Over 25 years ago, Bill Kerekes spotted a rough '55 Chevy big-window on a used car lot in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, that was traded in for a '62 Chevy. The 1300 series (Canadian 3100) Chevy spent most of its life hauling wood, and despite its battered body it ran well and was rust-free. The last point was enough for Bill to sign over the paperwork and drive the truck 700 miles back home to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Around this time Bill opened a shop called Street Heat, Inc. with his son, Tim. They decided to restore the truck to stock, which back in those days wasn't so easy. There was little to no aftermarket parts available like we have today, so they carefully straightened each and every body panel on the truck. The stock six-cylinder and four-speed were also retained and refreshed before painting the truck back to its original shade of red and stitching up a red and white seat cover.
This worked well for about 10 years until the truck was due for an update. Lowered springs were installed in 1991 to make the Chevy a bit more current. There was also a drivetrain change in the works. Bill's parents bought a new Oldsmobile Delta 88 back in '68, which was still in use at this time and showed a little over 60,000 miles on its odometer ... unfortunately, it was riddled with rust. Bill eventually got the car from his mom, but junked it after pulling the 455 drivetrain, as that's all he needed from it for the '55.
Skip ahead another decade and the Kerekes boys couldn't leave well enough alone--they decided to redo the '55 for the third time. Luckily, they had already done much of the tedious work like straightening out the body, so they started in on the chassis. An IFS kit from Total Cost Involved (TCI), set up with Air Ride `bags, was shipped to the Great White North and promptly grafted into place. The previous shipment would also carry an Air Ride setup for the rear, which would soon be home to a Camaro 12-bolt posi. They also C-notched the rear frame, but only enough so they wouldn't have to cut into the bed floor for rearend clearance.
The Olds motor was rebuilt at this point and done so with a bit of grunt thanks to a Crane cam along with a balance and blueprint job by Economy Cylinder Head in Calgary. The 455 was also dressed with a tried and true Edelbrock Performer intake and carb combo for miles of worry-free throttle stomping. The big V-8 belches through a 2 1/2-inch exhaust system and into Dynomax mufflers before exiting the tailpipes.
This time around the paint was gonna be anything but stock. A big batch of House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl was mixed up by Tim before being applied to every square inch of the Chevy. Of course, the new color, stance, and performance would have to roll on some new kicks, so a set of 17-inch Coddington Timeless wheels was picked to "round" out the package.
The big window has and continues to be a proud reflection of the work done at Street Heat, Inc., and Bill, Tim, and their handful of employees couldn't be happier.
|Facts & Figures|
|Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
|1955 Chevrolet 1300|
|FRAME :|| stock |
|MODIFICATIONS:|| boxed, smoothed, painted body color, C-notch, by Street Heat |
|REAREND / RATIO:|| 12-bolt / 3.73:1 Posi|
|REAR SUSPENSION:|| Air Ride Tech |
|REAR BRAKES:|| 11” disc|
|FRONT SUSPENSION:|| TCI IFS, Air Ride Tech |
|FRONT BRAKES:|| 11” disc |
|STEERING BOX:|| rack-and-pinion|
|FRONT WHEELS:|| Coddington Timeless, 17x8 |
|REAR WHEELS:|| Coddington Timeless, 17x9.5|
|FRONT TIRES:|| Sumotomo, 245/40R17|
|REAR TIRES:|| Sumotomo, 275/50R17 |
|GAS TANK:|| stock |
|ENGINE:|| ’68 Olds 455|
|HEADS :|| stock|
|VALVE COVERS:|| stock |
|MANIFOLD / INDUCTION:|| Edelbrock Performer combo |
|EXHAUST / MUFFLERS:|| 2 1/2” / Dynomax |
|TRANSMISSION:|| Olds TH400 |
|STYLE:|| 1300 Canadian 1/2-ton big window|
|FENDERS FRONT / REAR:|| stock |
|GRILLE:|| stock chrome|
|BED:|| stock, customized by Street Heat |
|BODYWORK BY:|| Street Heat |
|PAINT BY:|| Tim Kerekes, Street Heat|
|PAINT TYPE / COLOR:|| House of Kolor / Tangelo Pearl|
|HEADLIGHTS / TAILLIGHTS:|| stock|
|BUMPERS:|| stock chrome |
|DASH:|| stock |
|AIR CONDITIONING:|| none |
|STEERING WHEEL:|| APC Banjo |
|STEERING COLUMN:|| GM tilt |
|SEAT:|| ’91 Chevy 60/40 |
|UPHOLSTERY BY:|| Street Heat |
|MATERIAL / COLOR:|| leather / bone |
|CARPET:|| black |