Featured Vehicles / From the Summit Racing Catalog

Picture Perfect: Terry Cook’s 1955 Chevy Bel Air

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

The most valuable asset for any vehicle project is clarity of vision. Once you understand everything about the final product, it’s easier to figure out the steps required to achieve it. That’s why Terry Cook’s 1955 Chevy Bel Air looks so clean and distinct.

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

As soon as he was old enough to hold a wrench, Terry Cook was in the garage helping his father Carlos work on cars. Their previous project vehicles include a Pro Street 1971 Chevy truck, an R-code 1969 Ford Mustang, a 1963 Corvette, and a 1967 “Eleanor” Mustang.

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

The father-and-son partnership culminated in a pair of Tri-Fives. “My dad always wanted a classic 1957 Chevy Bel Air,” Terry says, “so I restored a two-door hardtop for him, complete with all the chrome trim. It was such a fun project that I decided to build one of my own, but I had to do it my way.”

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

“This car holds a special place in my heart,” Terry says, “because it ended up being the last car that my dad and I worked on together before he passed away.”

(Illustration/Murray Pfaff, Pfaff Designs)

Before turning a single nut, Terry commissioned award-winning designer Murray Pfaff to help solidify his vision of a sleek and modernized 1955 Bel Air. Guided by the rendering, Terry and Carlos didn’t have to spend a lot of time with trial-and-error fitment.

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

Terry got the body from a friend of his, Kerry Wrinkle. After deleting all the emblems, he added a few openings for side vents, exhaust exits, air diffuser cutouts, and a distinctive air intake through the front emblem frame. He also flipped the rear bumper.

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

That customized body rides on a Tri-5 GT Sport chassis by Art Morrison. Coilovers from Strange Engineering help keep the ride sporty and smooth.

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

Under the hood is a Brodix 434 cubic inch block with 18 degree cylinder heads CNC-ported by Terry’s friends at Competition Marine. It’s fed by a custom-fabricated Hogan sheetmetal duct connected to the Bowtie-shaped opening in the nose, and the motor exhales through custom-built headers.

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

The engine also features Holley multi-port fuel injection, a nitrous oxide system, an Aeromotive Phantom fuel pump, and a Meziere starter, plus an MSD 6A ignition controller, crank trigger, and HVC-2 coil. A Griffin radiator and SPAL electric fans help keep everything cool. Terry estimates the engine makes about 630 horsepower.

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

“The trickiest part of this build was routing the exhaust through the floor pan in the rear,” Terry says. The Bel Air’s three inch stainless steel exhaust tubing connects to Quick Time cutouts and Borla mufflers.

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

Inside, Terry rides in style on custom-made, leather upholstered bucket seats. The customized fiberglass dash sports instruments from Dakota Digital and Holley.

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

This green machine has won lots of accolades, including a Street Rodder Top 100, Tri-Five Top 25 Best Engineered, and a Goodguys Top 10 finish in Fort Worth, Texas. Keep an eye out for Terry at a show near you!

(Image/Todd Biss Productions)

Terry Cook’s 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Fast Specs

Body & Chassis

  • Tri-5 GT Sport chassis by Art Morrison
  • Strange Engineering coilover shocks
  • Tubular steel control arms
  • Triangular 4-link suspension
  • Rack and pinion steering
  • Wilwood 6-piston disc brakes
  • Custom side vents, exhaust exits, flipped rear bumper with air diffuser cutouts, deleted emblems, air intake through front emblem frame
  • PPG Synergy Green and Urban Titanium paint

Wheels & Tires

Engine & Transmission

Air & Fuel

Ignition & Electrical



  • Modified fiberglass dash by Tony Curry
  • Holley and Dakota Digital gauges
  • Custom bucket seats covered in black leather with green stitching
  • Upholstery by Oz Upholstery

Terry gives special thanks to his father, Carlos Cook, as well as Kerry Wrinkle, Murray Pfaff, and Connor Wilson

(Image/Summit Racing)
(Image/Summit Racing)
(Image/Summit Racing)
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  1. Tommy Herndon says:

    This is one sweet ride are the front marker lights after market LED if where can I get them for my 55 Thanks

  2. Craig Wallace says:

    I would like to build a model replica of this car. Is there anywhere to see more pictures of this awesome ride?

    • Hey Craig, we added a few more pictures of the car at the bottom of the article so you can see a bit more detail on the hood and sides.

      If you do build the model, let us know–we’d love to share some pics of it too!

  3. Mike Cristina says:

    Hello Dereck,
    Thank you for this article! I have a 56 Ford Crown Vic and have been searching for years for a set of cool yet function outside mirrors. I fell in love with these! Since the top of my doors are shaped much like this 55 Chevy I thought they would look cool on my car. BUT where did builder get them?? Thanks to your pictures they are labeled “crossfire” mirrors. Ahh, found a used set of Chrysler Crossfire, (04-08) years on eBay.

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