Cer­ti­fied Rider

Jimmy Soler's '56 Chevy Bel Air

Low Rider - - CONTENTS - STORY & PHO­TOS BY PHIL GOR­DON

As a res­i­dent of Port Ch­ester, New York, Jimmy Soler and his older brother, Fabian, have built quite a name in the Lowrider com­mu­nity. As mem­bers of Cer­ti­fied Riderz, they’re diehard lowrid­ing fans but it’s their at­ten­tion to de­tail that has peo­ple talking. Fabian’s work on his '61 Im­pala landed him a fea­ture in

Lowrider back in 2016, and now it’s Jimmy’s turn to take cen­ter stage with this flaw­less cre­ation.

Grow­ing up in his older brother’s foot­steps, Jimmy knew his path early on. His path was so clear that at age 14 he pur­chased his first car, a Cadil­lac coupe that sat in the drive­way un­til he got his li­cense. True to the Soler name, Jimmy added a full hy­draulic

setup and wire wheels be­fore sell­ing it to a friend. The Cadil­lac was just a prac­tice ses­sion for Jimmy and he had already set his sights on a Tri-Five.

Search­ing for an af­ford­able Tri-Five Bel Air cer­tainly isn’t easy, but Jimmy struck gold when he found a stock '56 in New Jersey. The Bel Air was in run­ning con­di­tion but the stock paint was faded and the mo­tor def­i­nitely needed an up­grade, as the owner had an old Monte Carlo 305 un­der­hood. Once the Chevy was brought back to Jimmy’s garage, he re­al­ized that his gem needed a lot more work than he first thought. As a one-man crew, Jimmy took the en­tire car apart, leav­ing him with a bare frame.

The Bel Air was brought to JC Auto in Orange­burg, New York, where all the body was

straight­ened and prepped for paint. Jimmy chose the orig­i­nal

'56 color of Ax­alta Sierra Gold and Adobe Beige to set the stage for the Chevy. In or­der to get the Bel Air run­ning prop­erly, Jimmy and Fabian added a crate 350 mo­tor that re­placed the high-mileage 305 and up­graded all the per­for­mance as­pects of the Chevy. After look­ing for six months, Jimmy found an orig­i­nal con­ti­nen­tal kit, had JC Auto paint it, and he and Fabian in­stalled it.

Jimmy added a RetroSound ra­dio that looked orig­i­nal but is ac­tu­ally mod­ern and con­nected to cus­tom Pi­o­neer kick pan­els and rear deck speak­ers. A cus­tom aftermarket sun­vi­sor as well as dual spot­lights that Jimmy found at a swap meet in Penn­syl­va­nia were added to the Bel Air to make it unique.

WHAT IS A TRI-FIVE? The '55, '56, and '57 Chevy Bel Airs (150, 210, and No­mad in­cluded) are known as Tri-Fives be­cause those three years shared the same frame and sus­pen­sion platform, mak­ing them ba­si­cally the same car with a dif­fer­ent body. Bel Air...

Cop­per and cream-col­ored combo is a "Cer­ti­fied" look on this five-six!

CAR MODEL 1956 BEL AIR BY CHEVRO­LET

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