The ’55 Chevy Transformation: Unleashing the Beast with Tony’s Remarkable Build

Welcome to Autotopia LA, where we have an exciting treat for you today. We’re here with Tony from Lakeside Customs, showcasing an incredible ’55 Chevy that’s making over 1000 horsepower. This car is a true masterpiece, featuring an Evil Knievel theme that adds a touch of nostalgia and excitement. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the details of this extraordinary build, from the engine to the design and everything in between. So buckle up and get ready to experience the power and beauty of this stunning ’55 Chevy.

The Evil Knievel Theme

The ’55 Chevy in question stands out not only for its performance but also for its captivating Evil Knievel theme. Evil Knievel, the legendary daredevil who mesmerized audiences with his death-defying motorcycle jumps, has inspired many enthusiasts.

Tony, the mastermind behind this build, was no exception. Growing up watching Evil Knievel’s stunts, he felt compelled to pay homage to the iconic daredevil through his work.

The Story Behind the Build

Tony’s journey with this ’55 Chevy began when he stumbled upon it while speaking with its previous owner, Ronald. Ronald had owned the car for 25 years but had to halt the project due to health issues.

Tony saw the opportunity to breathe new life into the car and took it upon himself to re-engineer and complete the build. The result is a true testament to Tony’s dedication and craftsmanship.

Under the Hood: Unleashing the Beast

Let’s pop the hood and get a glimpse of the heart that powers this beast. The ’55 Chevy boasts a 712 cubic inch Merlin block engine. Paired with Dart Big Chief heads and a Kinsler fuel injection system, this powerplant churns out an astonishing 1096 horsepower without the use of nitrous.

Tony intentionally removed the nitrous system from the ’55 Chevy’s engine setup to maintain a clean and streamlined appearance under the hood while maximizing space. While nitrous oxide injection can provide a significant power boost, Tony made a deliberate choice to focus on other performance enhancements and modifications for this particular build..

Impressive Metalwork and Design

Beyond the raw power, the attention to detail in the metalwork of this ’55 Chevy is truly impressive. The car features a four and a half-inch pushback, accentuating its aggressive stance.

The meticulous cutting of the hood to accommodate the clearance for the engine’s trumpets took multiple attempts, but the final result is a seamless integration of form and function.

Powertrain and Performance Upgrades

To harness the immense power generated by the engine, Tony opted for a TCI Turbo 400 transmission. A gear vendor set and a Kugel independent rear suspension with a Strange Ford nine-inch rear end ensure reliable power delivery and enhanced handling.

The Art Morrison chassis and Kugel front components play a pivotal role in elevating the ’55 Chevy’s performance to new heights, providing an exceptional driving experience on both straightaways and corners. These meticulously engineered components bring together strength, rigidity, and precise handling characteristics that transform the car’s dynamics.

Suspension and Chassis Enhancements

No expense was spared when it came to upgrading the suspension and chassis components. The ’55 Chevy is equipped with a Cool suspension system, providing a comfortable ride and improved handling characteristics.

The combination of the Art Morrison chassis, Kugel suspension, and Strange Ford nine-inch rear end delivers a balanced and controlled driving experience.

Cooling and Exhaust Systems

To keep this high-performance machine running cool, a custom radiator with recessed cooling fans was installed. The Kugel with vacuum booster brake setup ensures optimal stopping power, even under intense driving conditions.

The exhaust system of the vehicle was meticulously crafted with the goal of enhancing both its performance capabilities and the auditory experience of those fortunate enough to witness its presence. The engineers and designers involved in the creation of this system sought to strike a harmonious balance between optimizing the car’s power output and creating a captivating, resonant sound that would undoubtedly capture the attention of onlookers

The Wheels and Tires Setup

The ’55 Chevy sports a set of eye-catching Buttnic wheels, perfectly complemented by Hoosier tires. The unique tire sizes and fitment required precise adjustments to the rear quarter panels.

Tony and his skilled team of automotive craftsmen undertook the task of expertly flaring the quarters of the vehicle, demonstrating their meticulous attention to detail and commitment to both functionality and aesthetics. The purpose of this endeavor was to accommodate the installation of wider tires, a modification that would significantly enhance the car’s performance capabilities while ensuring a cohesive and visually pleasing appearance.

Interior Customization and Features

The interior of the ’55 Chevy pays homage to the legendary daredevil, Evil Knievel, carrying forward the captivating theme that permeates every aspect of this exceptional car. From the custom center console to the meticulously crafted seats and door panels, every detail within the cabin reflects the iconic stars and stripes motif associated with the renowned stunt performer.

