Candy the Dandy ’57 Chevy
Posted for Buddy Love
As a candy apple red ’57 Chevy with yellow and orange flames pulls to a stop at an intersection invariably rationally sane people have to yell out their car windows, “Hey nice car,” or wave like they have lost their minds.Owner Alan Strong, either bragging or complaining, said, “One of the reasons I installed air conditioning was to keep from jumping out of my skin every time an exuberant admirer yells at me at a stop light.The admiration does not stop at traffic signals; several times Alan has almost been run off the road just because people wanted him to know how much they love his car.The startling display of affection is an experience certainly unique to Alan, yet maybe not unique to most classic car owners.
The ‘57’s universal appeal my have something to do with the displays of affection however the 70’s hot rod styling doesn’t hurt. The car is in some ways a survivor from another time.
Using DMV records and previous owner testimony to learn the groovy ’57’s history it was found she was built in the mid 70’s.The ’57 was hot rodded with all that was vogue during that decade except metal flake paint.
When asked Alan said, “The best I can tell the car was built as a hot rod not a restoration.” Several after market parts were added yet many every day parts were left untouched.Speed parts added were a fly wheel scatter shield with a connected Borg Warner 4 speed.The engine bay is toped with a holly 750 double pumper sitting on an aluminum high rise intake manifold.When fired up the engine has a noticeable distinct rumble from the headers and dual exhaust.The car was built years before billet and even disk brakes as horse power was thought of more than stopping power. Stock drum breakes with the original one cylinder master cylinder still has to fight the stopping battle.
To make the car trendy flashy and shinny, she was painted with candy apple red paint with wild yellow and orange flames, thus the name “Candy the Dandy ‘57”.To update the inside, a cloth interior was installed that was some what similar to the original 150’s interior scheme.This car is exactly what most guys and gals would have wanted in high school during late 70’s, down to the rally wheels.Alan commented, “I like the car the way it is so much that I am reluctant to have her repainted in spite of the rust and nicks.”
“However,” Alan said, “When I took ownership she was mechanically in pretty sad shape except for the 383 cubic inch engine.”Over the years the steering box was upgraded to a 605 power unit along with all front end bushing and ball joints.To make the old girl handle better a sway bar was added in addition to 4 new shocks.She still had a pair of 70’era leaking air shocks.Next, to be repaired or replace was all the floor and trunk sheet metal.Trying to save the embarrassment of a one wheel burn outs, Posi-traction was installed.To overcome the Texas heat and to have 12 months of cruising a Classic Auto Air conditioning was installed.
During the last 5 years Alan has been member of the Dallas Area Classic Chevy Club.Alan said, “My car is a 30-30.She looks real good at 30 feet or going by at least 30 miles per hour. So, showing my car has not been my main focus.I enjoy the club’s (DACC) dozen or so events that range from country tours to attending drive-in movies.”