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Michael BuGeja 1957 Chev. Rebuild

It was a childhood dream to own a 57 Chev. I was brainwashed from birth by my dad into building my own dream Chev.

Back in March 2008 I purchased a supposedly “OK” Chev on Ebay that “wouldn’t need much work”. The guy from America said it was a great buy! After dismantling the car it was much worse than expected.

I began by separating the body from the Chassis. Next I started working on the Chassis by adding side engine mounts, Turbo 400 Cross Member, 9 Inch Rear, Shocker cross member and Commodore disc brakes all round.

Then came the big job of the body. It started by welding Inch by Inch tube in the door jams and the cabin area. With help I then unpicked the floor pan, boot floor, sills and replaced all sections from Ron Wicks.

After welding and repairing all the rust sections, the paint preparation started by spraying the epoxy primer followed by 2 coats of polyester. I then sanded it back to attempt to get the body as straight as possible.

Next came 2 coats of Hi fill followed by more sanding back and finally it was ready for paint!

As the body was getting there I started on the engine – a standard bore 350, machine 30 thou and a 383 Stroker kit with Dart heads and 650 double pumper carby came out well making 559 H/P and 517 Foot pound of torque.

A good mate of mine, Calder Auto Electrics wired it up then it was off to another friend from Dynamic Trimming to have the upholstery completed.

After finishing the car I now enjoy cruising with the family to car shows in the North West of Melbourne, plus those a little further afield such as Rich River in Echuca and Kustom Nationals in Phillip Island.

The 57 Chev has been lucky enough to be featured in the Hot Rod Show and Street Rodding magazine.

It has also hit the drag strip for a couple of runs. So far it has gone 12.0 @ 119mph – hopefully in the near future the new blown 406 cube will bring a better time at the drags!


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