From Parade Floats to Restomods
Unorthodox: Contrary to what is usual, traditional, or accepted. Needless to say, this ’55 Chevy 210 was built a little differently. It might look like a well-sorted, modern hot rod—and it is—but it was built by a group of guys who normally make things like parade floats and 3-D artistic displays for companies like Vanity Fair and Disneyland. So where’s the connection? How did they go from parade floats to hot rods? The transition is simple, really. They are just a bunch of guys who are both creative and know how to build stuff—two skills that go hand-in-hand with building custom hot rods.
Steering the ship is Craig Bugajski, owner of Artistic Entertainment Services, who also happens to be the owner of the ’55 Chevy 210 we’ll be talking about today. He’s the idea guy and the one who ultimately calls the shots. But when it comes to their dabbling in hot rod building, he fully acknowledges that they’d be nowhere without Mark Beardsley. Beardsley is a true gearhead who’s been a diehard mini-trucker for years and spends every free minute going to car shows and building stuff. So, between Craig and Beardsley and a company made to facilitate creativity and turning ideas into reality, the jump to building cars was actually pretty natural.
It all started about eight years ago when the guys were looking for something to tinker with at the shop in
Azusa, California, during breaks and after hours. Craig always had an affinity for ’55 Chevys so that’s where they started. He found one for a couple grand that needed some work—actually a lot of work—which was perfectly fine with them. It was nothing more than a frame and body, complete with copious amounts of rust. Since fabrication and metalwork were right up their alley, that was no problem and they got to work. Once they started working on the ’55 they never stopped. It’s had multiple engines and transmissions over the years and even to this day Craig sees plenty of room for improvement.
At the end of the day—or at least at the time we wrote this feature—Craig’s ’55 Chevy 210 is as follows: The foundation of the car is an Art Morrison GT Sport chassis complete with a Ford 9-inch rearend and 4.11 gears. The 9-inch is controlled by a four-link suspension system while up front are tubular A-arms. At all four corners live Koni coilover shocks as well as beefy Wilwood brakes, which are supported by a CPP master cylinder, booster, and proportioning valve.