OwnerGilbert Melendez

Vehicle’57 Chevrolet Bel Air

City/StateFontana, California

The name “Bel Air” has a classy ring to it, and that’s definitely the case with Gilbert melendez’ ’57 chevrolet Bel Air. This luxury classic was completely gone through and the project has never stopped as Gilbert and his brother Frank will do whatever they have to do to get the job done right.

Gilbert started off by buying an ’88 chevy camaro and taking out the small-block 5.7-liter engine to be used as a donor engine for the Bel Air. The engine was taken apart, even though it was out of a running car, and then punched out .040 over. A mild cam was used to give the classic a sports car feel. Before the engine was reassembled, Gilbert broke out his new Sata 3000 spray gun and sprayed the engine block and aluminum heads in candy “burple” to match the exterior of the car. With the paint gun out, the fenderwells and firewall were also sprayed to match.

The engine was hooked up with several bolt-on chrome aftermarket parts. Hedman “hedders” were used to allow the engine to breathe better. An edelbrock endurashine carburetor and Professional Products intake combination gets this vintage small-block running like a newerstyle engine. An edelbrock mechanical fuel pump was used to feed the carburetor and keep the fluids running consistently. All-new arp fasteners give the engine the final details that they were trying to achieve, while a set of chrome ABS brakes provide excellent stopping power.

With the help of his brother and friends, Gilbert was able to get the engine compartment of this classic Bel Air looking like that of a modern day ride. We can’t wait to see the completed project. Maybe we’ll see this ride featured in an upcoming issue of LRM.