Chevs of the 40s Community Forum

Joe Bailey's 1954 Chevy Hardtop

Joe Bailey's 1954 Chevy Hardtop It's amazing what can happen in a short number of years... In 2005 there once was a rust bucket of a car, falling apart and full of volcanic ash from the 1980 Mt. St Helens eruption. The owner at the time had taken what he needed off of the near corpse of a car and decided the car's days were numbered. In fact, it was in line to be crushed at a wrecking yard in Battleground, Wa. That was until the owners neighbor had heard and expressed his interest in the car. The owner handed the title over, and thus began the journey of bringing this car back to life. Joe Bailey had quite an interesting start to his project. Literally scooping bucket after bucket of volcanic ash out of his car, and that was the easy part. Next came the hand formed rear quarter panels as well as the restoration of the original fenders, doors, deck lid, and hood. Luckily, his good friend Dave Saulnier was there to help him every step of the way. This 54' is toting a Jim Meyer IFS with coilovers, and a Posies leaf spring set up on the rear. GM disc brakes all around, 31 spline Ford 9" rear end, and Dutchman axles. Sway bars were added to the front and back in order to keep his tires from rubbing (Vulcan tires w/Foose Legend wheels 18" x 9" Rear, 17" x 8" Front). Joe is a welder by trade and inherently, there is a lot of custom fab on this car. In example, the fuel filler was relocated into the trunk underneath the carpet and the original door on the fender was smoothed. The 15 gallon tank he bought had grown to 22 gallons, all of which is stainless steel. A 3 piece 1956 bumper was welded together for the front, and a 1955 Nomad bumper was put on the rear. Another cool modification to the car is the custom frenched tail lights, as well as the Hagan frenched headlights that were fitted with 1955 Chevy eyebrows. Door handles were shaved & door/trunk poppers were added. What was a two piece hood became one, the original inner fender panels were modified, and the original firewall was customized to fit the vehicles modern needs... Such as the 350 SBC roller motor, all of its custom fabricated brackets, and the power brake booster. Also adorning the engine bay is a custom built radiator with two electric fans and shroud, which works great with the electric water pump. And to top it off a Edelbrock Air Gap intake matched to a Edelbrock 4 barrel carb which is fed by an electric fuel pump. All of which sounds great out of the Sanderson headers. Inside the car, many things were changed as well. Everything was rechromed & the cigarette lighter and ashtray were removed from the dash. The seats are out of a later Cherokee. All the pedals are Lokar and it has an Ididit steering column. The gauges are Classic Instruments All American and he's got a billet bezel sitting around them. It took 6.5 years for Joe to finish his project, after which he said, "I wouldn't do another project like it again." But none the less, the result of the car is amazing. The 60 trophies he's won over the last three years can definitely vouch for that. I could go on and on with the list of features on this car but i'm gonna let the pictures do that for me.

  1. mike rockwell said on October 6, 2015 10:34 am:

    Nice save, great build. Like the detail & personal touches