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Free Horsepower Tips

If you’re in the planning stages of building your Chevrolet, or even if you have finished and are driving it, there are lots of free or inexpensive things you can do to make your Bow Tie faster and/or more efficient. This month, TheAutoBuilder gives you 25 of those ideas. Most of these free tips simply involve putting your car on a diet. Every 100 pounds of weight removed from your car equals dropping 1/10th of a second at the strip. Even though you may not be racing, the same theory applies to the street, and also to the extra weight you must lug around.

SODA BLASTING

When starting any project that requires bodywork, rebuilding or even repainting, the first question is always, “What could possibly be lurking under the old paint that could come back and haunt us later?”

All-In-One Conversions

The lines of ’55-’57 Chevys are almost sacrosanct. They haven’t been modified or changed over the years with very good results. There have been a couple of exceptions, but by and large, chopped tops, restyled fenders and other modifications that alter their original lines don’t come off looking real good. The problem is in the proportions. We’re not sure if it’s because the factory got them so perfect right out of the gate, or if it’s that most have been left alone over the last 50 years, so a chopped top looks strange. Whatever the reason, the classic “greenhouse” roofline, long fenders and slab sides all work very well together.

HOW TO PAINT

Sketch out a few ideas on paper, or some people like to put tracing paper over an actual photograph. Somehow come up with a plan for your paint scheme. We opted to “visually lengthen” the car by using a base scallop to connect both sides. This pattern flows to the side chrome, and extending this outline from the front to the rear gives the longer appearance. The stock Mercury body is thick. By putting the scallops below the trim line on the car, your eye is automatically drawn downward, giving the Mercury a lower, thinner appearance.

The 2022 SEMA Show

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show engulfs Fabulous Las Vegas annually. It brings together the biggest names in the automotive world to show off the latest and greatest, whether it’s new products, amazing custom builds, or the newest trends. TheAutoBuilder is excited to be in the thick of it all.

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