In three shades of primer this '56 was definitely no showstopper at the time when it was first purchased. Picked out of the want ads as a tow-home project vehicle for a mere $300, this Chevy ended up to be Bob Lechman's pride and joy. It was used as his daily beater for many years; Bob knew he wanted to restore it, but, at the time, money seemed a little tight and a bottom-up rodstoration project was just not in the budget. But after years of free time tinkering and lots of starts and stops, finally in 2008 this Chevy reached completion. Let's take a look at how it came to be what you see today.
Knowing the project was going to be a tedious process, Bob wanted to take his time and make sure it was done the way he had envisioned. With the frame first up on the chopping block Bob decided to go with a '76 Camaro subframe and build off that. With some time spent restoring the frame and getting it blasted, primed, and painted, it was time to roll up his sleeves. Wanting a very aggressive stance to set this baby off, Bob went ahead and 'bagged the front and rear allowing him to set the truck at his desired level. He decided to utilize its stock crossmembers and spindles to help keep his costs under control. The rear axle is from a '72 GM and was flipped over the springs. Moving on to the power portion of the build Bob chose a GM 350 V-8 together with a 700-R4 transmission, giving him a nice boost of much needed power. HEI was Bob's choice for the ignition, making sure he wouldn't have problems getting going. Helping this puppy breathe, Bob went with the GM headers running into a custom 21/2-inch exhaust system, which exits through a couple MagnaFlow mufflers, giving off a nice throaty growl. A set of GM power disc brakes up front and stock drums out back were tossed on for a little stopping power. All of this was installed and fabbed up by Bob himself with some help from Don Bauer ("Lil Dutchman").
With the frame and suspension all tidied up, Bob was ready to take on the body. Engaging with Bob to tackle the bodywork was Cool Cat Customs out of Greeley, Colorado. Some much needed TLC was performed on the body to get it in the shape Bob wanted. One of the most noticeable modifications would have to be the dual frenched '39 Ford taillights-a unique yet subtle look. Bob also frenched in the parking lights, antenna, and flushed the third brake light in to the back of the cab. The door handles were also shaved to give the doors a nice flush look, and Bob chose to go with a set of Watson Street Works mirrors with built-in turn signals to give his beauty yet another subtle difference, helping it stand out from the rest. The bed was refinished with new oak and then covered with an automatic-opening Pro's Pick hard tonneau cover, a pretty slick feature I must say! With the body all straight, prepped, and ready for a fresh coat of paint, they handled some last-minute touches and off to the paint booth it went. DuPont Magnetic Red was the color of choice for Bob and his '56 Chevy. The cherry wine color just gleams in the sun, making this '56 a must-see at shows and wherever it goes. Bob decided to roll the pickup via a quartet of Billet Specialties GTX-02 wheels, running 15x7 up front and 15x10 rear all wrapped up tightly in Uniroyal Tiger Paw rubber.