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56 Chevy w/ built 454 and 4 speed and a 68 Camaro w/ built 350 auto.

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New User

Feb 15, 2018, 5:30 PM

Post #1 of 4 (395 views)
56 Chevy w/ built 454 and 4 speed and a 68 Camaro w/ built 350 auto. Sign In

I have a neighbor lady that has these 2 cars sitting in a shop beside her house. Her deceased husband was a known local mechanic and built the 2 motors and put them into the cars after running/testing them. He pulled the carbs off the engines and covered the intake area, so no one could drive away with the cars if stolen. They traveled a lot to car shows etc. and he passed 10 years ago. Now she has offered the cars to me, but I do not have the skills to get the cars running again and am willing to learn or at least make a good try. Where do I start ?

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Feb 15, 2018, 10:19 PM

Post #2 of 4 (375 views)
Re: 56 Chevy w/ built 454 and 4 speed and a 68 Camaro w/ built 350 auto. Sign In

IDK - I'm at a total loss and apparently everyone involved is too with this. Taking carbs off isn't really necessary to prevent take a car is so special figure something else out so where are these carbs if anyone knows?

Are you just offered to take these and figure it out from scratch or what's the deal? Now this seems more personal than mechanical. Nothing known really and they've just been sitting for 10 years plus you said "willing to learn" suggests it's not your thing now starting from this will made it lots harder all around.

Do you know if cars were properly stored otherwise or a lot more on them at all or if everything known is now lost I don't suggest this for you but rather help find a home for these with lots of pics and just start over for yourself if you want a new hobby and learn it from scratch without this apparent lack of any info.

Engines may not be any good by now - 10 years isn't friendly to just sitting for a lot of things now needed to do anything with these at all.

You just called these engines "built" suggesting modified from whatever they started from isn't very helpful on what you have to work with or anyone else really 10 years later without wild documentation and some serious looking around to put this puzzle back together or do much of anything.

Tell me/us more which is mostly how much you really want to take on a new hobby from scratch or just help this lady dispose of the cars?

Good luck. Need tons more info about YOU and the cars and the real intent here,


New User

Feb 18, 2018, 7:52 PM

Post #3 of 4 (352 views)
Re: 56 Chevy w/ built 454 and 4 speed and a 68 Camaro w/ built 350 auto. Sign In

Tom, your response makes a lot more sense then my question. The cars have been stored inside a closed shop, with batteries out and fluids emptied from the radiators. I was at the shop over the weekend and found time to go over both cars. The 68 Camaro is complete with all metal, chrome and interior. The engine chrome tells me nothing except the guy liked chrome and loved ceramic coated headers, Edelbrock heads and intake, attached to a turbo 350 trans that happens to be spotlessly clean. Still tells me nothing, I know. The 56 with the big block is the same engine wise with the dressings, and all the chrome exterior parts except the bumpers sitting inside the car. Bumpers are new, but I am starting to think of just selling them for her or just getting the word out they will be available.
I think the best I can do for her is to go to the first local car show with pictures in hand and see if I can get someone interested in helping get the engines started and asking for advice as to what they are worth. They are several big and small block Chevy and Ford engine blocks there with numerous pairs of heads, and a couple reman transmissions. I even found a '66 Chevelle ss grill complete with headlight bezels etc...
I am not really starting from scratch as I have been around several muscle car builds and I am a great gopher for parts and tools, I have never put together an engine by myself, but I could help with getting things organized for the build.
That being said, I appreciate how you answered my question. Made perfect sense to me and I am really not in love with either car as I see a bunch of them at the car shows. I will find someone for her that will help get the cars started and I will either offer him a block with heads or pay him for his help. I would consider that as lessons and learn something, I hope.
Thanks for your suggestions and your response,
(edit to fix a typo first line)

(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Feb 19, 2018, 12:39 AM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 19, 2018, 2:25 AM

Post #4 of 4 (340 views)
Re: 56 Chevy w/ built 454 and 4 speed and a 68 Camaro w/ built 350 auto. Sign In

OK, I think we are on the same page. The "Muscle Car" and also "Detroit Iron" era for cars did make boring cars that were so overpowered would bend themselves with crazy power most made on the body of cars that were for general boring use dressed up or extreme versions new just a few could really handle the power and not just explode in busted driveline parts.

If this isn't in your DNA with endless interest, a place to have such things, tools and places to do machine work that could last has become limited to me anyway almost always was and I lived this.

The expense is the place to have them, work on them as needed or dress up with the chromed engine parts that don't do a thing but look really neat.

Showing them at car shows was a fun time. Greasy Burgers maybe a show of one or two show off burning of a pair a tires new to bald with a smoke show and cool rubber "patch" patterns on the pavement or great 1/4 mile times. Fun hobby meet nice folks.

It is or isn't for everyone more than go see those shows and meets and cars many finished off look new spent endless bucks and time just doing that.

The point is what level of nuts are you to take this on? Do you have a place to keep them they can't just be out in a field and must be dry storage plus for off seasons prep the things so there were still good later at all! Many stuff newly redone or actually new out of the supply gaskets to things are gone are not ready for use. Have spares if you use these for all the thing expected to bust - just explode and put it back together to do it all over again another season.

Tools, help and the places that can re-chrome or chrome parts just for the looks are about gone anywhere near me yet there are shows around me entered some of my own stuff non Muscle Cars but cars of interest.

Point is you have to love it or the fun will just end.

So yes get some help local to you for value of assorted spare parts best if NOS (new old stock) for the appliques, grilles, headlight bezels you mentioned up to harder to find lenses, small chrome parts for interior finish up to correct or just plain very well done upholstery. OMG it take a lot of assorted people with a lot of assorted skills for help to end up with the finished car as you liked it or exactly as it was when new.

That's what you need to know and how much it's going to cost you. Yes, I dare say YOU are the one who will do the work so the place and tools are on you plus knowing how and a good guess if somethings will last 10 minutes of use!

Start with some volunteer ideas on values or expense to you locally or pay the person in the game who would or should know.

Just IMO - this era of neck busting acceleration only really is a declining interest just because the folks that can and show this off are now older and on to different things. have passed away or just can't do this stuff anymore.

Do what makes sense to you. Expect to lose a fortune if you take it on big time. Most folks lose big bucks if you added up the time spent still worth it if it makes you happy and remains of interest to you.

Just the warning it's not for everyone, you really have to love it or may find it difficult to get out of and recoup you investment in it. Learn from all sources or what's left of them around me not very much is here just all hidden in barns, warehouses with no windows a private show place or just the proper place to have one or 100s you can find shows on this now YouTube things on all this too. Beware some makes it look so simple it really takes up a ton of time,


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