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Have you ever looked at another enthusiast’s ride and noticed something unique, yet very clever, that made the vehicle stand out or perform better and thought, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Well, we’ve done some of the homework, legwork and research to provide you with a similar advantage. We scoured the tuning shops and interrogated the pros to find out what tips they have done that our readers could apply to their own vehicles.

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In past stories we have shown you how to shave door handles, install custom outside door handles, round door corners, build suicide doors, add bear claw latches and so on. Now we’re going to offer you a personal favorite custom touch—installing a dash from a ’59-’60 Chevrolet Impala into a ’56 Ford F-100.

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Beauty & POWER

Upon its introduction, the ’55 Chevy became an instant success, and over the years, it has remained a favorite of Chevy enthusiasts, with the ’55 Bel Air hardtop being one of the most popular.

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Vintage Fabrication

For every hot rod shop that has a show on TV, there are countless smaller shops that will never get mainstream TV exposure or clothing lines sold at Wal-Mart. But all across the country, it’s these smaller shops that turn out the majority of the street and super rods that you and I enjoy, and that we see at shows. And even though these little guys may not have big reputations yet, they churn out consistent and excellent work—and, that is precisely how some of these smaller shops will eventually become bigger shops with even more prestige.

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This was a time when car manufacturers improved on their cars with much better suspension systems, larger and more efficient V-8 engines, and all the stylish creature comforts new-car customers expected. Chevrolet evolved, too, using more modern technology and a performance parts supply that enabled Chevy enthusiasts to build upon the factory offerings. Chevrolet changed what was once a basic industry, and even though those were simpler times with no computers, cell phones or electronics to speak of, the suspensions were new—but still a long way from what is available now. However, tri-5 Chevys were fast and provided a blast without all those fancy gadgets found in luxury cars at the time—just give them a two-tone Chevy equipped with a V-8 and whitewall tires, and it was all good.

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