Gorgeous 2-Door One Fifty Fifty-Six

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The 1956 Chevrolet 150 is a classic car that has a lot of history and charm.

It was the base model of the Chevrolet line-up, but it still offered a powerful engine and a sleek design. The ’56 Chevy was offered in a number of iterations, the basement bargain One-Fifty with scant options available and little body trim making it a favorite for service vehicles, fleets, and budget-minded consumers. Even with the limited options, the package was available in a sedan, utility coupe, a Handyman 2-door wagon, and, of course, a four-door.

1956 Chevy 150 custom front end
The middle of the road Two-Ten model could be had in a number of body styles from wagons to hardtops, two and four-doors. As far as options, the Two-Ten was open to most of the Bel Air accessories, including a two-speed Powerglide automatic trans.

The top of the line of course, the infamous Bel Air, could be had in body styles ranging from four-doors (hard top and sedans), a convertible, and wagons, including the sought after top tier two-door Nomad.

1956 Chevy 150 rear end
Truth be told, the ’56 you see here started life as a Two-Ten, but was crafted down to the One-Fifty series by the talented team at Legens Hot Rod Shop, at the behest of George Poteet. George has always been a fan of the stripped down, utility workhorse models. The working man’s machine. No frills, less trim, no accessories, nor bells and whistles. They were built strong with the purpose of getting the job done. Now, we understand his reasoning.

1956 Chevrolet 150 front left
George had a vision for a clean ’56 One-Fifty to use as a road tour car, so he turned to the crew at Legens to bring it to reality. Finding a legit One-Fifty is tough since most were beat-on and run into the ground, so this project started off as a Two-Ten model. The team was tasked with removing and filling any extra trim work and chrome to knock this ’56 down a notch.

1956 Chevy 150 rear right
To carry over the bare bones, basic feel of the car, body mods were limited to the bumpers and grille area. Both bumpers were handmade at Legens, simply to refine the originals. The rear bumper began life as a front unit turned upside down before being cut up into a bunch of different sections. The final pieces resemble the originals, but are slender, smooth, and one piece.

The grille follows suit with a custom touch not too far from die factory. In fact, Legens machined billet pieces the same size as the original, but tightened up the spacing for a few extra bars. George had the idea to modify the upper grille bar and join it with the turn signal surrounds. This meant Legens had to build the entire lip on the bottom of the hood, as well as fab a lock/opener mechanism. To smooth it out further, the hood ornament was removed. Subtle stuff that takes talent and a lot of work.

1956 Chevrolet 150 left side
While the body was being trans-formed into a One-Fifty, the chassis received some attention. George had an “ex.” chassis from a previous ’57 Chevy project that was already updated with a Heid. front suspension kit, as well as their four-bar kit out back, so it was called in for service. Legens fin-ished the details on the chassis and added a modern power steering box from Borgeson and 9-inch rear end built by Alan Hutcheson positioned out back.

George planned to make this Tri-Five a go-to driver, so reliable performance was an absolute. The solution was a 376c.i. IS with 525 hp connected to a 4L60E overdrive trans. Lift the hood, and you’ll notice the restraint Legens had to adhere to keep things simple, clean, and effective.

376c.i. LS engine in 1956 Chevy 150 custom
One major modification allowed on the One-Fifty was the interior. George thought about some of the old hot rod Tri-Fives he remembered from long ago and wanted to use Impala seats. Legens took that one step further by incorporating not only the bucket seats from a ’64 Impala SS, but they also carried over the console, rear seat with the speaker divider, and the door panels.

1956 Chevy 150 interior
Extra care was taken to create the trim on the door panels to look the part, and close eyes will notice the armrest with the integrated door latch from a ’64 SS. Tricky! The console and shifter were also massaged to fit the tunnel of the tri-five. As for the steering wheel, it’s 100 percent One-Fifty.

The ’56 was finished just days before the California-to-Texas Goodguys Hall of Fame Road Tour, and Steve and Beth Legens made the 1,800-mile drive without so much as a hiccup or complaint. George had a vision of a modern, no nonsense One-Fifty sedan, and Legens was able to deliver.

1956 Chevrolet 150 rear left

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