VIDEO: Racing a ’55 Chevy Bel Air In Germany

If you thought that Americans were the only people that liked to drive and race classic Chevys, you would be wrong, and Micha Vogt is proof. Micha’s 1955 Bel Air features an American-built engine from Nelson Racing Engines. Micha races in the “German Street Eliminator Series,” which requires competitors to drive their car 50 kilometers through town and on highways before they can even qualify for the race.

Before Germany had any sanctioned racing, Micha started racing in industrial areas to avoid attention, but the races became extremely popular and attracted a large number of spectators. This made them too dangerous for both the spectators and the participants. Not only that, but people started filming the races and posting them on YouTube,” which meant that everybody—including the police, had license plate numbers.

Images supplied by Micha Vogt.

His car was imported to Germany from the U.S. in the early ’90s, and the chop job and most of the body customization was done back in the ’70s. The roof is chopped 5-inches, and front end is scaled down to make it slightly narrower than usual.

The paint is a flat gray with a unique rugged look that is just what Micha wanted. The rusted look isn’t actually rust, it’s really a special blend of three paint colors and sand that Micha and his team put together.

There is more to what makes this car stand out than what can be seen on the surface: it uses a custom-built Nelson Racing Engines big-block for power. According to Micha, “It is a 632 cubic-inch engine with twin turbos. These turbos are special-built by Nelson, and spin in the opposite direction of each other.”

Micha’s build was somewhat unique, due to the fact that he wanted to run E85 as his fuel. Tom Nelson tells us, “It’s unusual and just a little out of the ordinary, but we got the 632 turbo package set up just how he wanted.” Micha and his team are currently only squeezing 8 pounds of boost, but Nelson tested the engine with 28 pounds, and says that it is capable of handling 40 pounds!

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When we asked Tom about the testing they did with the engine, he commented, “It did really well. At 21 pounds of boost, the engine produced 2,100 horsepower. The engine is capable of handling at least 40 pounds, which would put it somewhere around 2,700 horsepower.”

For Micha and the Race Antz team, it seems like this ’55 Chevy is exactly the car they were looking for, and NRE built the perfect powerplant to get it going. Having already won the German Street Eliminator class five times and the King of Germany class four times, the sky’s the limit with this seemingly unbeatable Bel Air.

If you’re interested, you can find out more about Micha’s team at www.race-antz.de/ and Nelson Racing Engines at www.nelsonracingengines.com.

About the author

Kyler Lacey

A 2015 Graduate from Whitworth University, Kyler has always loved cars. He grew up with his dad's '67 Camaro in the garage and started turning wrenches at a young age. At seventeen, he bought his first classic, a '57 Chevy Bel Air four-door, and has since added a '66 Plymouth Valiant and '97 Cadillac Deville to his collection. When he isn't writing for Power Automedia, he's out shooting pictures at car shows, hiking in the forests of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, or working on something in the garage.
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