Trav Grace's stunning '55 Chevy might look like a classic, but under the bonnet is modern twin-turbo mumbo


GEELONG’S Trav Grace has a deep-seated affinity for tri-five Chevys that dates back to his formative years. “My cousin, Paul Henderson, owned the ex-Super Plus ’55 Chev that ran 11-second passes back in the early 80s,” he says. This connection to such a storied ’55 Chev kick-started an enduring appreciation for the model and Trav has owned several in the years since, but none have been built and refined to the level of his current toy.

“I kept the car with a classic look for a year or two, then I set about mini-tubbing it, modifying the brakes to four-wheel discs and changing the wheels from the original whitewall rags to Convos,” Trav says. The car remained that way for a year or so while he weighed up his options for upgrading the powertrain.

“At first I was looking at putting a 434ci small-block Chev in it,” Trav says. “Then one night I went for a spin in Harry Haig’s freshly built turboed big-block HQ. The thing was mad and I was quickly bitten by the turbo bug.”

Eventually Trav tracked down a used LS1 on eBay, and sourced a pair of twin 64/62mm Turbonectics billet 60-series turbos through Adam and Luke at MPW. Running mostly factory hardware (ACL Race Series bearings and ARP rod bolts have been used), the motor was tuned by Mark Sass at Sass Automotive and makes a touch over 500hp at the treads on 98 octane.

A built motor is down the line which Trav hopes will have him running nines, but for now he’s happy cruising the car with his family. And besides, this setup is actually pretty fuel efficient getting 11L/100km on the highway!