Tri-Five Price Buster! 1956 Chevrolet

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The more-door configuration is probably a deal-breaker for many folks, but this one is worth taking a look at if you’re a bargain-hunter. A two-door sedan in similar condition to this one would fetch five thousand or more. The pre-negotiation asking price is just $1,200. It can be found here on craigslist in St. Louis, Missouri.

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What inspires me about this car, is all the YouTube slideshows and videos I’ve seen about “two door conversions”. Your mileage may vary, but to me, this looks like a prime candidate for that.

I borrowed the photo above from the nice folks over at Jalopy Journal. It shows a ’55 in mid-process of being converted. This one is being done the budget way, without spending a truckload of cash on stuff like new quarter panels and repro doors. A Google or YouTube search will find many examples of four door conversions.

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Of course, that’s but one of many possibilities for our subject vehicle here. Whatever I ended up doing with it, I would take a hard look at being able to leave the rest of it as original as possible. If I did a conversion, I’d prime only the parts that needed to be primed, and do as little as possible to the rest. If the rat rod crowd can roll their iron with the build welds visible for all the world to see, why not one of these?

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This interior shot is interesting. It shows velour, which of course wasn’t available in this car originally, which would indicate it was fixed up at some point, a car someone cared about, after the original interior was gone.

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The interior might also be nice enough that it could be resurrected, also without spending a ton of dough. The dog-leg at the bottom corner of the windshield is looking a little ugly on this one, and this is known to be a common problem for Midwestern cars of this vintage.

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The six-cylinder drive train is easy and accessible, and has finally returned to its proper place of esteem, and therefore could be left in place for many fix-up scenarios. Or that it’s small blockable almost goes without saying at this point. How about you? What would you do with this car? Please share your opinion below.

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Comments

  1. grant

    If people want to enjoy old cars without bankruptcy, they had better get over the 4 door thing. 2 door “conversion?” The horror! Fix this up and drive it.

    Like 1
  2. Dolphin Member

    I can sympathize with someone who doesn’t have $5K for a 2-door ’56 Chevy, but it sure seems the long way around to convert a 4-door. By the time the parts, supplies, sheet metal, and maybe pro assistance are factored in I don’t think there will much savings.

    Fix this 4-door up like grant says, and you’ll be ahead in both money and seat time.

    Like 1
  3. JW

    Seeing as how I grew up riding in a 4 door Chevy with a 6 banger and 3 on the tree I would restore to original as cheap as possible and drive it.

    Like 1
  4. JW454

    Hey Marty,

    I like the two door conversion Idea. I’ve seen the You Tube videos too. I especially like the one where the guy only did one side. It’s the red ’55. He causes a lot of double takes at the car shows. With this car it’s not like its a low mile perfect example. We’re always saying “If you’re going to cut one up find one like this. Well, here it is. Cut away.

  5. Bill

    More doors are just as fun to drive, and when you are listening to Rave On and looking through the windshield, you don’t notice the extra doors. but the kids in the back who are so proud of the family cruiser appreciate them.

    Enough hate on the 4 door. They are awesome!

  6. fred w.

    Can someone explain how the 2 door conversion is done? Looking at the photo, can’t quite grasp it. Seems to me you would have to move the post back, which doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

    • Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

      Yes, you move the post back, the JJ picture shows the old shortened rear door welded up, the 2 and 4 door sedan used the same roof, so to make a 2 door you remove the post and rear quarter window post, and move the post back. I don’t remember if the 4 door post works or if you need a 2 door post, it’s all cutting spot welds and re-welding. I had a 56 4 door hardtop, the first year they made them, one guy took a 56 Chevy 4 dr ht and made a 55 4 dr ht out of it, to the extent that it looked factory made, a one of a kind.

  7. Van

    I say use the roof from a 57 buick special.
    The 4 door looks like a coup.
    You also get a three piece rear glass.
    I know, ooh don’t change it, it’s original.
    They only made 500,000,000, 55 chevys, you can’t change even one.
    I say challenge Harley Earl and go nuts.
    A well done custom will be worth more than most other 55s.
    Surely sombody wants to pull into the show and not mach everything else.
    And It doesn’t require a 572 to be cool. Have you driven a Silverado lately, the 5.3 doesn’t seem sexy but there’s plenty of power for anyone that doesn’t carry a stop watch and a dyno sheet.

  8. Rando

    Leave it 4 door so kids can ride in back or whatever. Maybe a cam and header, Clifford 2bbl intake and 2 bbl carb. Wheels, seat covers, brakes, fuel system and ride baby ride. We have a reasonable AM station playing oldies, so no stereo necessary. Fix stuff as funds allow. Have FUN with it, not worry about proper paint marks on the driveshaft. Cars are for driving and this one looks prime for that purpose. Some are worth saving or restoring back, but this one could be a driver.

    Like 1
  9. Old geezer

    Huge disparity between 2 and 4 door tri 5 Chevys. The 56 bring the lowest money and a 4 door sedan doesn’t cost much already running. Plenty of decent running ready to enjoy 56 4 dr sedans for 5-7k even with v8s. By the time you get this car ready to drive and enjoy you would have spent far more than it’s worth or can buy already done.

    I’ve fallen for that “buy cheap and fix” temptation, and always end up being more expensive. You also throw away your labor.

    Save some cash. Negotiate with cash in hand for a driving car, DRIVE it home and enjoy
    My 2 cents

  10. Charles

    If someone wants a 2 door, buy one! Why go to all the trouble of hacking up a 4 door to make a two door? You screw it up and all you can do then is tow the car to the junkyard!

    Like 1
  11. John P

    Everyone’s comments here always revolve around the threatening prospect of “pro labor”–doesn’t anyone here do there own work??
    This car looks to be a steal and because it’s a 4door sedan, you really can do whatever you want to it and not fear cutting up some Goodguys-lawnchair-trolls potential showcar.. (Although that’d be fun..).. The two-door conversions are a great idea and easy with some coupe doors to start your proportions, or chop up and rebuild it all from what’s available on this car.. No need to worry–this car probably won’t last long..

  12. alabee

    Learned to shift in my dad’s 56 black 4 door Chevy. It was the base model. Never liked to turn corners.

  13. Terry

    A friend is currently building a 55 4door LS turbo. When done it’ll be so fast you won’t have time to count the doors.

  14. Andy Frobig

    The 2 door-4 door fight is tired. If you’re looking at it as an investment, I guess that’s one thing, but if you’re going to drive the car, enjoy the savings and be glad it’s easier for your friends to get in for a double date down at the A&W. Years ago, I had a ’65 Cadillac with four doors. The seller was also selling a 2-door that was just like it, but especially with Cadillacs, I prefer four. Sorry, if you think any ’50s/60s American car isn’t cool because it has four doors, or is a wagon, I’m not on that wavelength, but I won’t complain if your preference makes the non-2-doors cheaper. One exception in my book: the second generation Corvair. The 2 door is perfect, the sedan not so much.

    Like 1
  15. Ron Engel

    Just at a cruise night and a beautiful 56 Chevy 4-door pulled in. Teal and
    White with rear door handles removed. It had a nice stance and tasteful
    wheels. Well done 4-door and started with a low cost vehicle. You can still
    find these at a reasonable price, but maybe not for long!!

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