Boosted Bela: Patina Done Right

Each year at the SEMA Show, there are a number of platforms you’re guaranteed to find in large numbers. The 1960s Mustang is one, as is the first generation Camaro. Another car you can always count on seeing is the good old Tri-Five Chevy.


The ’55-’57 Chevy has always been one of the most popular platforms for racers and customizers, and it’s great fun to see how builders go about creating examples to stand out from the crowd. That brings me to Bela, a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air built by Retro Designs Speed & Custom in Concord, North Carolina, and displayed in the Mobil 1 booth.


One of the first things you notice about this car is that it’s built out of the four-door hardtop body style rather than the much more popular two-door. It’s unique, and it gives the ’56 a look all its own.


Then there’s the body, which has the appearance of a car pulled directly from the junkyard. There are some other cool exterior touches as well, like leather straps over the trunk and this old school metal scoop on the passenger side fender.


The scoop is functional too, helping feed air directly to the car’s Vortech-supercharged LS3 crate motor from GM Performance. In contrast to the weathered body, the engine bay is spotless, featuring a ton of custom metalwork and contrasting paint.


Needless to say, the Chevy is riding on air and packing a number of parts from RideTech suspension. Rather than some sort of billet wheels, the Bel Air sits on simple wide whites with chrome-trimmed steelies hiding Wilwood disc brakes.


The interior shares the same attention to detail, with custom leather stitching in the style of a baseball glove and bench seating all around for maximum cruising cred’.


SEMA is all about creativity, and this Chevy is absolutely overflowing with it.

Stay tuned for more coverage and car spotlights from the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media



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Great build. Style and power.


I need that COPO intake to hang on my wall!


love'd be my daily


While I'm not a huge mustard yellow fan I love this. The interior is awesome and the trunk straps are a wicked touch too.


For some reason I think this would feel right at home in fallout 4.


please tell me you are getting a feature on Rusty Slammington




oh wow.... an old american car with an LS.... so much creativity there. (sarcasm).

loved seeing the same motor swap in half the cars at SEMA. :rolls eyes:


I want something like that done to my plymouth 74 duster and paint it gold


Those valve covers are nearly cheetah print. Coincidence? I think not.


I love the car with the exception of the interior choice.


over the top.. way too much


I like it. I don't care for the scoop though. The whole package almost leans towards a rip off of Icon. It still neat it's a more door Which I like more than two doors. The engine is yawn but with the hood closed I wouldn't care. The wheels are predictable. But honestly the fit this car. The interior is nice though I'm not into the whole leather thing. Over I give it an eight. Loose the scoop and put the hood on it and it would fly.


This thing would have looked amazing if it had a vintage-looking engine to match. I get that they wanted the engine bay to be spotless instead of patina'd, but the modern plastic and electronics really does not do it for me here.


we may never know why there is a coon tail hanging from the mirror...


Has the bonnet been removed for the show, or is it designed to run/look like that all the time?


O-m-g lol


bluestreaksti Old school American trend like an accessory for your whip...


gcvphoto It's the best, most reliable, most tunable, mill that can run in a work truck, factory muscle car, drifter, drag racer, road racer, vintage engine swap, import name it the possibilities and horsepower are endless.  Not to mention, they sound ALMOST better than any engine out there (Maserati V8's have my #1 vote for sound).  'Buy with one click' and the out of the box, the LS motor can compete with any mark on the planet in any forum.  What's not to like??

Hate on hombre...


Best car at Sema 2015, looked at it for over a hour


gcvphoto and what did you build for SEMA champ???? (sarcasm)


B to the Ruce gcvphoto
GCV the LS as much as it is hated is really, really hard to beat reliability, price, and power. Creativity is often real expensive. 

For my own project I've been comparing different motor options to the LS and being 'creative' will likely ruin my budget.
Obviously this car likely had a bigger budget to work with but I doubt they were lighting cigars with hundos.


That interior is amazing


/noun: patina; a green or brown film on the surface of bronze or copper, produced by oxidation over a long period.  Shitty paint is not patina....


@fetalinjury Dude this is deep...


@fetalinjury Actually, that's verdigris, a form of patina.
Patina (" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> or" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> is a thin layer that variously forms (a small amount of surface rust, without pitting) on the surface of; on, and similar (such as any ferrous metals, i.e. steels and irons) ( produced by oxidation (rust) or other chemical processes)


what an incredible POS


the car was very good 
really really like to see the car that shiny new car fits like made ​​for walking trailsthe car was very good" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> and very fast" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> mix of colors" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> from which to" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> make want pobud see hatnya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> kecepatanya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> was very nice ," rel="dofollow" target="_blank">  suitable for a "" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> sharp bend or not sharp I guess motorists like this is" very skilled in the speed I hope I can membilinya someday will whether there are new cars are better I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> 'll wait for it , with a stylish car classic" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> style I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> also like" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> to see would be whether there is a" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> car that is as fast and forius like in the " movie , the car very good car designed a way apparently hopefully there will be new cars more good and the price is quite pantastis then chances are I can membilinya the same as you have at this time