Charles Noble's 1954 210 Chevrolet
Customer: Charles D. Noble VCCA #41188
Vehicle: 1954 210 Chevrolet
How long have you owned this vehicle?
Where did you get this vehicle?
Purchased this vehicle from private party in Buena Park CA in late, 2002 Saw car in newspaper ad and decided to check it out. The vehicle looked good but it had been lowered and at first I thought it had airbags as it was so low. We drove 40 miles to see it so we decided to drive it. We soon found it had problems, the car had at least 9" of free play in the steering, it shifted in a reverse pattern, and wandered all over the road. The paint Chrome and body were in real good shape, The interior was shot, the door panels were held on with drywall screws. There was a hole in the dash where the heater controls should be. The original radio was there but they had added a stereo next to it. The heater had been removed as it was leaking so they tossed it? The body was straight and I could find little rust. They wanted $9,500 I offered them $4,000 cash and told them it would take at least $12,000 to restore it. They at first refused but the wife stepped in and said we would take it.
I drove it home taking a lane and a half to keep it on the street, the wife following with the flashers on behind me. We arrived safely but could not get it in the driveway as the bumpers hit. We had to use several 2x4' s front and rear to clear the apron and get it in the garage. I went out the next day and after driving it up on 2x4' s to even get a jack under it finally got it on blocks. I found that they had torched the springs and even had removed the rubber from the frame under the body. I ordered everything new for the front end and all new springs and pads for the frame. Then we went to work cleaning years of dirt and grime from under the car and found the frame to be in good shape. Stripped it all down and coated it with Pour 15, removed the lake pipes. Once parts came in I hauled it down to the front end shop and had them install all the new parts and align the front end. As the car had 14" wheels and new tires I decided to add a 1" drop steering arm and a 1" lowering block on the rear and removed the 4" lowering block to be used as wheel stops. We then installed all new brake system and brake lines and dropped and coated the fuel tank.
I rubbed out the dull paint and it looked pretty good considering it had been painted by a body shop student. About this time we retired and moved from the San Fernando Valley to Lebec in the mountains. Once we got settled a couple of guys from the SFVregionVCCA club came up and we removed the engine and transmission. I sent the engine to Eddings Engineering in San Fernando for a rebuild. It needed to be bored 60 over so I had them rework the head and port and polish and add larger valves, guides, stronger push rods etc: I installed a cam with a little more lift and balanced everything. I kept the stock intake and carb but added Williams headers and dual exhaust. We rewired the entire car to 12v and added pertronix ignition. The engine now has around 150+ hp The transmission was from a 1949-52 and they had added a floor shift but welded it to the side plate in the wrong gear. I found a low mileage 54 transmission that only needed new seals. I replaced the floor shift as all the linkage had been tossed. The rear end was from a Power glide so we have good road speed with the higher gear ratio.
After all the mechanical work I installed all new interior, replaced striker plates, aligned the doors and hood and put in all new weather stripping including the windows. The car had chrome trim on window and door frames and it was all bad. A friend has a powder coating business so I took it all down and he powder coated it all the match the paint.
After driving it and enjoying the car the past few years at All Cal meets and car shows it developed some dings and chips in the paint. This fall we stripped it down and repainted it properly keeping the original color. My painter added a few highlights as ghost flame effect using a lighter blue and blue pearl and then over spraying the car color lightly. You have to really look to see it but in the right light it pops but does not distract from the car. The front and rear emblems were in real bad condition so I decided to airbrush them in at the exact size and pattern as the originals. Once painted he added 5 coats of high gloss clear and each was block sanded and buffed.
What condition was the vehicle in when you got it?
Body good everything else needed work.
Is there any additional work that you would like to do?
Eventually replace 14 in wheels, replace steering wheel and re install original shift linkage.
What were the hardest parts to find?
A good transmission, I went through 2 swapping parts before I found a good one.
What other vehicles do you own?
2011 Duramax 4x4
What is your next project?
Making a sail kit for my home made 18' kayak.
Do you have any advice for people thinking about doing a restoration project?
By one that is finished. However I did enjoy the work that I could do. Now pushing 75 more gets sent out. We did come in under budget. I think we are at around $14,000 including purchase price so we are about $5,000 under what I estimated I would need to spend.
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