Car Culture & Entertainment

Follow Racer Alex Taylor and Her ’55 Chevy on a “Quest for the Sixes”

Beginning to cut out the Chevy’s floors. (Image/Alex Taylor)

I’m Alex Taylor. I’m 23 and tired of running eight-second dragstrip passes, so I’m building a six-second car.

Quest for the Sixes” became the phrase that kickstarted a father/daughter project with the lofty goal of turning a ratty 1955 Chevy into a full tube chassis race car capable of running sixes in the quarter mile…

All in a matter of four short months. 

Don’t worry though, we didn’t cut up a “good” 55. This one was ROUGH.

In case you weren’t sure what “rough” meant, this is the 1955 before we started cutting. (Image/Alex Taylor)

At 16, my parents and I built a 68 Camaro dubbed “Badmaro,” that I took on Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week in 2013 with my mom as my co-pilot. Since then, I have been on twelve drag-and-drive style events with the same car and have been “stuck” in the eights since 2015.

Earlier this year I decided it was time to go for the sevens, but Badmaro is heavy and holds a special place in my heart. I really didn’t want to do anything to lose its true streetcar style: power windows, power steering, full interior, stereo, all steel, etc. However, I had convinced myself to make the necessary sacrifices to the car, in the name of lower ETs and faster speed.

So, that was the plan, until my dad (Dennis Taylor) pitched the idea to build a brand new, lightweight car and use the engine and drivetrain out of his personal seven-second car. Skip the sevens, for me at least, and head straight for the sixes. A cheap, quick, down-and-dirty build that we would take on the first drag-and-drive style event of the season, Summit Midwest Drags, which starts at the end of the May.

Dennis Taylor (aka Dad) and I at the track discussing data from a pass. (Image/Cole Reynolds of CWR Media)

Then we would campaign it the rest of the season, doing at least four of these style events (Summit Midwest Drags, 1320 Video’s Rocky Mountain Race Week 1.0 and 2.0, and Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week), putting over 4,000 street miles on a brand new car, racing for four weeks, and seeing fourteen tracks.

Pretty “Two Lane Blacktop,” right? Well…kind of.  

Since 2014, my dad and I have always been on these events together—but we have never actually competed in them together. We’ve always had separate programs, and there are days where we might not even see each other until we’re packing up at the end. Our efforts have always been split in multiple directions and we have never teamed up to actually competeuntil now.

To most, this probably sounds like a near impossible feat to do in such a short amount of time. There are a lot of logistics that go into completing a a build, especially one like this, taking into consideration everything from getting parts to actually putting in the hours to do the work.

Here’s the Hot Rods by Dennis Taylor shop where the ’55 will be built. (Image/Alex Taylor)

Dad, however, does this on the daily. As the owner of Hot Rods by Dennis Taylor, he has been in the business of building for the past 30 years. The unique part of DT and the shop is that a car never leaves until it’s complete. Chassis, upholstery, paint and body, fabrication, machine work, wiring, you name it and he does it all at the shop, by himself.

And for the past 23 years I have apprenticed alongside him. So somewhere between customer projects and other personal projects, during the nights and weekends, we will be building the car 100% ourselves in the shop, all documented on my YouTube channel, Riding with Alex Taylor. Also, the build will be documented on here along with updates on the Summit Racing Instagram page (@summitracing).

Now that you know the story, the how, and the why… you have to be wondering, what is the state of the build currently, as our timeline is quickly running out?

Work has already begun on the 1955 Chevy. (Image/Alex Taylor)

I can assure you we are making rapid progress! In the first episode of the build (check it out below), we drug the car up from behind the lower shop and pressure washed years of mold and mildew off of the patina, so we had a clean canvas to work with. After a day of stripping it down, I took a plasma to what resembled floors and cut out everything that we didn’t need—which turned out to be almost everything.

We finished the cutting up with some precision torch work and lifted the remaining shell off the chassis and closed the episode with a shell that gave us a good starting platform. Albeit, it did need a lot of straightening, panel patching, and rust removal, but that’s for next week!

Removed floor pans and extra structure sitting beside 55…some assembly required. (Image/Alex Taylor)

To hear more about the goals and watch the build progress begin, check out the video below and don’t forget to check back often so you can go on a Quest for the Sixes with us.

Status of the ’55 Chevy’s shell at the end of the episode. Floors, rockers, firewall, and most inner structure removed. (Image/Alex Taylor)
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6 Comments

  1. Pingback: Alex Taylor's "Quest for the Sixes" Update: 1955 Chevy Body Prep

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