When there were far fewer people around, far fewer laws and regulations, when the legal speed limit was 75 mph, when gas was cheap, when driving was a pleasure, if you owned a hot machine you could point the grill down an empty road and go!

Gettin’ Down

This week we're starting a new feature on the Flat Out Press website. We'll pick a car photo out our archives and write about it.

Imagine taking a new car and dropping it right on the ground! That happened a lot circa 1955 to 1958, when a guy could get a couple coils cut out or his front springs for $15. After one guy did it others followed, and it was mass hysteria to see who could get his car the lowest.

A good example was Jack Curry's 1955 Pontiac hardtop. First he got the car to go, by boring the engine to 300 cubes, balancing it, installing J.E. pistons, an Iskendarian E4 cam and a Mallory ignition. Then he put on a four carb manifold and headers. Behind the engine was a ‘37 LaSalle transmission.

Then he decided to make the car into a custom. He wanted it low, so the front spindles were reversed and shorter ‘52 Pontiac coils were installed; this brought the front end down to within l ½” from the ground! To lower the back, the frame was C’d at the rear kickups, the spring eyes were reversed and 4” lowering blocks were used. The car has been neither chopped nor chanelled, but it is as low as cars that have been.

The two chrome strips on the hood were filled with fiberglass, the headlights Frenched, the side trim altered, the grill was reworked and ‘55 Chrysler taillights added. The interior was upholstered in pink and white vinyl and the car was painted a color called "Frosty Grape." Like so many customs of that period it soon disappeared.
Copyright 2008, Albert Drake and Flat Out Press.

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