Attention to detail often separates really good street machines from the great ones. For Daryl Roach of Ithaca, NE, a great street machine took the form of a ’55 Chevrolet 210 two-door post, and the results speaks for themselves. The 210 post cars are often overlooked in favor of hardtops, convertibles, or Bel Air models. But from relatively humble beginnings, Daryl teamed up with the folks at Top End Engineering in Lincoln, NE, to transform the bowtie shoebox into a true piece of rolling art.
Daryl’s journey with the ’55 Chevy, which he dubbed “Cremoso” (Italian for creamy), began innocently enough. He long desired a tri-five Chevy, favoring the ’55 most in recollection of the ’55 his older brother drove in high school. While attending a vintage car auction in nearby Kansas City, MO, a very clean two-tone ivory and tan ’55 two-door post car caught his eye. When the gavel fell, his dream had come true.
It wasn’t long after he arrived home that Daryl noticed the front clip on the Chevy was just a little different color than the rest of the car, so he brought the car to Top End Engineering to determine if the paint color issue could be corrected. One step inside their shop had Daryl dreaming of all the possibilities as he gazed at the gleaming, finished street machines. Soon Daryl and Pete Klucas, owner of Top End, began developing a plan that involved just a little more than painting the front clip.
“The project took on a life of its own,” said Daryl. To help control costs, he ordered numerous parts and often volunteered to run parts to various locations during the build. They began building a solid project foundation using the original frame. The rear of the frame was C-notched to get the ultra low stance Daryl wanted, and with the help of a custom made four-bar rear suspension, Hiedts two-inch drop front spindles, and RideTech components all around, the Bowtie was firmly planted in the weeds. A 31-spline Ford nine-inch rear axle and Wilwood disc brakes completed the chassis.
A more modern GM Performance Parts ZZ383 Fast Burn engine was chosen to replace the mid-’60s 350ci Impala engine that came with the car, and was topped with a polished Street & Performance RamPort intake and RamPort fuel injection. Custom made valve covers and air cleaner added yet another level of refinement to the engine. The potent power plant was then backed by a Tremec five-speed and outfitted with a custom made shifter designed to blend perfectly with the other components in the car.
With a rock solid driveline and chassis in place, work began on the body with a few subtle modifications. The fuel door, emblems, and locks were all shaved from the car’s exterior. Then custom smaller bumper guards were fabricated for the factory bumpers. Once the body was laser straight, Pete laid down several coats of Light Cashmere and Kool Vanilla paint to ensure “Cremoso” lived up to its name.
Work soon shifted to completing the interior, and Top End had many more custom touches to offer, including a great looking custom console that incorporates the air suspension controls in a handcrafted bezel and a one-off radio block off plate. The ididit steering column is topped with an equally beautiful Billet Specialties 15.5-inch steering wheel. Seats from a ’94 Lincoln Mark VIII were reworked to better fit the car before being upholstered in light tan leather and complemented with tan square weave wool carpets. Tim Mulhair of Top End is credited with the lion’s share of the electronic and audio installation, and with all the electronics in this great ride we’re certain he had his hands full!
After just over 13 months at Top End’s shop, “Cremoso” was nearly ready to return to the street. The installation of a set of Foose Nitrous II wheels and Continental skins signaled its completion.
When we first ran into Daryl, he was tearing up the streets of Deadwood, SD, so don’t kid yourself into thinking this little Chevy is a trailer queen. When asked if there was anything he would do differently if he were to build it again, he replied, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” We couldn’t agree more.