Marco Antonucci’s 427ci 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air

Marco Antonucci spent countless hours in his shed fabricating and engineering the build of his Chevy cruiser in preparation for its next stage

Photographers: Noah Thorley

“I’ve always owned Aussie cars, but this time I wanted something American, and that’s when the ’56 Chev caught my eye. I spent countless days and nights in my garage separating the body from the chassis, stripping the paint and preparing the metal for the next stage.

First published in the May 2024 issue of Street Machine

“Jerry, a coachbuilder, agreed to do the whole body resto. Not being a fan of LHD steering, I moved the gear lever to the left side of the column and made all the other components to RHD specs. I set up the drivetrain and fabricated the engine mounts, gearbox crossmember and rear end to suit.

“Once the car was dummied up and torn down, it was ready for paint. It was a no-brainer that Shawn Potter from Exotic Kustoms in Hallam would paint it. At the eleventh hour I finally found the right colour, and with Shawn’s skill and knowledge he customised the final result. The interior was completed by Adrian at Kool Trim with incredible workmanship and skill.

“Con Sagiaris from Pro Race Engines built the SBC. It’s a Dart Little M block, stroked and punched out to 427 cubes with a Scat crank, Compstar rods and SRP pistons. It runs a solid-roller cam, 220cc AFR heads, a Victor E manifold, 950 APD carby, ASR sump, and ICE Ignition.

Andrew Haringsma from Extracted Exhaust built 17/8in stainless steel headers; they’re ceramic coated inside and out and run to a 3in stainless system.

“The transmission is a TH350 with a TCI 4500rpm converter built by TJ Autos. Pat at Extreme 9 Diffs built the 9in diff with a Detroit locker, nodular iron case, large Daytona pinion carrier and 3.7 gears with Moser 31-spline axles.

“Brakes on all wheels are UPC discs. The wheels are genuine Auto Drags in 15×8.5 with Mickey Thompson 28x10s on the back; fronts are 15×5.5s with 175/80 rubber. It makes 675hp at 7100rpm, and 608lb-ft at 5200rpm.

I spent countless hours fabricating and engineering the build myself to finally get my American ’56 Chev cruising the streets of Australia, blasting out the ugly duckling era!

“Many thanks to Exotic Kustoms, Pro Race, Jerry and Kool Trim.”