1957 Chevy Con­trasts!

Chevy High Performance - - Straight Line -

The sport of drag rac­ing con­tin­ues to em­brace the leg­endary 1957 Chevro­let. The ex­am­ples are ev­ery­where and they dif­fer vastly, rang­ing from restored orig­i­nals to highly mod­i­fied repli­cas.

We re­ally ad­mire the ef­fort and the deep his­tory be­hind the 1957 Chevy raced by the Wil­lard fam­ily (Leomin­ster, Mas­sachusetts). Jan­ice Wil­lard is now the driver of a spec­tac­u­larly prepped ’57 that runs in NHRA’s Su­per Street 10.90 and also in the Su­per Pro cat­e­gory. In fact, Jan­ice is just the lat­est fam­ily mem­ber to drive this par­tic­u­lar car. It was pur­chased by fam­ily pa­tri­arch Larry Wil­lard back in 1966 and has been driven (in ad­di­tion to Larry) by Joyce, Nick, and Jes­sica Wil­lard. Orig­i­nally this was a For­mula L2 Stock four-speed car with a 283ci en­gine, but it now houses a 600hp 0.060-over 427ci big­block en­gine. Jan­ice’s hus­band, Nick—who races a ’57 Chevy in Top Sports­man—over­saw this Chevy’s re­build in 2017, which put it back into ac­tion af­ter about a 15-year ab­sence from the dragstrip. The great-look­ing ma­chine fea­tures some very cool gold/brass an­odiz­ing, which gives it a per­fect car show qual­ity fin­ish­ing touch.

Out from West­ern Canada comes a ’57 Chevy with the ex­act op­po­site fin­ish. This new Pro Mod­i­fied ver­sion, which comes from Red Deer, Al­berta, is owned by Dean Bet­ten­son and has cer­tainly achieved its “scrap yard look” ob­jec­tive with a highly ef­fec­tive rust and dirt wrap done by Palmer Signs (Sacra­mento, Cal­i­for­nia). Dean, who’s BelAir Power Chevy is a new­comer in the Pro Mod ranks, be­gan his ad­ven­ture af­ter Bunker Mo­tor­sports (Sacra­mento) built the car. In stark con­trast to the rough ex­te­rior look is a very unique en­gine pro­gram that falls well out­side the Pro Mod class norm. Bet­ten­son has a 526ci PSI (C ro­tor) su­per­charged al­co­hol burner, but uses EFI in­di­vid­ual coils be­tween the fram­erails. Dean’s ma­chine be­came an im­me­di­ate fan fa­vorite fol­low­ing its de­but at Las Ve­gas late in 2017. The team in­cludes val­ued crewmem­bers Bob Bunker, Rick Wor­thing­ton, Michael Bar­nett, and Ryan and Dar­ryn O’Con­ner. Dean funds his in­no­va­tive rac­ing ef­fort as a 100-per­cent in­de­pen­dent, but he is the founder and owner of BelAir Power and Pro­duc­tion Equip­ment, which is deeply in­volved in the prov­ince of Al­berta’s oil patch in­dus­try.

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