Cross Country in a Gasser 1955 Chevy with a Hemi! - Roadkill Ep. 30
On this episode of Roadkill, it's 2,600 miles, 530 cubic inches, 700 horsepower, six
speeds, 17 mpg, and two fun visits with some friends from TV. Last time, on
Roadkill Episode 29, we finished our Chrysler-Hemi-powered 1955 Chevrolet
gasser in about two weeks of thrashing (it's the same car you saw us take,
as a bare shell, to Jim Meyer Racing in Oregon in Episode 8). On this
latest episode, we drive it around the block once, then hit the road on a
2,600-mile journey from Los Angeles to the kickoff party of the 2014 HOT
ROD Power Tour in Concord, North Carolina. On the way, there's the
breakdowns you expect from Roadkill, plus two surprises: a stop at Midwest
Street Cars with Justin "Big Chief" Shearer and Shawn "Murder Nova"
Ellington from Street Outlaws, and another with Rutledge Wood from Top Gear
The '55 Chevy is based on an original body with new quarters and floors and
a fiberglass decklid and tilt front end, and Lexan windows from ProGlass.
It's not in primer: the car was wrapped in satin black by Moody from
High-Tech Auto Wraps. The car sits on a complete gasser chassis from Jim
Meyer Racing with a solid front axle on leaf springs and a ladder-bar setup
with Vicking coilovers on the rear. The rear tires are reproduction
Firestone piecrust slicks from Coker tire, and the fronts are just like
stock VW Bug tires.
The engine is a 530ci Hemi based on a Mopar Performance crate engine. With
a Comp solid roller cam, 10.5:1 compression, homemade 2-1/4-inch headers
from a Hedman kit, and Hilborn stack injection powered by a FAST XFI
controller and Aeromotive fuel system, it makes 700 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of
torque. We were stunned to see 17 mpg a few times on the cross-country
trip, especially with absurd 5.43 gears in the Ford 9-inch rear axle. The
key to it all is the Tremec T56 Magnum six-speed manual double-overdrive
trans installed with a conversion kit from American Powertrain. The car
uses a Speedwires harness, charging and starting by Powermaster, and a
Braille lightweight battery in the trunk.
Roadkill appears every fourth Friday on the Motor Trend channel.
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