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1955 Chevy 210 Wagon

TMI Automotive Products Icon

Tim King and TMI Automotive Products, Inc

2020-04-10

Making a Splash at SEMA

The yearly SEMA show conjures up images of the Las Vegas convention absolutely overflowing with the latest products that the aftermarket has to offer, with the added bonus of an uncountable amount of custom vehicles. Any builder that has the opportunity to showcase their vehicle in those hallowed halls has the opportunity to have their creation gawked at by literally thousands of show attendees. When TMI attended SEMA 2017, they wanted to have something different, something eye catching, and definitely something that oozed cool. This 1955 Chevy 210 wagon was perfect for what TMI had in mind.

Shaggin Wagon

When TMI Products decided to launch a Tri-Five Chevy line during SEMA, they knew they needed a 1955, 1956 or 1957 Bel Air in their booth to make a powerful statement. During the planning stages the broken shell of this 210 was found mere minutes after being posted locally on Craigslist. After making a quick sale, TMI had the car loaded and back home to begin its transformation.

In the planning stage, the discussion around whether to keep the natural patina that gave the wagon so much character or to do full custom paint was tossed back and forth. TMI decided to keep in its natural state to help set it apart from the gallons of mile-deep gloss paint on every other build

Once the car was home the body was separated from the frame and a thorough cleaning happened. Almost zero rust was discovered on this SoCal-sourced wagon, even though it had been sitting dormant for the last 30 years. Wider wheel tubs were installed to accept large meats and an entire coating of POR15 was done to ensure years of rust-free operation.

Finishing off the body is one of the coolest features on the car, a massive ragtop that opens up the wagon from front to back. Ripping a giant hole in the roof solved the issue of how to get more visibility to the rear seats, and Legacy Productions designed a custom 48x80 ragtop especially for this project. The team at TMI committed to the idea by taking out a sawzall and cutting a large rectangle in the roof. The only place that did receive a little paint was the areas around the ragtop, but they kept it subtle.

Before setting the body back on the frame, a RideTech four link coil-over suspension system was installed in the rear and RideTech tubular control arms in the front with adjustable shocks at all four corners. A complete CPP steering system and big brake kit sits behind the 19x8 front and 20x11 rear US Mags Nimitz wheels, all rolling on Continental tires.

Under The Hood

Sitting between the frame rails resides a 5.3L LS that’s been warmed up with a complete FiTech Ultimate LS injection system with their ultra-cool fabricated intake, a set of Trick Flow heads and camshaft, a Tanks Inc fuel tank was installed in the rear, while Performance Distributor coils fire things up before being sent down a pair of Doug Thorley headers and a complete Flowmaster exhaust.

Finishing off the powerplant is an All American Billet accessory drive with a Champion radiator to keep everything cool. Behind the engine is a built 4L60E with a Hughes Performance 3,000 RPM stall converter.

VXR Is Born

TMI is in the business of creating complete interior products that are ready to install. Using the '55 as a test mule, the ready-to-install VXR Series was created for the entire Tri-Five lineup. To show off this new product line, TMI utilized one of their 60-inch Pro-Series bench seats in the front and a 38-inch wide Pro-Series rear seat. These are seats that are completely brand new and ship complete to your door. All you have to do is open the box, and install them into your waiting project.

These ultra plush seats are the Sport VXR pattern, with a subtle two tone color combo of Distressed Brown Vinyl and Buck Distressed Vinyl with stainless grommets and white stitching that all play off each other for a classy yet performance look. With the seats finished, TMI went ahead and created matching door panels, dash pad, console and carpet to round out the full interior.

While developing this ‘55 interior they also developed full interiors for the ‘56 and ‘57 Bel-Air counterparts. There are kits available for 2-door and 4-door cars, along with Nomads and Wagons. With a plethora of options you can order a complete custom interior right off the shelf for your Tri-Five to get it looking as nice as this one.

Inside The Build
Builder
TMI Products
Interior
VXR Pattern
55-inch Front Bench
38-inch Rear Bench
TMI Wrapped Steering Wheel
Matching Door Panels
All American Billet Door Handles
Lokar Shifter and Pedals
RetroSound Audio
Old Air Products A/C System
Dakota Digital HDX Gauges
Engine
5.3 LS
FiTech Ultimate LS Injection
Trickflow Heads
Champion Cooling Radiator
All American Billet Serpentine Kit
CPP Motor Mounts
Suspension
RideTech - 4 link
Exterior
Legacy Products Ragtop
Wheels
US Mags Nimitz
Front: 19x8
Rear: 20x11
Continental Tires
Brakes
CPP - Big brake kit
Wiring
Painless Performance Products LS kit
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