“Boosted Bela”, A Slammed ’56 Chevy Is Pure Automotive Art

- in Cars

This tri-five Chevy marries a derelict exterior look with a leather-heavy, almost steampunk interior.

Boosted Bela 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air front
The ’55-’57 Chevy has always been one of the most popular platforms for racers and customizers, and it’s great fun to see how builders go about creating examples to stand out from the crowd. From a field in Memphis to the Mobil 1 booth at SEMA this car certainly do that.

Retro Designs Speed & Custom in Concord, North Carolina was commissioned by Chevy Performance’s The Block to built this 1956 Chevy Bel Air Sports Sedan. The project is called Boosted Bela and as the name suggest the engine is not naturally aspirated.

Boosted Bela 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air rear
Under the hood sits a LS3 Connect & Cruise crate engine which has been upgraded with LS9 fuel injectors and Holley Hi-Ram intake. A Vortech V3 Si supercharger was installed on the V8 to help the engine produce 450-500 horsepower to the rear wheels on 8-10 psi of boost. Behind the engine sits a 4L65E Chevrolet 4-speed automatic transmission and a Spraker Ford 9″ rear end with Motive posi and 3.70 gears.

Boosted Bela 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air LS3 engine
The guys from Ridetech nicknamed her as “princess.” So, how do you treat a princess? You adorn her with the finest materials in your land – and guys from Retro Designs Speed did just that for their Bela. The best interior, the best drivetrain, the best frame, the best brakes and rear, the best suspension – well, you get the point.

Boosted Bela 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air wheels
The car sits on Ridetech air suspension, which allows it to sit super low and stuff those Firestone 670-15 piecrust whitewalls way into the wheel openings. Rather than some sort of billet wheels, Boosted Bela features a set of our Solid steel wheels, which are finished with a chrome-plated hoop and a painted center hiding Wilwood disc brakes. The bullet lug nuts are a nice finishing touch!

There’s something undeniably cool about patina on a car. The car was sprayed with several coats of Martin Senour satin clear coat to seal it, giving the original paint, rust, and patina a bit of a shimmer. This is no rat rod or faux patina flavor of the month car. There are no spot-welded road signs acting as floorboards or soda cans masquerading as gauge housings.

Boosted Bela 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air gauges
Inside, you might expect to see Indian blankets draped over the original bench seats. Instead you’ll find Relicate Custom Leather by The Custom Stitching Co. The interior is a stunning masterwork by Steve Kurzman.

Boosted Bela 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air interior
Boosted Bela is full of surprises, and although it looks like a beater, it is truly a work of art. You can always tell right away when a project is fueled by passion.

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