Alex Taylor and Her 6-Second 1955 Chevy 210

There’s many ways to build a ’55 Chevy, but most don’t build them with the intention of doing a quarter mile pass in six-seconds AND being able to drive it on the street. That’s exactly what Alex Taylor, and her Dad Dennis Taylor have set out to do. We caught this insane machine being built a little over a year ago and have followed it’s journey. If you haven’t seen it or heard the story, read below.

Courtesy of Motortrend – Written By Jordon Scott – Photos by Renz Dimaandal and The Taylor’s

Alex Taylor is back at eBay Motors Powers HOT ROD Drag Week Presented by Gear Vendors Overdrive (her eighth year running), but for 2021, she decided that 8 seconds wasn’t fast enough. Badmaro—her eight-second 1968 Camaro street car she’s brought to Drag Week every year since her debut in 2013—is absent, though. Instead, she and her father, Dennis Taylor, built a 6.50-certified 1955 Chevrolet 210—skipping the 7s altogether!

Why not take the already very capable Badmaro and just make it faster?

“I had raced Badmaro for 7 years. I was ready to go faster. I have been for a couple years now,” Alex told us on Day 1 of HOT ROD Drag Week 2021. “Badmaro is super streetable, but only certified to 8.50. We could upgrade the cage and make a few upgrades, and I believe it would run a 7. But I didn’t want to take away the streetablness of it,” she says.

Restoration Or Race Car: What To Do With A Rusted-Out Tri-Five Chevy?

On their quest to go faster, Alex and Dennis finally did something with the 1955 Chevrolet 210 that had been sitting on the family property for years. Dennis bought the 210 oh-so-many years ago for what he felt then was a ripoff at $1,500. Alex documented the entire build in great detail on her YouTube channel, Riding with Alex Taylor.

The 26-part series details everything that goes into building a 6-second car, from tube chassis and rollcage design, to laying fiberglass and carbon fiber, engine packaging, wiring, even duplicating the amazing patina on the blue Chevy 210. That’s not mentioning all the prep Alex and Dennis had to do just remove all the rust and rot from the 210’s body.

The plan to go faster started forming in January 2021. Alex wants to earn her NHRA Advanced ET license as a point of personal pride and to further advance her driving skills, and she is hoping to do so during HOT ROD Drag Week 2021, but that meant the Taylors needed a fast car.

Building A 6-Second Street Car

Alex and Dennis Taylor are quickly developing a reputation for building fast cars on extremely short timelines—as evidenced by this 1955 Chevy 210 being built in only four months and the back-halfed 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye they built in only one month. She handily won the Hellcat Grudge Match put on by Dodge at Roadkill Nights 2021 (the race the Challenger was built for), showing Eric Malone and the other automotive influencers how to build a truly fast street car.

You might be thinking, Why destroy a perfectly good 1955 Chevy 210 by turning it into a race car? Alex’s 1955 210 was so rough before she and Dennis turned it into the Unlimited-class beast you see here, the rockers didn’t even connect the firewall to the rear quarters. We mentioned Dennis bought the Chevy for $1,500 some years ago, but he told us he immediately regretted it; the only saving grace at the time being the relatively solid chassis from California. The floors, the lower-front portions of the rear quarters, and everything ahead of the firewall (and most of the firewall) had to go.

Dennis reminisced about the days when he used to find decent-enough Tri-Five Chevys for $500 around every corner, but those days are long gone. Builders are resorting to rougher and rougher restoration candidates as the pool of viable classics dwindles, but that doesn’t mean everything can be saved. There are only two options for a car like Alex’s Chevy 210: turn it into art or build a race car. When the Taylors build a race car, they don’t mess around.

After stripping the 210 down to the usable metal, it was time to get to work on  structural repairs and the chassis. Over a month of work went into the design and fabrication of the chromoly tube chassis and the 6.0-second capable funny car ‘cage. Alex says they’re only going to certify the car for 6.50 seconds because she doesn’t want to have to deal with the annual red tag renewal of 6.0-second certification.

Alex Taylor and Dennis Taylor had to take into account that “Quest for the Sixes 55” (the blue 210’s official name) would be riding on street tires for the 1,000 miles between the four Drag Week venues, which are 1 inch shorter in diameter than the slicks they’re running at the tracks. The rear portion of the chassis had to be able to allow enough travel in the four-link rear suspension for the different sized street and track tires, and enough room in the tubs for the drag slicks to grow during burnouts and passes, accommodate a trailer hitch receiver and wheelie bars, and fit the handmade aluminum fuel tank- all under a stock-appearing fiberglass rear deck lid.

