Hidden Away For Decades, 1955 Chevy Bel Air Racer Looking At Restoration

Dec 1, 2021 2 min read
Hidden Away For Decades, 1955 Chevy Bel Air Racer Looking At Restoration

This insane car has a crazy backstory and a beautiful life ahead of it from its enthusiastic owner.

The 1950s were an incredible time for the automotive and drag racing communities to emphasize insanely powerful and unique race cars. Of course, the steel-bodied masterpieces of that era became instantly iconic due to the owners' ability to modify the exterior to fit their personality exactly. Under the hood were some of America's most significant engines, which pushed out massive amounts of horsepower and torque. This meant that straight-line speed was the main focus for most American automotive enthusiasts in that period. Without a doubt, these cars did their job exceptionally well and have gained an insane reputation and following from the older car crowd.

Watch a Gasser race a new Supra here.

This car is a perfect example of that intense image, a 1955 Chevrolet Gasser! While the vehicle may not look like much of anything in its current state of not having a drivetrain of most of the front half of the car, it was an incredible racer in its prime. After sitting in the woods for an unknown amount of time, the car was finally purchased and transferred to an indoor storage facility for decades. The car's creator was a man named Tommy Clayton, who initially slapped together a 301 ci Chevy small-block which was paired to a three-speed transmission.

While the transmission may have been an odd choice for the time due to the popularity of the four-speed manual, the combination worked very well as the car was known at the local tracks as a great performer. Unfortunately, the car was met with tragedy at Harriman Drag Strip when the clutch exploded, destroying most internals. The racer salvaged what he could and put it all into a Chevy Bel-Air, which would use a four-speed transmission and received the name "Phantom."

Nowadays, the car is looking down the barrel of a massive restoration project ahead of the current owner. In contrast, it may seem nearly impossible due to its current lack of engine, transmission, and many of the necessary working parts, as well as a ridiculous amount of rust. Nevertheless, he has already made good progress and has big plans for this piece of American automotive history.

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