesel 1.7:1 shaft rockers

Output: 1,158 hp @ 7,200 rpm and 889 lb-ft @ 7,145 at the flywheel

Transmission: Turbo 400 by Mike's Transmissions, Palmdale, CA, with 10-inch, 3,500-rpm stall converter by Continental

Rearend: Art Morrison Ford 9-inch housing with Mark Williams aluminum centersection and locking differential, 4.7:1 gears from U.S. Gear, and Strange 40-spline rifle-drilled axles

Front suspension: Art Morrison strut IFS kit built by Plan B mounted to Plan B front frame clip

Rear suspension: Art Morrison 9-inch style housing with Art Morrison four-link, Chris Alston double-adjustable Vari-shocks, Plan B rear clip with narrowed framerails and Plan B wheeltubs

Brakes: Wilwood 11-inch discs front and rear

Wheel and tires: Real Wheels by Eric Vaughn, 15x5 front, 15x12 rear, Mickey Thompson Sportsman 26/4.5-15 front, Mickey Thompson ET Street 31x16.6-15 rear

Interior: Kirkey seats and full carpeting by Paul of Sagonas Upholstery in Burbank, CA

Body mods: Louvered stock hood, removable side panels for rear tire access by Plan B; Race trim: Ed Quay aluminum deck wing, Simpson parachute pack, Flameout onboard fire system

Paint: By Brett Klaeser, Bob's Auto Body in Pasadena, CA, PPG acrylic urethane single-stage Brite Tangerine and Ivory

Cost to build: $150,000-$200,000

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