The Swiss-cheese metal bumpers, doors, and front clip had to go as well—and being experts at making Tri-Five fiberglass—Alex, Dennis, and Debbie (mom), all hand-laid the remaining panels and parts needed to complete the exterior of the car. Weight is the enemy of speed and the Taylors used sheets of carbon fiber in the door skins and front clip, making the assemblies stronger and significantly lighter than the solid fiberglass parts Dennis Taylor built his name on.

Working with carbon fiber was a first for the Taylors, but just like everything they do, they made it look easy, finishing the interior of Alex’s 6-second 210 with carbon-fiber door cards, rear bulkhead, and wheel tubs.

Paint Or Patina?

Alex Taylor wanted to keep as much of the original patina on the 1955 210 as possible, and we applaud the decision to duplicate the patina on the new portions of the car. Normally, we can’t abide fake patina just for the sake of fake patina. Quest for the Sixes 55 is different, though. It didn’t make sense to have pristine paint on half the car with all the hard-earned character on the other half, and the detail that went into making a cohesive look for the 210 is spectacular.

It’s not until you get within arm’s reach of Alex’s blue Chevy that you notice the exposed carbon fiber peeking out underneath the custom-matched paint. Don’t ask Dennis for a color code, though, he just kept mixing until it looked right.

Originally, Alex and Dennis wanted to build the ’55 as cheaply as possible, pulling the engine and transmission from Dennis’ 7-second “Retro Nova” and using as many parts sitting around the shop as possible, but as Alex started posting build videos to her YouTube channel, the sponsors started coming on board. What was supposed to be a fun, fast, and cheap build that would eventually be taken apart has now turned into a permanent stablemate in the Taylor’s garage. Although, Dennis does want the engine for Retro Nova back, eventually.

Making A Chevy 210 Run 6s

Retro Nova’s engine, now living under the one-piece, clamshell front clip of Alex’s 210, is a 525ci Dart tall deck iron block backed up by a Turbo 400. The big-block is stuffed with a Crower Crank and BME pistons with 8.5:1 compression. Dennis custom fabricated a billet one-piece girdle and dowel pin caps for the mains.

Twin Precision Pro Mod 88mm turbos feed the AFR single-plane intake through a 105mm throttle body with 24 (count ’em, 24) injectors—two for each cylinder when running on pump gas at various engine speeds and one set for running pure methanol at the track. Engine management is taken care of by a Holley Dominator ECU and MSD Pro 600 ignition coupled with two Holley injector modules, eight EGT sensors and tons of other sensor and data collectors. Dennis tells us this potent mill should be easily dialed up to nearly 3,000 hp come Friday of HOT ROD Drag Week 2021.

A QA1 carbon-fiber driveshaft connects the Turbo 400 to the custom-fabricated, full-floating Ford 9-inch with 3.89:1 gears. Alex tells us that gearing, paired with the Gear Vendors Overdrive unit, lets her 210 cruise comfortably at 70 mph at 2,200 rpm—perfect for eating up the miles between venues on HOT ROD Drag Week.

A Spartan race car interior finishes out Alex Taylor’s 1955 Chevrolet 210, incorporating a digital instrument panel, racing seats, and plain steel floors. Alex and Dennis use headsets to both protect their hearing and communicate with each other in the uninsulated interior.

“We are on a QUEST for the 6s, meaning we will, of course, pass through the 7s. They just aren’t the final destination, and the car will be capable of doing 6s,” Alex told us. Whether or not Alex achieves her 6-second goal on HOT ROD Drag Week 2021, she will consider just surviving the week a victory. Drag week is famous for attrition, after all.

Alex Taylor has already had two personal-best runs on HOT ROD Drag Week 2021 with her blue-and-patina 1955 Chevy 210. At U.S. 131 Motorsports Park, she ran her best elapsed time and mph ever at 7.69 at 185.4 mph, then beat her mph best the following day at Summit Motorsport Park with a 7.79 at 185.6 mph. We’re sure Alex will achieve her goal of running 6s, then she’ll come back with something bigger and better, and you can bet HOT ROD will be there to tell you all about it.