The 1955 Chevy sits on a chassis jig. (Image/Alex Taylor)

What all ACTUALLY goes into building a car? That’s a loose-ended question with lots of variables, I know! So, lets narrow that down…

What does it take to build a six second, tube chassis car?

Even that question can be misleading. You see the TV shows where they snap their fingers and BAM! A car appears! Or on social platforms where someone posts their new car that just seems to have appeared out of thin air. But what about all of the hours of conversations, not just the physical work, that goes into bringing a car from an idea to a finished piece?

With the 1955 Chevy build, we’re taking you along on a Quest for the Sixes, and we wanted to share all the armchair work and conversations that go into that quest!

Here’s the custom-made chassis jig for the 1955 Chevy. (Image/Alex Taylor)

There are a lot of projects in the shop right now, and a couple of them are at the same point in the build process—including two 1955 Chevys (one is a Nomad) that were both in need of a chassis that meets SFI 25.3 specifications. Because of this, our 8′ x 20′ dedicated chassis table was already in use. So, dad whipped up a quick frame jig to put our 1955 on, so we could get started. We also pulled out a lathe from storage and got it set up as a dedicated tubing notcher (paired with a monster 1-5/8″ end mill) to speed the process up.

All prep work before the actual work started!

The 1955 Chevy sits on the chassis jig at the anticipated ride height. (Image/Alex Taylor)

With everything ready to go, the conversations that I spoke of earlier got underway.

We had to decide on tire size, because that affects ride height, which affects this, which affects that…. You see the pattern?

Everything is dependent on the other. We decided we wanted to go with a pair of 35/15-16 Mickey Thompson slicks. But, we also wanted the car to be low to the ground, which left us with only a couple inches of clearance between the tire and upper part of the quarter for tire growth on the track—and that wasn’t enough.

We debated our options: Bubble the quarters? Or raise the car?

We went with the first option.

Working out seat height and location. Yes…we really just stacked wood for this. (Image/Alex Taylor)

With ride height figured out, we still had to determine engine setback, engine height, four link and main hoop placement, seat location, and all the other crucial measurements. Hours and hours of conversation and deciding what would be the final set up. (Don’t worry! I condensed most of that conversation down in the YouTube video!) We also had to get the body squared on the jig with a laser, then tacked and secured in place.

Once we had that worked out, we got started with the cornerstone bars—the rear cross member and main hoop. Everything forward and backwards is based on these two bars. Hence the big smile you see below when he had the (rather complicated) cross member bar bent and ready to go in!

Here’s the rear cross member, bent and ready to go in car. (Image/Alex Taylor)

With the chassis started, that’s where we wrapped it up for this episode (with a little sneak peak of a few more bars added in!) Make sure to check out the video below to hear how we got our plan in place so we could start moving forward and don’t forget to check out the Summit Instagram (@summitracing) stories for new updates!