If you’re like us, you’re probably thinking this might be one of the most unusual Tri-Five Chevrolet’s that you’ll ever see. It’s “literally” a Tri-Five, as it features parts and features from all three years of the iconic Chevys! The owner and builder, Mel Messer, wanted to create something with a very specific look, and he definitely got it! “My original goal was to just make a sports-model of the ’55 that never made it to market,” Mel explained, “Kind of a concept car.”
Among the many modifications to the car, when looking at it from the front, it features the bumper, grille, and turn signal-lights of a ’55 Chevy. The hood bullets and headlight bezels are from a ’57 Chevy, and a custom hood design with a scoop. The roofline has been dropped by 3-inches in the front, and it slopes back far more steeply than a stock roofline. The roof also features a skylight fashioned from t-top glass from an ’85 Oldsmobile. The curved back window is from a ’79 Camaro.
The engine is a tuned-port injected small-block 350 out of an ’85 Corvette, and the transmission is a 700R4 from the same Corvette. The front end is designed to tilt for easy access to the engine for work, but the hood still opens normally for the ability to quickly check oil and other things. It’s a simple design that ensures ease of use, but it’s probably the coolest thing about this build! Look at the way the hood is open while the front is tilted!
Of course, we’ve been ignoring the elephant in the room: what about the outcome? Is this all-custom Tri-Five a success? Well, while we would have not ever thought about building a Tri-Five like this, everyone can appreciate the effort and craftsmanship that has gone into this car. While watching the video, you may be able to pick out little things you don’t like, but we couldn’t find a single thing that looked like anything but the highest level of professional craftsmanship. All custom aspects of the car were well built and the bodywork is absolutely stunning.
One of the biggest things we wrestle with in our hobby is the idea of a build like this. There is a fine line between the kind of custom that people like and the kind of custom that is too far. While you might think this ride goes too far, it’s also Mel’s car, and he did a fine job building it. So, does it really matter what other people think? We’re impressed with this build, and we’re interested to hear what do you think? Tell us in the comments below!