There aren’t many classic car owners that can say their car has been in the family since new. Paul Williams of Gillette, Wyoming, happens to be one of those guys, “The story of my ’50 Chevy starts with my parents, as they ordered the car from an Onawa, Iowa, Chevrolet dealer.”
When the Shoe-box Chevy was ordered new, Paul ‘s father was an employee of Uncle Sam, and before the car arrived, he was unfortunately transferred to another location. Although this could have caused a hiccup in our story, Paul’s grandparents stepped in and purchased the car when it arrived at the dealership. Paul’s grandparents kept the Chevy until 1963, when his grandfather passed. At that time, the car was given to his aunt and uncle, who kept it until 1965. At that time, their son turned 16-years old, and it became his first car. Paul told us, “My cousin was the first person to hot rod the car. He put a 283 cubic-inch small-block under the hood, and then bolted a 3-deuce setup and a Muncie four-speed transmission to the engine.” We’re sure that Paul and his cousin laugh about it now, but when the engine was installed, the cousin also bolted a rearend that he got from a ’57 Pontiac underneath the car. The part that probably causes the laughs, is that the rearend used 5.13 gears and welded spider gears. While his cousin owned the Chevy, several engines made their way into the car, including a 327 cubic-inch small-block, and a 427 cubic-inch big-block. He raced the car in northwest Iowa, both on the street and at the drag strip until 1978, when he removed the drivetrain and parked the car in an old barn.
Paul tells us that his cousin gave him the car in May 2000. “I pulled it from the old barn where it had been stored since 1978, and did a complete body-off rebuild of the car. I added a ’78 Nova front subframe so the car could have disc brakes and power steering. I then painted the Chevy in black primer, and added red steel wheels to give it an old school look.” Paul also tells us that when he originally finished the car, it had “a hot 350” for “motorvation”, but after a couple of years, he built a strong 454 cubic-inch engine for it. “I love the way a big-block fills the engine compartment.” The engine was bored .030-inch over-sized, and the holes were filled with Speedpro Hypereutectic pistons that squeeze the air and fuel to a ratio of 10.3:1.
The stock oval-port, open-chamber cylinder heads have been massaged, and the camshaft is a Comp Cams XE284H Hydraulic flat-tappet stick. Residing above everything is an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake and a Holley 870 cfm Street Avenger carburetor. As of this writing, the 454 cubic-inch engine has been in the Chevy for 12 years, and still runs great.
Behind the big-block is a Super T-10 four speed, because in Paul’s words, “I like shifting my own gears, and everyone puts an automatic in their hot rods.” The ability to shift his own gears is courtesy of an ’81 Camaro clutch and brake linkage that came from the same car as the transmission, brake booster, and master cylinder. He did have the ’57 Pontiac rearend refitted with another Positraction unit with 3.42 gears.
The outward appearance features DupliColor’s Paint Shop Dark Emerald Green Metallic, and the Cragar S/S wheels are 15X4 1/2 up front, and 15X7 on the rear. When asked about the interior, Paul had this to say, “I did the interior to somewhat replicate the interiors of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s musclecars. The upholstery is a white vinyl surrounded by black carpet, seat belts, and dash.” Paul continued, “The Speedometer was modified by United Speedometer to use modern senders, and the speedometer now reads to 120 mph.”
Paul also told us that the car is a blast to drive on the street and even take to the track. “In street trim, the car has run 12.40’s, but it would be faster if I ran drag radials or slicks, and uncorked the headers.”
Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heros? All you need to do is click here. If you own a Home-Built Hero, we want to hear about it. Since we’ve started the Home-Built Heros series, we have received more than a few candidates, but we are still in need of more. If you want to see more cars built by you the readers, send us a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information, and we’ll make you Internet famous. You can send your submissions to [email protected].