As if I didn’t have enough to do, I ended up buying myself a 1956 Chevy Bel Air 4dr Sedan (that’s the one with posts in the center, ie frames on the upper parts of the doors, as opposed to the Coupe, which just has the roof floating above) a bit ago. I used to own a 1956 Chevy 210 4 dr wagon when I was in Boulder and I have missed it very much. This car should fill in the gaps a bit. I was about to just send a ridiculously long message to my dad and realized I’ll probably have a bunch of messages about the car, so I added a ‘1956 chevy’ category.
The car is about in twice as good of shape as my previous one. I drove it straight for a few weeks there and didn’t touch my Saturn besides to move it every few days so it wouldn’t get towed. Had to tweak the carburetor a little bit, which took more time than it should have. I’ll be getting the shop manual to help with that type of thing.
I’ve found that it leaks and I will have to replace some seals. I ordered the door and trunk seals, and realized that I will have to order the rear window seal as well. That should be fun. I really should grind down the rust under the rear window as long as I am doing that. Those are a few of the worst spots on the car, along with a spot on the back right end of the car and a bit under the headlights. Seems pretty good overall, but I now have to figure out how to keep the car out of the rain. Looks like I’ll have to get a car cover and potentially a garage spot somewhere.
I love these cars as they are, but there is one thing that could use some heavy improvement. The gas mileage. It’s about 10 mpg as is and not so great on emissions. Here are the current ideas:
Something like a Chevy Volt without the batteries, similar to how a diesel-electric train works. Or getting an engine from a Ford S-Max minivan European Turbodiesel and transmission. Should get easily over 70 mpg with better performance than my current 265 V8. The S-Max idea would be much easier, but I am enthralled with the diesel-electric idea. I’ve never seen it done in a car without batteries though, so I have no idea if components exist at this point to do something like this, compared to doing a normal electric car conversion.