Tag Archives: chevy

Alaska Bound: Round 2

Film Friday:


Camper Special

A friend recently sent me this photo.  I came back to Minnesota a year after first driving up to Alaska, because I needed a pickup, and vehicles can be expensive in Alaska, and often beat on.  I forget all of the details, but it’s possible, I simply wanted to drive the AlCan again.

I found a 1966 Chevrolet C20, Camper Special in one of the auto trade magazines that were around back at the time.  It came with bald, bias-ply tires, but a sound 327 engine, and a rather smooth ride, compared to my Bronco.  I didn’t have anything in the trailer that belonged to me, but the canoe riding on the top is mine.  I sent my Dad into a state of mild depression, when he saw what I was about to drive for 4000 miles.

I bought a set of tires, replaced all fluids, hoses and belts, and the truck made it to Alaska without so much as a hiccup.

1957 Chevrolet 150 “Black Widow”

'57 Black Widow

This ’57 Chevy 150, is one of six, factory backed racers built for the 1957 NASCAR Grand National Championship. Nicknamed the “Black Widows”, Chevy dominated NASCAR that year with their 283 powered 150’s.

'57 Chevy Black Widow

The Black Widows debuted at the Daytona Speed Week race of 17 February 1957, driven by Johnny Beauchamp, Buck Baker, Speedy Thompson, Rex White, Frankie Schneider and Jack Smith. Beauchamp would finish second, behind Cotton Owens and his Pontiac. Jack Smith would drive this car to victory 2 weeks later at Concord, NC. That race would see the Black Widows sweep, with Baker in second and Thompson in third. Smith would take the checkered flag again at Columbia, South Carolina; Hickory, North Carolina, and North Wilkesboro, which would be enough for Smith to drive this Chevy 150 to fifth place in the NASCAR season championship standings.

Black Widow interior

The Black Widows’ success would lead to the Series fuel-injection ban, that would remain in effect for another 55 years.

283 Black Widow engine

“Specially built in Detroit and shipped by rail to SEDCO for final preparation, each car was equipped with the new 283/283 HP small-block V8 with Rochester mechanical fuel injection, Fenton headers, a column-shifted 3-speed manual transmission, heavy-duty 3.90:1 rear end, high-performance Hydrovac power brakes, 20-gallon fuel tank and six-lug wheels.” — Mecum Auction Website

I love, absolutely LOVE, the fact that these racers were column shifters!

This, Jack Smith driven ’57 Chevy “Black Widow”, is up for auction in Kissimmee, Florida, between January 6 – 15, 2017. It is expected to bring in $150K-$250K.

What a sweet piece of automobile history.

All photos and car statistics come courtesy of Mecum Auctions.

For the Gearheads

2015 is the 60th Anniversary of the Chevrolet Small Block V-8. Introduced in 1955 as a 265 cubic inch delight to car folks and hotrodders everywhere, the Chevy Small Block was originally available in the Corvette & Bel Air models. The debut version of the iconic V-8 went from design to production in 15 weeks.

The video above was put together by Hagerty and it shows the teardown, machining, and rebuild of a small block engine taken from a 1970 Impala convertible. In their tribute to the Chevy Small Block V-8, the video is made up mostly of still shots … 20,000 still shots in all.

My Dad had a 1955 Bel Air with the new 265 V-8, a three speed synchromesh manual transmission with the optional overdrive. I think it’s safe to say that he wishes now he never sold that car. Or the ’57 Bel Air… or the ’58 Bel Air convertible…

Tsk… tsk…

Oh Yeah…

I’m back in Squarebanks. I suppose it’s expected that I share that little tidbit of info.

So I climb into the modern Chevrolet Silverado after weeks of double clutching in the Land Rover, only to have the serpentine belt jump a pulley and then snake its way around the entire engine compartment, leaving little rubber flakes scattered about under the hood. I am now forced to drive the Beetle down to NAPA to get a new belt for the truck. When I parked the Bug last fall, it had a wheel bearing going out.
Back to the Chevy: It now appears that the alternator has also gone out of the Chevy, so I drove the still squeaking Bug to the jobsite, completely loaded down with painting equipment. I’ll probably have to haul two fives of paint tomorrow in it as well, but I’m holding off on strapping the 7′ step ladder to the VeeDub’s roof rack.

The new alternator should be here tomorrow afternoon for the Chevy.

I also considered buying the bearings & seals for the Beetle, but 2/3’s of the needed parts were not in town.

Welcome back.