ARTICLE: Ashley Thompson
There’s something undeniably cool about patina on a car. It is battle scars earned from years of being exposed to the elements. Few cars are as inherently suited to hot-rodding as the 50s Chevy coupes and sedans. Even fewer still can rock a scarred patina so effectively. This 1956 Chevy 210 earned its patina on a farm out in Williston in the Northern Cape. It stood there for over 40 years before it was given new life by its owner, Dewald. He was made aware of this rare gem by his brother, Francois, in 2014. He just couldn’t resist the chance to get his hands on this piece of rusty gold.
PHOTOS: Ivan Mostert
After several months of hard work and late nights, the ’56 Chevy was ready to hit the road! Since then, it has been on many road trips and attended car shows all over the country. This includes the Street Rod Nationals in Klerksdorp and even the Upington Classic Car Show. It was driven all the way to Upington without a single breakdown. And even brought home the trophy for Best Rat Rod.
This ’56 Chevy is the perfect marriage of old and new. Built to be a reliable daily drive while retaining the unique look that nature spent years creating. The weather-worn exterior is subtly accented by the hand-painted pinstriping, done by Stephen Mohacsy. Which adds some authentic old-school flavour. It sits on a set of 18” US Mags alloys and modern run-flat tyres. Gently hinting that the running gear in this old gal is anything but standard.
Look through the spokes and you’ll quickly see the upgraded disc brakes both front and rear. As well as the Jaguar-derived front suspension and upgraded bits at the rear, making sure this ’56 gets down the road smoothly. Lift the hood and you’ll find a “little” surprise – a modern 5.7L LS1 motor paired to a Lumina 4-speed automatic transmission. This 350HP powerplant gives the old girl plenty of get-ups and go and can be heard from miles away thanks to a set of stainless side-exit exhausts. All those horses are delivered to the rear wheels courtesy of an upgraded Ford 9” rear end and imported high-strength driveshafts.
The interior contrasts well against the patinaed exterior and sports loads of old-school flair with its pearlescent dash, door uprights and pillar trim. It also sports some hand-painted pinstriping to match the exterior. The upholstery received a thorough going-through and is finished in beautiful burgundy leather with custom embroidery (and not to forget the fuzzy dice of course).
Apart from its head-turning looks and wicked sound, the best part about this patinaed ’56 Chevy is that it starts on the turn and drives like a modern car, ready for any road trip, without losing the nostalgic cool factor that every hot-rodder knows and loves- making this one very wicked Rod.