When you see Two Lane Blacktop for the first time that is generally what sparks the love affair for the Tri-Fives, especially the 1955 in all of its glory. Almost immediately, we see this aggressive, primered ’55 Chevy that has one job to do – be the fastest car on the street and the strip. Scott Dyke loved the ’55 Chevy so much that he set out to build his very own recreation. Not just any ’55 Chevy Blacktop imitation, one that is actually good enough to be called the sister of the Two Lane Blacktop car.
Before the build process began, Scott Dyke spent five years planning out the build and gathering as many authentic 1960’s parts as he could. Scott Dyke wanted his Chevy to be as authentic as possible but he didn’t mind adding a few modern touches to the car along the way.
After the parts gathering and planning phases were completed this ’55 Chevy build took about 18 months and the process was a full frame-off starting from scratch. It began as nothing more than a body which was sand blasted before being attached to the frame. The entire front end of the car was replaced with a fiberglass tilt front, which were common on gassers in the 60s and is exact same front end used on the ’55 Chevy in Two Lane Blacktop.
The doors have also been replaced by fiberglass doors to reduce weight, which feature no window mechanisms and rely on pop out plexiglass windows. Sticking to true gasser / Two Lane Blacktop fashion – Scott Dyke also replaced the trunk with a fiberglass lid and inside of the trunk is a 22-gallon fuel cell.
In the video when Scott lifts opens the tilt front end you get a great look at the heart of the ’55; a Chevy 496 engine. This engine started life as a 427 before it was bored and stroked to the 496. When the hood opens you get a great view of the original 1960’s tunnel ram intake manifold and the two Holley 660 carburetors that sit on top. These 660s are old-school drag racing carburetors that don’t have vacuum secondaries or separate mechanical linkage for choke. They are just a straight forward all mechanical carburetor for true vintage performance. The ignition is vintage as well; a 60’s Vertex Magneto ignition is used to spark the car to life.
While looking at the motor you may notice that it protrudes from under the firewall, because it’s been moved back about six inches to help with weight transfer to the rear wheels for more traction. This 496 is capable of pulling up to 7,300 RPM which is a lot of RPM for a big-block using a Magneto rev limiter.
Originally, Scott Dyke wanted to use a Muncie transmission but he wasn’t able to find one in his budget so he figured a G-Force unit would be a more efficient modern touch to the car. The 4-speed G-Force is hooked up to a Moser Engineering 9-inch spool rearend which adds to the Gasser’s authenticity, since most drag cars from the 60s had spool rearends and not a Posi trac.
Not only is the ’55 Gasser authentic in looks and performance, its interior looks like it came straight out of the 60s as well. Inside you’ll find a giant shifter on the floor and a large racing steering wheel sticking out of the dashboard, a mechanical tachometer, and the original 1955 speedometer. The dashboard has been painted a two-tone white and black. Another throwback to the 60s is the rolling pleated seats and the single roll-bar along with the removal of the backseat, in true gasser fashion.
This ’55 is definitely a true hot rod through and through! It has no radio, no windshield wipers, no heaters, no A/C – just a straight forward built-to-go-fast hot rod with a purpose. It has a flat black paint job that was done by Scotty Troutman and was painted this color since most gassers where just painted with primer.
One of the coolest things about this build is that Tom Witenbarger, the man who drove the El Camino that races the ’55 Chevy at the end of Two Lane Blacktop helped to build this car with Scott. He had just gotten back from Vietnam during film and years later used his memory from being in the movie to help Scott build up this ’55 true to form. Another cool feature is that Richard Ruth, the man who built the Chevy for the movie also gave input and advice to Scott along the way.
Scott considers his ’55 Chevy the sister to the Two Lane Blacktop car. He describes his car as the “Evil Twin” of the two. The reason for calling it this are because the aggressive looks with the tunnel ram sticking out of the hood, the headers sticking out of the wheel wells and the large tires in the rear. The car was completely home-built and hand fabricated just like the cars built in the golden age of hot rodding.
So we’ll leave you with Scott’s own sentiment, “It’s an attention getter – it’s noisy, loud, and hateful… it’s a hot rod!”