SEMA 2016: Ironworks’ Custom ’57 Chevy Is A Pure Badass Tri-Five

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When you talk about classic musclecars, there are two that sometimes get the “seen one, seen them all” response: the 1967-69 Camaro, and the Tri-Five Chevy. Both cars are definitely cool rides, they both have tons of aftermarket support, and you can pretty much count on seeing one at nearly any classic or musclecar car show, no matter where you go.

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Top: Starting out as a pretty impressive Tri-Five, the doctor went to work and put this '57 under the knife for some serious changes.
Bottom: Its hard to image this is the same car but seeing it all come together makes you realize just how much work went into it.

Then you see one that doesn’t just break the mold, it smashes it to little tiny pieces and throws the mold out with yesterday’s garbage. That’s about how badass this ’57 Chevy from Ironworks Speed and Kustom is. We found it sitting pretty in the Flowmaster booth at SEMA, and it was just cool and different enough that we couldn’t get enough of it.

Ironworks Speed and Kustom is a small shop in Bakersfield, California, and they’ve turned out some pretty cool rides that have been all over the internet and Facebook. But just seeing this ’57 sitting on the white carpet didn’t even begin to give you an idea of what went into the build, so we contacted Rodger Lee at Ironworks and asked for some pictures of the build.

We love the red piping throughout the interior, matching the red highlights under the hood and on the wheels.

Checking out some of the build photos (which numbers in the hundreds) it was clear to us that this car was way beyond extreme. Already starting out as a pretty cool Tri-Five, it went under the Ironworks knife and several surgeries later it emerged as almost a photo negative of the car that came into the shop in many aspects.

We saw pictures with the roof removed, all the panels came off, and the car was separated from its chassis, where a “heavily modified” Art Morrison chassis now resides. Keeping the car low and lean is a Ridetech suspension with an AccuAir management system. Those components reside in the trunk area, and even that part of the car underwent some serious reconstructive surgery.

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The HRE wheels were a nice touch, and actually turned out to be a great choice for this '57 Chevy.

The Tri-Five is rolling on a custom set of HRE S209 wheels in Frozen Red, with Satin Silver centers. Just beyond the spokes you can see the stopping power is supplied by a set of custom-colored Wilwood disc brake calipers and rotors.

Between the full carbon fiber bumpers, the body has carbon fiber cues all over, from the grille and custom intake to the quarter panel inserts. Even the quarter glass trim is customized with a hint at what resides under the hood: Whipple.

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That red Whipplecharger truly stands out, and there's some pretty trick custom work to help dress up the engine compartment.

The LS9 Chevy powerplant has also gone through some visual changes, and the 4.5L Whipple supercharger looks right at home in its contrasting red color. A Dominator EFI from Holley Performance handles the fuel delivery.

Even the radiator cooling fans weren’t spared the surgical magic of Ironworks, getting a billet workover in the process of the build by Evod Industries. Backing up the LS is a 4L80E transmission to give the ’57 a decent cruising attitude, and Flowmaster mufflers play the classic sound of a musclecar.

Top: Custom work is done throughout. The gauges and the AccuAir management system were both treated to custom handiwork.
The absense of the typical dash found in a Tri-Five is a welcome sign considering this car no long rolls like a typical Tri-Five. We like the four buckets and full length console.

Inside the Chevy, you’ll find four custom bucket seats with a full length custom console. Under the console (though it’s really difficult to tell) a B&M ratchet shifter handles the duties of shifting, and Vintage Air helps to keep the car as cool as it looks. The Sid Chavers interior shares a bit of the dark charcoal/red highlights theme, with red trim on the seats and red piping on the console.

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We’d have to say, this is one nice classic Chevy that pulled off a contrasting color combination with some mixed in carbon fiber to complete the look. The cool part about this car is that while it’s all custom, the general look of the car maintains the classic ’57 Chevy attitude. It doesn’t come off as a trailer queen, rather it comes off as a driveable piece of art that we’d love to see more of.

Now who wouldn't want to cruise this badass '57 through a couple of cruise night crowds?

About the author

Michael Harding

Michael is a Power Automedia contributor and automotive enthusiast who doesn’t discriminate. Although Mopar is in his blood, he loves any car that looks great and drives even faster.
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