John Creekmore's 1957 Chevy (from Volume 12, Issue 132)
In life, sometimes it can start to feel as if youve seen pretty much everything. Then something will happen that lets you know that just isnt possible - and no matter how much experience you have under your belt, there is always something new to come across. This scenario can be applied to John Creekmores wild 1957 Chevy. Sure, youve seen plenty of 57 Chevys, and no doubt some pretty wicked race style ones....but have you ever seen a Pro Mod style street legal 57 Chevy? Its doubtful, as to the best of owner John Creekmores knowledge, it is the only street legal 7/8 scale 1957 Chevy known to exist.
John grew up in the muscle car era when American Iron was King. He always wanted a real bad street car, and has loved 1957 Chevys all his life. He got his inspiration to build the car you see pictured here while attending the NHRA Gator Nationals several years ago, where he first saw a 7/8 scale 57 Chevy Pro Mod making passes down the track (likely Rob Vandergriffs). What came to Johns mind was, Wow! Wouldnt it be neat to have one of those on the street! So he set a goal, and once he had the finances necessary John started looking for a builder. He was referred to Tim Takash of Takash Race Craft in Winter Park, Florida, and after checking him out John decided to ask him to build the car. Tim said No three times before he agreed to take on the project. Since it is a wind tunnel inspired swoopy 7/8 scale version of a 1957 Chevy, and a one of a kind car, everything had to be fabricated from the ground up - as nothing would fit from an original 57 Chevy. The first thing they did was buy a junk 1957 Chevy with a clean title. They kept the VIN plate, the dash board, and about 6-inches of the frame.
The entire car is a chrome moly tube frame, which was built to Pro Stock specifications. The body is of a Pro Mod design, and came in sections. Everything on the car had to be hand fabricated by Tim Takash. Little things like door hinges, door latches, hood latches, etc. all had to be thought out ahead of time, and then fabricated to fit. As near as they can figure, there are about 2,500 - 3,000 man hours in building the car.
The engine was purchased from Scott Schafroff, and is 632 cubic inches with Dart heads, which put out dyno numbers of 1,135hp with one 4-barrel carburetor. When they put the motor in the car for the first time, with the bodys swoopy aerodynamic lines they noticed the carburetor was higher than the roof and blocked the drivers vision. That wasnt going to work for a street driven car, so they shopped around for a low rise fuel injection unit made for a 632 c.i. engine - and of course couldnt find one. So Tim Takash purchased an Accell computer brain and injector nozzles, and fabricated the manifold and runners himself to meet the need. A Richmond 5-speed was mated to the monster motor, with the power routed back to a fabricated 9-inch Ford housing with Strange axles, hung in a wishbone style 4-link suspension.
As the car progressed, John thought of how he was going to drive it on the street, so he decided that air conditioning and electric windows were in order...pretty unusual items in such a wild street car. Probably the hardest part of building the car was fitting the glass into the doors. It took an exceptional amount of time and trial and error to fabricate the correct runners that would fit into the door and operate correctly.
With the fabrication complete it was time to get to the detail work, with Hank & Sons Auto Body painting the PT Cruiser red on the main body. Instead of stainless trim on the sides like an original 57 Chevy (which wouldnt fit anyway due to the cars swoopy 7/8 scale lines) it was decided to air brush on the trim. Vince Balistreri took on the job - which took two weeks, and came out spectacular. Inside the nod was given to Orlando Auto Upholstery, who stitched up the oatmeal, cream and black colored leather.
With the car weighing in at only about 2,500 pounds, and having over 1,000hp you can imagine that it packs quite a punch. One thing is for sure, at our Beach Blast 11, and while trying to take the pictures for this feature, the car attracts quite a crowd and brings up just as many questions. Yep, if you think youve seen it all....look again! CN