Red Railer Too – 1955 Plymouth Belvedere

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Six years ago, Kent Ladner of Severed Ties bought this 1955 Plymouth Belvedere and went straight to work. He needed to get started right away for the massive job he was undertaking. He started off by pulling the engine and transmission and replacing them with a Chevy 350 engine and a 700r4 transmission. The air intake system was custom Made by Kent.

He was able to get a hold of a front frame from a 98 S10 Blazer. He spliced the 2 frame sections at the firewall then called Bill over at Ekstensive for some some suspension parts and some custom ball joint rings. He bagged the car to get it to lay out. Kent then cut the body from the fire wall to the end of the trunk, from rocker to rocker, and started rebuilding the entire inside of the body.

He had to fix the rusted out parts before ripping the car apart and shaving the handles. He separated the body from the frame and started doing the finishing work on the underside. Once that was done, he started working on the top side cutting the roof off and tigging it back on, removing the drip rails. The glass insulation and weatherstripping were removed, and he remade the surround and made the glass install like all new vehicles…..gluing in. He then worked on rounding out the rear fins. He hand made the tail lights out of red lexan. Since the tail lights were changed the chrome trim was tossed. He then turned to getting rid of the gas door and installed it in the trunk. He then custom made a fuel cell out of stainless. Bear claw latches were installed in the door. Kent got rid of the door wing windows and made the side glass one piece.

He then contacted Charlie Quong at Directed Electronics about the electrical system. Kent wanted to make the car completely switch free… no ignition switch, headlamp switch, window switches, bag switches…nothing! Kent received and installed a Clifford alarm, complete audio & video system, along with all of the wiring. He built a complete car pc and found the last and most important component of the system, a 24 relay computer controlled system, would allow him to control everything in the vehicle with no switches…just point and click!

Time for wheels. He called Bonspeed Wheels and got a set of 20″ wheels made to some very tight specs. He wrapped them with a set of Falcon 245/35/20 tires.

Now off to powder coating and paint. He sent large pieces out for powder coating while the rear end and smaller pieces went to Esh’s Enterprises. Kent, Chris Eshelman, and “Pops” got together and made a deal for cash as well as many days of Kent’s labor at their shop to get the paint done. The color chosen was a 1998 Audi Laser Red. Kent says if it wasn’t for them, the Plymouth would still be sitting in the garage waiting to be finished. He then moved on to color matched bed liner. He sprayed the complete under side of the body, trunk, firewall bulsters, and inside of the fenders.

Almost finished with the Belvedere, he turned to the interior and seats.. Kent cut out the carpet and had his mom sew it together and edge it. Then he got 1996 Chevy Caviler seats and stripped them to the frames. He covered them with 1964 Ford Mustang seat foams, cut them down to fit the frames, then asked good ole’ mom to make the seat covers. Some custom made door panels rounded out the interior.

Lastly it was time to shine! Kent sent out the bumpers and grill to be chromed at Bright Metal of the Heights in Houston. Once he got them back he installed the finishing pieces of the car.

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