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Post Info TOPIC: Cale's 55


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Cale's 55
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Figured I'd share here a project we're working on...

 

When he was 10, I helped Cale buy a '55 Chevy 210 2-door sedan basket-case project car. 

It was originally Neptune Green with turquoise interior, 6cyl 3spd. It's a pretty solid car, but has a few rusty areas. 

I have a '55 210 2-door sedan also, so my extra parts will go a long way toward making this one complete. 

 

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-- Edited by Derek69SS on Monday 28th of November 2022 09:22:58 AM

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



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A couple years passed before we started working on it. At 12, I taught him how to weld, patching the fender eyebrows and antenna hole on his fenders.

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



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Last winter we started on rust repair on the body. Passenger side needed a full rocker panel, and a patch on the lower quarter panel.

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



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Summer race season we didn't do much on it. He cleaned up his welds, and tacked any pinholes the grinding revealed.


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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



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And the addiction, er, I mean, passion, carries on...thumbsup
He does nice work and that hand formed quarter patch is really cool...tiphat

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess it will be LS powered ??



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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1966 Chevelle SS 396 M20

1970 Chevelle SS 396 M20

1967 Camaro SS 350 rs



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This fall he stripped a door, sandblasted the jambs and the rust-pits hiding behind the side trim, and I primed it for him while he was at Driver's Training class.

 

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

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Lost in the 60s wrote:

And the addiction, er, I mean, passion, carries on...thumbsup
He does nice work and that hand formed quarter patch is really cool...tiphat

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess it will be LS powered ??


His long-term goal is dual-quad 409 with a TKX 5-speed.

Short term high-school budget will probably be the 2bbl 350 out of my Malibu, and the Muncie 3spd out of my 69 SS. We'll put together some sort of decent drivetrain out of the junk I have laying around. 



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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



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I wanted to get the sandblasting done on the shell before winter really set in, so he's been hard at it getting that all done. It uncovered a few more areas that need patching, but the blasting is done for now. The patches will need blasting again, but we can make pretty good progress on the car this winter in other areas if it gets too cold to blast outside. Time change and short days means we can only do outdoor work on the weekends now, so I'm glad to have that done.

We got the whole car in epoxy primer, and I shot the jambs with high-build 2K.

We're starting body work at the dash and firewall so we can get paint on those, and start some assembly work as well... having some part look "finished" is always a good motivator for the rest of it.

 

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



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The LM-1 will be a good beginner engine, but I don't imagine he is really a "beginner" anyway.
Does one of your brothers have a 409 for him to build ?

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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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1967 Camaro SS 350 rs



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Lost in the 60s wrote:

The LM-1 will be a good beginner engine, but I don't imagine he is really a "beginner" anyway.
Does one of your brothers have a 409 for him to build ?


Carl has a bunch of 348s in varying condition, and Chad has a 409 that needs a complete build. 

The 250hp 350 is kind of perfect for a high-school kid. Not quite embarrassingly slow, but not fast enough to really show-off with...which is probably why I'm still alive. laughing

A comparable power stock/used 348 might be a good choice for him. Then the change to a 409 will be easy later. 



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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



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He is skilled and motivated. The car looks great.

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Larry L.

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Love the build and its a great project for you to pass on the skills that I assume you got from your dad.

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

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All families need at least 1 or 2 55-57 Shoe box Chevrolets.

Your Parents, Siblings and of course your own family are something that is rare in the Automotive spectrum.
The good fortune of interest, motivation and the resources to do this are unique in this day and age.

You and Jenna are rightfully both proud and fortunate.
Karl

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I've been slacking on the updates here... about 6 weeks ago, we bought this chassis that's all been rebuilt with new bushings, disc brakes, power-steering, new brake lines, sway bar, and a freshened up rear end, from a guy who turned his '56 Chevy into a gasser.

Should save a lot of time, money, and effort to make his car roadworthy.


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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

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Since Cale has the week off for spring break, he asked Grandpa, a retired body-man who apparently works cheap for his grandkids, if he could come help work on his '55. Grandpa stayed with us for 3 days.

(Monday) Day 1, the center of the dash is now painted.

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-- Edited by Derek69SS on Thursday 23rd of March 2023 08:44:07 AM

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

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(Tuesday) Day 2 of spring break, firewall into the jambs painted before noon.

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

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(Wednesday) Day 3 of spring break, the dash is fully painted.

Now Cale can start some assembly work over the summer and we'll get back to body work next winter.

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

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Excellent, fun to see him working with your dad.

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Bruce L. - Lakeville MN

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WOW

WOW

WOW, I LOVE that color on those cars. notworthy

That is going to be a head turner for certain,

BUT how can he not want to continue the bodywork over the summer. I'd be so pumped, I'd be out there until Midnight until it was ready for the next paint.

Working on getting the Camaro bodywork to the point of final SPI sealer/primer by summer and MAYBE in paint.

That chassis IS going to save a LOT of time and cost. Beautiful looking work on it.

