John & Claire Smith's 1955 Chevy Wagon (August 2003)

As has become the tradition at our annual Beach Blast car show, held this year on May 18th in Cocoa Beach, the Best Of Show winner is not only depicted on the following year’s event T-Shirt, but is also featured here in the magazine. This year’s highest vote getting honors went to Space Coast Street Rods members John and Claire Smith of Merritt Island, Florida for their super sharp 1955 Chevy 210 2-Door Station Wagon.

John found the car while at an event in North Carolina at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He knew it was the car of his dreams, and it was even for sale. When John called Claire on the phone to see if he could buy it she had one condition, he had to promise from the bottom of his heart to sell his 1939 Chevy. John agreed and bought the ‘55 Wagon....but would you believe it, he still also has the 1939 Chevy. Clair wasn’t a very happy camper, but she now calls the ‘55 Chevy Wagon hers!

The Wagon was completely restored from the ground up with almost all new parts, and really came out great. The exterior was left pretty much stock, with the straight-as-an-arrow body receiving a shiny coat of bright red paint. A set of 17 inch American Torque Thrust rims wrapped in low profile tires, along with the pristine stainless and chrome trim give the car a real eye-catching look...which was also complemented by a surf board sticking out of the rear while parked on the promenade at Beach Blast 9.

Inside the expansive accommodations have been done up in cream colored leather. The dash has been given billet accent plates and pieces, and houses a set of sporty and contemporary looking analog white face gauges, including a tach. The Ididit polished stainless steel tilt column is topped with a LeCarra banjo style steering wheel, and a Vintage Air system keeps the cabin climate controlled. The Custom Auto Sound stereo system keeps the radio’s appearance vintage, yet gives the convenience of a potent 100 watt AM/FM cassette player and a 10-disc CD changer.

Upon opening the hood you’ll find an immaculate engine compartment, with tons of polished or plated parts shimmering. The 350 engine is fitted with a 2-1/2 inch fully stainless exhaust system, and a Griffin aluminum radiator. Shifting is left to the 700R4 overdrive automatic, which routes back to a 12 bolt posi-traction rear end fitted with .411 gears.

John and Claire enjoy attending the various car shows and cruise-ins Florida has to offer, and one of the neat side stories to it all is that when John and Claire were dating back in the 1950’s they loved to go to the drag races in Southern California, where they lived at the time, and especially enjoyed cruising at Bob’s Big Boy in Pasadena. Claire told us she’d also never forget John picking her up from school in his cherry red 1954 Corvette, and while they are both older now they still enjoy their “youth” and great memories while cruising in their 1955 Chevy. CN