40 Plus Years In The Making

1957 Chevrolet 210
Article and finished photos by Larry Crain
Build and personal photos supplied by Hoyt Allison

This could be one of those real long and convoluted stories about a man and his car, but I will try to keep it short; notice I said try. But to tell the story of how this car came to be a beautiful piece of four-wheel art, we need to go way back in its history.

The start of this history is a little blurred, but somehow this 1957 Chevy 210 two door sedan found its way from Pennsylvania to Georgia during the 1960’s. The car found itself in the hands of a couple of old hot rodders that didn’t have much use for the factory 6 cylinder and the 3 speed manual tranny. The sedan was then equipped with a 327 and a Muncie 4 speed, and those guys had some fun with the car as a hot rod.

As fate would have it, the car was sold to a guy by the name of Bobby Canup, who just happened to be the current owner’s first cousin. Well, Bobby didn’t have it long before the ’57 Chevy was sold around 1971 to Hoyt Allison of Sautee, Georgia.

Hoyt drove the car for a while, but he couldn’t seem to keep gas in the car along with wearing out clutches and rear ends. Hoyt detuned the old hot rod where it was more usable on a daily basis, then he freshened up the old car with some new black paint and the interior was redone in diamond pleat to replace the old tuck and roll that was in it. The old car stayed pretty busy with Hoyt at the wheel until 1978 when the motor seized up. Hoyt pulled the motor with the intent of rebuilding it, but life got in the way and the old Chevy was relegated to the proverbial old barn.

Around 2008, Hoyt got motivated and started buying parts for the old Chevy with the intention to totally redo the car. Well all sorts of hurdles got in the way while trying to do the build, and a lot of the parts Hoyt had first bought were not up to date when he got ready to use them. Some of the great bargains Hoyt bought for his project off of the Internet where not so great when it came time to use them. Hoyt finally wised up and turned the car over to Designer Street Rods, where their full attention and talents were focused on turning the old Chevy into Hoyt’s dream car. What you see in these photos is the result of the collaboration between Hoyt and the shop that finally brought the car back to life.

The body of the ’57 was in need of a lot of work due to years of rust slowly eating away at it. The car was given a new pan from firewall to the rear bumper; the firewall was totally reworked and smoothed. The body was stripped to bare steel and brought to a level beyond what the factory had produced. The super straight body was finished out in a very subtle Charcoal Gray that makes all of the chrome and stainless pop. The old Chevy has been updated with LED headlights and taillights. The side of the car features the traditional fin insert, but there is no Bel Air script, and a very subtle touch is the fact that the vent windows have been deleted. This old Chevy might not have come from the factory with a fuel injection system, but it can wear that fender emblem with pride after the installation of all of the GM Performance Parts that now reside under its hood.

The chassis for the car was cleaned, blasted and finished out slick as glass. This clean chassis features a front suspension equipped with QA1 shocks, Hotchkis sway bar and tubular control arms. The rear suspension is a leaf spring set up with QA1 shocks, Hotchkis sway bar and a Currie 9-inch rear end with 3:73 gears. The tire and wheel combination is pure hot rod with 17-inch Boss Wheels mounted with Nitto radials. Stopping power for this hot rod comes in the form of a Wilwood brake system on all four corners.

This Chevy 210 had once run a 327, but is now set up with a GM Performance LS3 that puts out 480 horsepower. The dressed out LS3 is paired up with a GM Performance 4L70E transmission that is equipped with a 3000 stall converter. This performance package has been teamed up with Hooker Headers, stainless steel exhaust system equipped with Flowmaster Mufflers, and a custom aluminum driveshaft. The engine compartment also sports an all-in-one component from AutoRad, core support, a/c condenser, radiator and dual fans that keep this classic Chevy running cool no matter what.

The interior of the old hot rod has come a long way since its diamond pleat days. The dash is now home to an instrument cluster from Classic Instruments, an a/c system from Vintage Air and a custom designed a/c vent where the radio used to be. Other upgrades to the dash area include a Kenwood entertainment center that includes a GPS along with a backup camera. Other creature comforts include a polished tilt column from Ididit that is dressed out with a custom wrapped steering wheel from Billet Specialties. Paul Atkins Interiors was given the job of bringing the interior up to the same level that Designer Street Rods had brought the rest of the car up to. The Chevy’s dressed out interior now has a pair of power bucket seats from a Lexus along with a custom console that is home to a Lokar shifter and power window switches. The door panels, headliner and seats are covered in Terra Cotta leather and other areas of the interior feature carbon fiber accents.

All in all, I would have to say it looks like the 40 plus years it took Hoyt to get the car to this level was worth the wait. Hoyt can tell you all about his days with this car and the headaches involved with parts buying. He will also be first one to tell you to listen to your builder when they offer suggestions on how to approach a build. Listen to Hoyt real well as he has quite a few years of learning just on this one car, and the whole time he his talking, be sure to be looking at the car that was just an old ’57 Chevy hot rod back when.

Manufacturers and shops used in the build of this car.

  • AutoRad Radiators
  • Billet Specialties
  • Classic Instruments
  • Currie
  • Designer Street Rods
  • Flowmaster
  • GM Performance
  • Hooker Headers
  • Hotchkis
  • Ididit
  • Kenwood
  • Lokar
  • Paul Atkins Interiors
  • QA1
  • Vintage Air
  • Wilwood
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