Stepping inside the ’55 Chevy, one is immediately enveloped in an immersive experience that transports them into the world of daredevil feats and adrenaline-fueled excitement. The custom center console takes center stage, serving as a focal point that seamlessly integrates functionality with design. Painstakingly designed and constructed, it showcases the famous stars and stripes motif, meticulously applied with an eye for precision and authenticity.

Attention to Detail: Exterior Modifications

The exterior of the ’55 Chevy underwent numerous modifications to achieve its stunning appearance. A roof chop was performed to achieve a sleeker profile, while the rear window was given a distinct slope.

The ’55 Chevy undergoes a series of modifications that go beyond enhancing its performance and embody the spirit of customization and individuality. In addition to the performance upgrades, Tony and his team have applied a range of aesthetic enhancements to create a truly unique and aggressive look that sets the car apart from the crowd.

Flawless Paintwork and Color Choices

The ’55 Chevy is finished in a flawless paint job, capturing the essence of Evil Knievel’s spirit. The vibrant red and white color scheme, combined with the custom graphics, pay homage to Evil Knievel’s iconic jumpsuit.

The meticulous attention to detail exhibited in the customization of the ’55 Chevy extends beyond its mechanical and structural aspects to its exterior appearance. Every brushstroke, every line, and every color choice has been carefully considered and executed, resulting in a truly captivating exterior that commands attention wherever it goes

The Trunk: A Stock Surprise

While most of the ’55 Chevy received extensive customization, the trunk remains relatively stock. Tony deliberately maintained a portion of the car’s originality to create a contrast between the radical modifications and the classic ’55 Chevy design.

Tony’s creativity and ingenuity shine through even in the smallest details of the ’55 Chevy’s design. One such example is the clever wiring of the trunk release to the exterior, a testament to his ability to think outside the box and find innovative solutions.

Braking and Handling Improvements

To ensure the ’55 Chevy handles as well as it accelerates, Tony upgraded the braking system with Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners. The improved stopping power instills confidence when pushing the limits of this powerful machine.

Combined with the advanced suspension and chassis enhancements, the car delivers a smooth and controlled driving experience.

Air Ride System: Combining Style and Functionality

To enhance both style and functionality, the ’55 Chevy features an air ride suspension system. This allows the driver to adjust the ride height, giving the car an aggressive stance when desired and ensuring a comfortable ride during everyday driving.

The air ride system, also known as an air suspension, replaces the conventional coil springs with airbags or air springs. These airbags are strategically placed at each corner of the vehicle and are connected to an onboard compressor and air reservoir. By adjusting the air pressure within these bags, the ride height of the car can be precisely controlled.

Future Plans and Upcoming Projects

Tony’s passion for building unique and high-performance vehicles doesn’t end with the Evil Knievel ’55 Chevy. He’s currently working on an Evil Knievel-themed ramp truck to accompany this car.

Additionally, Tony plans to fine-tune the ’55 Chevy further and explore potential improvements to squeeze even more power out of its already monstrous engine.

The Driving Experience: A Preview

Although we haven’t had the opportunity to get behind the wheel just yet, Tony has promised us a thrilling experience when we take this ’55 Chevy for a spin.

With over 1000 horsepower at our disposal, we can only imagine the adrenaline rush and raw power this car delivers on the open road. Stay tuned for our upcoming review and driving impressions.

Tony’s Motorsports Background

Tony’s background in motorsports plays a significant role in his ability to execute such impressive builds. With years of experience working on high-performance vehicles and participating in various racing events, Tony’s expertise shines through in every aspect of this ’55 Chevy build.

Tony’s passion for cars and unwavering commitment to excellence shine through in every aspect of the final product. From the moment he embarked on the project, it was clear that he was driven by a deep love for automobiles and a desire to create something truly exceptional

A Final Word of Appreciation

Before we conclude, we must express our gratitude to Tony from Lakeside Customs for allowing us to delve into the details of this extraordinary ’55 Chevy build.

His dedication, craftsmanship, and attention to detail have resulted in a truly remarkable car that pays homage to Evil Knievel’s legacy while pushing the boundaries of performance and design.


The ’55 Chevy with an Evil Knievel theme is a testament to the creativity, skill, and passion of Tony and his team at Lakeside Customs. From the monstrous engine under the hood to the flawless exterior design and the thoughtfully customized interior, every aspect of this build showcases their commitment to excellence. This ’55 Chevy is not only a feast for the eyes but also a true performance machine, with over 1000 horsepower at its command. It’s a unique blend of nostalgia, power, and artistry—a masterpiece that brings together the spirit of Evil Knievel and the timeless allure of the ’55 Chevy.

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