Cleary '57 Buick
Light Your Fire
Big wheels, big brakes, big block, big car
While the rest of the world was flipping their collective wigs over the 1957 Chevy Bel Air, Buick was across town enjoying their classier counterpart. Fraught with chrome and fins and everything good and right in space-age America, the ‘57 Buicks were a sight to behold.
American cars have become sought after in countries abroad, and why not? The styling, power and overall aura cannot be found elsewhere. These are the cars that songs are written about, that star in our favorite movies; classic cars are an integral part of Americana. It comes as no surprise that a young man in Australia could fall in love with our vehicular lifestyle. A particular young man was one Adam Cleary of Sydney Australia, and although he had his dream car built in his head, building it in real life was another matter. Thanks to strict regulations surrounding custom work, shop rates can be several times higher down under compared to the U.S. Enter Chad Canerday, proprietor of Chad’s Auto Glass in California. Friends for years, Chad and Adam cooked up a plan to build Adam’s dream sled stateside.
The first order of business was getting the jet-age hardtop on the ground. The Choppin’ Block built new front and rear suspension systems that allow the Buick to take a load off, even with 24” wheels. Turning to the body, the car was complete but nowhere near where it needed to be. Milinich’s Body Works went to town shaving the handles and badges, but wisely left the side trim and portholes. The rest of the effort was spent block sanding the body to perfection. When the dust cleared, PPG black was laid down; it’s so smooth you have to look twice to make sure it isn’t still wet.
A 454 is tucked under the hood, doused in red paint and hiding under a Cadillac-style air cleaner. The big Chevy can back up its bark, with Keith Black heads, a Holley 750 carb and a full complement of internals to match. BeCool provided an aluminum radiator and fan situation, while a Billet Specialties accessory drive keeps everything in sync.
Looking inside, you’ll see a remarkable red leather interior; Glide Engineering seats up front and custom-made buckets in the rear. A handmade center console stretches from the package tray to the 1956 Chevy car dashboard. Maybe you didn’t notice the dash change because you were so spellbound by the beautiful instrumentation or the large ‘Special’ emblem in the center of the dash. Krist Kustoms can take credit for the crimson cockpit.
The bulbous Buick went from a rolling hulk to the show stopper you see here in a matter of eight months. Adam and Chad wanted to debut the car at the SEMA show in Las Vegas in 2013, which is where we first saw this thing. We crawled all over it and were impressed with the restraint and execution; so many times customs get out of control but Chad and his team kept it classy, just like a Buick should be.
Photos courtesy of Slam'd Mag: www.slamdmag.com