The chrome bumpers on a Tri-Five Chevrolet are one of the most important finishing touches of building your classic, and Danchuk Manufacturing offers the finest new, aftermarket bumpers available for 1955-56-57 Chevrolets. With all of the amazing builds at shows, on television and online, many people expect to find a “perfect fitting” bumper out of the box. The reality is that most “perfect fitting” bumpers needed much modification and adjustment to make them fit perfectly.
We have been doing some research of photos from the 1950’s of Tri-Five Chevrolets when they were new. Many of these photos were taken of cars built for advertising, and much care was taken by GM to get them adjusted as nice as possible. Even on these cars many variations in fitment can be seen.
Take a close look and you will see that practically none of these photos have a bumper that is perfectly aligned. To get the look you see most of the time on today’s builds there is a boatload of work involved. And then some.
BUMPER VARIATIONS ON NEW 1955 AND 1956 CHEVROLETS
BUMPER VARIATIONS ON NEW 1957 CHEVROLETS
ALL BUMPERS NEED TO BE ADJUSTED, AND THE MORE PERFECT FIT DESIRED, THE MORE TIME AND MODIFICATIONS NEEDED
Let’s take the 1957 front bumper for example. In 1957 it took 5 GM employees to install and adjust the front bumper on a brand-new Chevrolet. 60+ years later it is, for sure, no easier…and after decades of use, wear and tear, accidents, elements, replacement parts and more…it is usually much more difficult to install and adjust than it was in 1957.
We know many builders that grind down, weld, use torches to heat and bend, open up mounting holes for adjustment, add spacers and more to get their bumpers and brackets to be “perfect fitting.” On some of the more amazing examples, brand new bumpers were modified and then re-chromed after fitment.
If you are like most people, you are simply looking for a good-fitting, nice-looking original equipment or slightly modified type of look. Danchuk highly recommends that you install and adjust for proper fit all of your front-end sheet metal and both bumpers BEFORE painting. It takes some time to do this, but will be well worth it in the end. The more perfect you want everything to align, the more time and modifications it will take. It will all be worth it, as the finished product will look amazing on your Chevrolet. We promise,
PS. Many high end builders actually assemble the entire car…then take it apart to paint and finish the various components. This way fit and finish are determined BEFORE final assembly. This is probably unrealistic for your build but the more time and care you take fitting parts the better results you will achieve.
Click on the photos below to see a larger pic. Click HERE to download a .PDF of this article.