AND how about the '67-'68 flatbed in the first pic ????  Curious minds need to know if that is for sale too. I have 2 C10 projects I could trade...laughing



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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1967 Camaro SS 350 rs



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Lost in the 60s wrote:

WOW

WOW

WOW, I LOVE that color on those cars. notworthy

That is going to be a head turner for certain,

BUT how can he not want to continue the bodywork over the summer. I'd be so pumped, I'd be out there until Midnight until it was ready for the next paint.

Working on getting the Camaro bodywork to the point of final SPI sealer/primer by summer and MAYBE in paint.

That chassis IS going to save a LOT of time and cost. Beautiful looking work on it.


I'm sure HE wants to continue, but I get too busy for big projects during racing season, and he doesn't have enough experience yet to do a lot of the work on his own. Things like wiring harnesses and dash assembly he can figure out from his assembly manual and keep things moving without quite so much of my help. We might still make progress on smaller stuff like fenders, hood, and doors, but definitely won't be pushing to try to finish anything big over the summer. 

Lost in the 60s wrote:

AND how about the '67-'68 flatbed in the first pic ????  Curious minds need to know if that is for sale too. I have 2 C10 projects I could trade...laughing


I kind of accidentally bought that too while I was there... It's a '67 C30 (with big back window and '68 fenders, so it looks like a '68) 

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

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Hmmmm....weren't all '67's small window ? Sounds like a '68 with a '67 title. I can start hauling the 2 C10's down any time now...



-- Edited by Lost in the 60s on Thursday 23rd of March 2023 03:02:20 PM

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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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1967 Camaro SS 350 rs



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Big window was an option in '67 (big window optional from 55-67, and corner windows optional on 48-55), and became standard in '68.
VIN tag appears to be original and not tampered with, and decodes to a 67 C30.

It's pretty well optioned for a 1-ton cab-chassis model. V8, 4spd (w/granny-low), factory AC, and PS. Someone added a later seat, tilt column, and disc brakes.

The truck runs and drives great. I'll mess with it a little bit and probably sell it this summer since I don't really have room for it.



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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

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Finally, someone using spring break for something constructive. Nice work Cale!



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Jim L

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Thanks for posting. Three generations and a 55 Chevy, great restoration story.

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Kevin

Northwestern Ohio



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In order to get Cale's new chassis indoors without taking up any more space, a quick frame swap was in order. With the body in-place, he can figure out where to place the engine and trans mounts, and maybe get an engine out of my way too.

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

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Looks better instantly with those wheels/tires and a clean painted frame.
I have a tubular conversion kit for side mount engine install if that is what he/you decide on. Bought it for one of the past projects that never got off the ground. Engine mounts bolt directly to it, in place of the frame stands.

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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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His old frame had side mount conversion tack welded on so we cut those off and will re-use them on this one. I'm not sure if it's the stock location, or 3/4" forward version, so I want to set an engine in place and see how it lines up.

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



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Did the old frame have mounts for a trans crossmember too ?
Yeah, locating the engine/ trans is fun. Maybe cut out the firewall and do a setback for better drag traction...stirpot



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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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The new frame came with a crossmember mount, but we cut the welds off that too so we can put it wherever we want it.
New frame I think they used front mounts judging by the PS pump bracket.

I'm going to try to line it up so we don't have to change the exhaust that's already "done" on the new frame. Sticking with SBC to keep it cheap and easy. He's going to use a '70 265hp 400sbc and have free reign over my pulley and bracket assortment to make everything work. Just need to line up the Rams Horn manifolds and make sure we can make a Z-bar fit. Maybe swap to short water-pump to keep it more period correct looking.

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



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Sounds like a good plan to move forward with.
Shortening the pipes is easy, if you locate the engine rearward some.


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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

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I have a tranny crossmember i bought for the LT-4 project.

Would be 1/2 price to you if you want to play with it.

 

karl



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We have one, but thanks for the offer!

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

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I've had a lot of people asking about progress on Cale's 55.

During race season, I knew we wouldn't get much done on it, so we stored it for the summer and finally moved it back into the shop around the beginning of December.

Cale got a bit too aggressive sandblasting some deep pits behind where the emblem goes on the hood, and blew holes in some thin spots, so we cut out the area and made a patch. He also cut a hole for a hood scoop, and used some of that metal to shave the hood-bird... he went a little too fast welding, and warped the hood quite a bit. We're going to need to do quite a bit of hammer and dolly work on it, but it will turn out fine. I made a lot of these same mistakes when I was his age.

The last of the rust issues on the body that we're going to address is the panel between the trunk and bumper. He made the patches, and then I hammered on them for a while to make them fit better... he'll get them tacked in tomorrow night then we'll test fit the trunk lid before finish welding them.

Christmas break is coming up soon, so hopefully he'll make some real progress in the next couple weeks.

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Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN

69 Malibu Pro-Touring stroker LS1-383/T56 - 69 SS396-325/3spd project



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Good to see it's back in the operating room and making progress.

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Mitch D.   River Falls, WI

Lifetime member of the "Cars apart Club"

Some Assembly Required

1966 Chevelle SS 396 M20

1970 Chevelle SS 396 M20

1967 Camaro SS 350 rs

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