1956 Chevy vs Ford

1956 Chevy vs Ford

A Pair of 1956 Classic Rides!

Chris Addington – Jim McNear AZ Gear Heads

1956 Chevrolet Belair Hardtop Convertible

Ben and Julie Sanchez, Lake Havasu City, AZ

It does not get better than a 1956 Chevrolet hardtop convertible. The 1956 Chevrolet was the 2nd generation of the Tri-5’s. Minor changes including a full width grille, seems the Ferrari inspired 1955 wasn’t in favor. The parking lamps were rectangular with new front and rear bumpers. The cool feature is the left taillight housed the gas fi ller! The new side trim allowed for two-tone paint schemes and wheel opening which was called at the time “Speedline” look.

This bowtie Tri-5 sits right and can be seen cruising the streets of Lake Havasu most cruise nites and a regular at local events. Ben and Julie are members of Pharaohs of Arizona, Lake Havasu Chapter. They found this classic as a progress project and brought it to life. Their touches include wiring and engine work. Engine is a 350 Bowtie crate engine developing 300 HP, 4-barrel carburetor with much Brite work in the engine bay. Dual exhaust-stainless steel, aluminum radiator cross fl ow makes the engine compartment very clean and detailed to the max. Being in Havasu air conditioning is mandatory.

The seats are from a late model Cadillac, wrapped in leather accent the interior with a center console. The stock steering wheel belongs in this classic. The US Mags are a natural look for this Tri-5. The trunk is fi nished and detailed and has seen its share of suitcases as this classic sees many road trips. Ben found this project in early 2020 he left behind a 2014 Corvette to join the ranks of Tri-5 Classics and he has never looked back. He now has a happy face when you see Ben and Julie cruising McCulloch Blvd on Hot Lake Havasu Nites.


  • Bowtie 700R4 Transmission
  • Chevrolet 350ci/300HP
  • Leather Bucket Seats w/Console From Cadillac donors.
  • Atomic Silver Over Lexus Burgundy Paint
  • 3.56 Rear Gears, Chevy 3rd Member

1956 Ford Thunderbird (Baby Bird)

Ellen Wright, Lake Havasu City, AZ

This timeless Ford first Thunderbird series 1955-1957 is an eye catcher and always popular at events and always brings a smile to lookers who wish they had one from the classic portholes, continental kit to the retro colors. This is a classic that is timeless and will always be in demand. Since this was only built for 3 years this model is becoming rare and hard to find.

Ellen’s Baby Bird is Fiesta Red, almost a coral color, riding on big whites with stock hubcaps is timeless. She is a member of Pharaohs of Arizona, Lake Havasu Chapter. You can always see her at local events and cruises enjoying her cool ride. She has kept it mostly stock with 4-barrel carburetor, 292 stock engine, Fordomatic transmission, fi nned valve covers, Drum brakes front & Rear. Ellen and her Husband Jim, who used to run a Hot Rod Shop, kept their rides in pristine condition and ready to drive anywhere, who recently participated in the West Coast Power Cruise in Jim’s Hot Rod. Yes, it has air conditioning which is almost mandatory in Havasu!

The factory color is accented with pinstriping and of course a Rat Fink antenna topper. It was upgraded to electric power steering to assist those big whites. Ellen has had this classic for nearly 3 years and looks for any reason to get some street time. Ellen is an artist who works in glass and has done many panels and projects and is always in demand for her works. Often you can see Ellen enjoying her ride going down the Streets of Lake Havasu City with a grin from ear to ear!


  • Fordamatic Automatic Transmission
  • Ford 292 Factory Engine
  • Vinyl Interior Red with White Inserts
  • Fiesta Red with White Top
  • Continental Kit – Classic Opera