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1957 Chevy Bel Air - 'Readers' Pages

Calling You Out

Who: Pete Wrieden
Where: San Diego, CA
What: '57 Chevrolet Bel Air
Why: The original 283 was replaced with a 350 for bracket racing. When the 350's bore went beyond 0.060, a bargain 383 was built from a newer 350 block and a 400 crank from a wrecked Chevy Caprice. In the early days, Pete played with triple two-barrel carbs then switched to a cross-ram and dual-fours. Lately, the '57 has a Holley 950HP carb on an Edelbrock Super Victor intake and Brodix Track I heads. The Duntov 30-30 cam was replaced with a 272/284 grind for regular bracket use along with a TH400 for reliability and consistency. For a solid launch, a Continental 8-inch converter brings it up to 5,200 before hitting the 15 x 10 Weld Pro Stars and Hoosier 30.0/10.5-15 slicks. The front suspension consists of Competition Engineering adjustable shocks and Moroso springs. The rear has relocated leaf springs and CalTrac bars with Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks. Car's best time is 10.48 at 124 mph.
He Says: This is a father-and-son project car that's been going on for almost 25 years. My dad, Art, was a drag racer in the '60s and early '70s and has taught me everything I know about cars.

He Likes This Color

Who: Eric Decowski
What: '72 Dodge Challenger
Where: Fitzgerald, GA
Why: Eric bought this E-body from a local drag racer, and after removing the stickers, he found it needed a new driver-side floorpan, fenders, rear quarters, a trunk floor, and fenderwells. Then he found rust under the vinyl top and spots of rust growing everywhere else. Instead of junking it, he has been spending ever since to get the body right. It is now metallic blue instead of the original Petty Blue and has the original 340 and four-speed that he rebuilt after the drag-racing abuse.
He Says: I am taking any and all donations for the upcoming interior restoration.

Kinda Cool Body Style

Who: Gene Axtell
Where: Folsom, CA
What: '73 Pontiac LeMans Sport
Why: Gene purchased the car new in November 1973, drove about 105,000 miles, then stuck it in his garage for 18 years. He has been slowly rebuilding the suspension, brakes, transmission, and engine with stock parts.
He Says: It still has the original paint and interior and no rust!

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