Greg & Trish Land's 1955 Chevy 210 Hardtop
(from Volume 19, Issue 220)

Your first car is always special. For most people it signifies freedom, independence, a coming of age, and just plain fun. For Greg Land it is all that, and more.....and it is this 1955 Chevy you see pictured here. Of course, the car didn’t always look quite like this.

Greg got the car back in 1978 when he was in High School up in Indiana. His mom and dad had taken him to see the movie “American Graffiti”, and that bass ass ‘55 Chevy really got Greg going! That prompted a quick search that led them to the 210 Hardtop. He drove the car to school and work, and even picked up his wife (of 27 years) on their first date with this car. When Greg proposed to Trish, he had the ring, flowers and champagne, along with burning candles in the trunk. The ‘55 also played a roll on their wedding day, as his brother chauffeured them to the reception in the Chevy. It was a great way to start a new life together!

Over the years, the ‘55 has had a few different looks, including a tunnel rammed 283 engine, candy brandy wine paint with graphics, and a custom grey interior designed and installed by Greg’s mom. After many years of car shows in the 1980’s, a couple of moves due to employment opportunities, and the birth of their daughter the car was garaged....but never out of mind.

This leads us to the current edition of “OutLANDish!”, the car’s nickname, which incorporates Greg’s last name.

Way back in 2007, Greg was getting the itch to get the car back on the road. The original brakes were tired, as well as the 283 engine. Even though the car had been down to bare metal twice before, it had never had a frame-off restoration. He wanted to do a complete resto-mod version, with an updated running gear.

Being an illustrator, Greg drew several sketches until he arrived at a final color rendering of “OutLANDish” that he really liked. He wanted the car to be finished to a level much higher than his skill set, so after several interview with a few different hot rod shops, Greg gave the project to Time Machines, Inc. in Hudson, Florida.

Time Machines took Greg’s want list and began the two year and ten month project that started with a complete disassemble of the car, and a media blast that revealed the Indiana weather worn floor boards. New floor and trunk pans were welded in, along with new rockers and lower quarter panels. The firewall was smoothed and reshaped for the addition of a new GM Performance crate 502 Ram Jet engine. Subtle body modifications include the removal of the hood bird and emblem. The gas door was removed and a Rocky Hinge hidden filler tube was placed behind the driver’s side taillight. The stock rear wheel wells were widened to fit 335 Michelin tires. After many hours of sanding and prep work, the body, along with the dash, was sprayed black and light gold.

An Art Morrison chassis was chosen to replace the stock one, and modern updates include the Heidts front suspension, 9-inch Ford rear end with Strange 31 spline axles. Coil over shocks and a four link setup round out the rear suspension. Wilwood brakes with drilled and slotted rotors are on all four corners, mated up with wheels designed by Time Machines and produced by BonSpeed. The fronts are 19x7 inch, and the rears are 20x12 inch.

The interior features late model Chrysler buckets that were sculpted, and a custom fiberglass console hides the electronics for the 4L80 transmission. A Lokar shifter with a piston handle (a nod to American Graffiti) looks right at home between the buckets. The rear arm rests were extended up the sides of the back seats. The heater controls and ash tray were removed from the dash, and new Vintage Air controls and the Sony sound system were hidden in the glove box. Air conditioning vents were added to the cleaned up dash to keep the interior cool. All new tinted glass was added to help tone down the Florida sunshine, and also lend a sleek look to the car’s black exterior. As for the interior, Time Machine handles the ultra leather upholstery, since Greg’s mom had passed away several years ago. He still carries a piece of the old interior with the car’s registration though, in honor of his mom.

It was a proud day when Greg drove his old family member home after the completion of the restomoding. Greg’s daughter rode with him, and it was the first time she had ever ridden in the ‘55. Greg will always remember that day, just as he’ll always remember that first date back in high school. CN