Danish carpenter Claus Greve has a serious weakness for Chevys and for '57 Chevys in particular-he owns three. It all started with a '57 Chevy Bel Air that he restored in his 900-square-foot two-car garage behind his house in a Copenhagen suburb. And yes, he built both the garage and the house himself.
Shortly after Claus was done with the Bel Air, he visited a car show and spotted a really nice '57 Chevy pickup. "I had seen the model before, but this time the shape of the body and all the chrome really kicked me in the butt!" It was definitely a memorable moment, and he instantly knew what his next project would be. About this same time, he also found out that a friend of his, Niels Vendelbo-Larsen, had similar dreams for his '57 Chevy truck (small world) that's also featured this month.
Claus wanted a traditional-looking pickup with silver paint, non-polished American Racing Torq-Thrust II wheels, and a blown small-block. Finding a suitable pickup in Denmark was not really an option, so he called a Dane, who lives in Southern California, and asked him to track down a rough but running '57 shortbed with a V-8. Shipped in the container along with the truck that was found was a Performance Automotive Warehouse Chevy 350 kit, a Weiand supercharger, a front clip and rear axle from a '79 Camaro, and a bunch of boxes with other parts, which were all rounded up while the truck sat at the shipping yard in the States.
Claus spent about 500 hours massaging the old body into tiptop shape again. He says he's quite stubborn and likes the challenge of fixing things himself. The woodwork on the bottom of the bed is owner-made, just like the hydraulically operated bedcover, and it felt just right for the carpenter to use American white oak.
Next, he installed the second-generation Camaro front clip and rear axle, both complete with 11-inch disc brakes, into the Chevy's chassis. The ride height is now 6 inches lower than stock, and of course the road handling is dramatically improved as well.
A friend helped him assemble the Chevy 350 kit and dial in the Weiand 177 blower. All the drivetrain and metalwork was done by Claus in his garage, but the chrome, interior, and Mercedes Silver paint were farmed out to the pros.
Claus has been driving and racing his '57 as much as he can and has already started on a '57 Chevy Nomad he bought on eBay-good luck!