Super Shoebox

September 24th, 2009

A Winning Combination of Show and Go

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Photos by Kevin Wilson

The old adage, “winning is everything” is usually applied to traditional sports or auto racing. Rarely does it enter into the competitive world of hot rods and muscle cars, though, unless a pair is locked in a side-by-side street race where bragging rights or money is on the line. While winning may be everything to some, for others, building a winning vehicle can be more rewarding than the reward itself.

Just ask David Barreira of Lake Havasu, Ariz. The retired utility executive has been a lifelong auto enthusiast, but it wasn’t until he hit retirement that David could devote both the time and effort it takes to build an award-winning retro rod. His latest hot rod, an ultra-clean ’56 Chevy, was a labor of love. After three years of getting things just right, his Chevy is collecting trophies all across the West. David has won at the Temecula Rod Run, Route 66 Days and the Run to the Sun show, just to name a few.

So what does it take to build an award-winning hot rod? If you ask David, it’s patience, a ton of time and money, and above all, attention to even the slightest detail. A walk around his ’56 will prove the point. The car rides on polished Heidt’s stainless steel control arms and HAL coilover shocks up front. A polished power rack-and-pinion setup turns the wheels. The Chevy sports a polished four-link setup out back, utilizing another set of HAL polished coilovers.

The rear end is a chrome Competition Engineering EFAB 9 that houses a set of 3:90 gears and a Detroit Locker for maximum traction. The setup also utilizes a Strange polished aluminum center section, Moser axles and polished billet pinion support. A chrome driveshaft from Inland Empire Driveline also keeps the polished theme alive under the car.

A set of mini tubs on the shoebox makes room for the huge 20-inch Billet Specialties Dagger wheels wrapped with Mickey Thompson Sportsman SR rubber. Up front are 18-inch Daggers with 26-inch Mickey Thompson Sportsmans. Stopping power is provided by a Wilwood disc brake system sporting polished calipers at each corner.

IMG_3094--thumbIf you think things are sano under the car, with all the chrome and polished components, wait until you take a look under the hood. David wasn’t shy when it came time to power up his ’56, opting for a hand-built, Keith Black 540-inch big-block. The balance and blueprinted big-block is stuffed with a Crower billet crankshaft that’s fitted with Carillo rods and forged Keith Black pistons with a livable compression of 10:5:1. Topping the big-block is a set of deep-breathing, polished Brodix cylinder heads. A Crower cam, springs and lifters actuate the valves via a Cloyes Hex adjust timing chain.

Aspiration is via a chrome Arizona Speed and Marine big-block EFI intake manifold, with a FAST fuel injection system figuring out fuel delivery. Ignition is all GM, while custom headers route out spent gasses through polished Borla mufflers and a ceramic-coated exhaust system, which was fabbed and coated by Young Gun Performance and Topline Coatings.

Engine dress-ups include a polished March pulley system, complete stainless bolts and fasteners from South Coast Stainless and ARP, Aeroquip braided lines and a chrome Power Master 140-amp alternator. On the dyno, the big-block cranked out a clean 550 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. Backing up all that horsepower and torque requires a stout transmission, so David opted for a polished JET Performance Transmissions-built 4L80E.

When it came to the interior and paint, David was smart enough to turn the work over to the experts. Ron Mangus is credited with designing and installing the trick ostrich and leather interior on the car, including the black carpet and door panels, compete with billet hardware. The Chevy also sports a polished ididit steering column capped with a Billet Specialties steering wheel. Engine vitals are displayed on a Dakota Digital dash setup.

Al Alcorn of Showtime Customs is credited with the paint and bodywork on the Chevy, applying several coats of PPG 9700 Black with House of Kolors Shimrin’ Silver. The trick ghost flames were added with House of Kolor Gold Course Pearl.

David continued with the polished/chromed theme on the car by finishing the project with a chrome tranny pan and flywheel cover, chrome Milodon oil pan and a polished stainless steel fuel tank. Under the hood is a polished stainless steel core support that holds the Chevy’s polished Fluidyne radiator. And—oh yeah—the firewall has been smoothed and flamed for added eyeball appeal.

David is the first to thank Speedway Customs of Lake Havasu City; Ron Mangus Interiors; Mueller’s Muscle Cars; Westech Performance Group; BJ’s Chrome and Custom; Keith Black Racing Engines, along with Ken Caruso and Jay and Colleen Jorgensen. He also offers special thanks to his wife, Karen, for her patience on the project and for allowing him to build the hot rod of his dreams. While winning may not be everything to everyone, for David taking home awards and sharing his prized possession is everything.

 


 

 

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Power comes from a Keith Black 540-inch big-block that is equipped with a set of Brodix cylinder heads, a Crower crank, Carillo rods and forged Keith Black pistons. Induction is via an Arizona Speed and Marine big-block EFI intake manifold, with a FAST fuel injection system, while March pulleys keep everything in line.
A polished Fluidyne radiator ensures that all is cool, even in the hot Arizona sun.
Ron Mangus is credited with designing and installing the trick ostrich and leather interior to the bench seat.
The Chevy sports a polished ididit steering column capped with a Billet Specialties steering wheel.
Engine vitals are displayed on a Dakota Digital dash.
A look at the door panels is all it takes to know that Ronny M. and his crew are artists at what they do.
Mangus even decked out the trunk with ostrich and leather panels and black carpeting.
Several coats of PPG 9700 Black with House of Kolors Shimrin’ Silver provide the perfect base while the trick ghost flames were added with House of Kolor Gold Course Pearl.
One of the most iconic grilles in all of autodom adorns this sweet Chevy.
To get the power to the ground, huge 20-inch Billet Specialties Dagger wheels have been wrapped with Mickey Thompson Sportsman SR rubber. Stopping power is provided by a Wilwood disc brake system sporting polished calipers at every corner.
The car rides on polished Heidt’s stainless steel control arms and HAL coilover shocks up front. A polished power rack-and-pinion setup turns the wheels.
To say that this Chevy is finished off nicely is a huge understatement. The polished custom headers route out spent gasses through polished Borla mufflers and a ceramic-coated exhaust system, which was fabbed and coated by Young Gun Performance and Topline Coatings.
A chromed Competition Engineering EFAB 9 that houses a set of 3:90 gears and a Detroit Locker for maximum traction. The setup also utilizes a Strange polished aluminum center section, Moser axles and polished billet pinion support.

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