We all remember the first hot rod that plucked at our heart strings–whether it was driving by or sitting still in the sun, the one that got our motors running, wanting more. For Larrie Matthews, the ride that got him initiated and the ride he owns now are one and the same: a 1956 Chevy 150 sedan.
First purchased in 1969, the Bowtie sported a two-tone red and white color scheme, 235 cubic-inch straight-six motor, and a three-speed transmission to make it a perfectly average base model. Matthews had his heart set on making the car his very own, however, and to that end had “Blanche” (the vehicle’s nickname) repainted silver with a black roof, chrome wheels, and a transplanted 283 cubic-inch V8 with a four-speed automatic transmission.
Life events–including college, two marriages, and two divorces–did little to bend or break Matthews’ relationship with Blanche, and in recent years the man decided his steel-bodied significant other was deserving of an overhaul. He went about securing a Roadster Shop chassis, outfitted with a Ford 9-inch rearend with 3.70:1 gear ratio and four-link suspension in the back. The original body panels were painted in 1998 to a deep black.
Up front, an LS3 with a hot cam was inserted, good enough for 480 horsepower to be sent through a 4L70 transmission. The exhaust is made up of Roadster Shop headers that funnels into a three-inch system, while lighting is provided by HIDs and LEDs from front to back. The plush interior consists of tan leather and ’57 Chevy cloth inserts, with a carbon fiber-accented dashboard and, you guessed it, Dakota Digital’s VHX-55C instrumentation.
It’s a good life for Matthews, made better by a Tri-Five that’s a pleasure to look at and a blast to drive. Blanche is just one of several rides viewable now on Dakota Digital’s website under the “Motor Market” section. Drop by and find the one that you like best, and don’t forget to Like Dakota Digital on Facebook.