1956 Chevy 150 built to wow at 1960s custom car shows
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In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the custom car scene was blowing up and people were itching to build a car that could wow the crowds at custom car shows. One of those people was Ron Luchs of Beaverton, Oregon, and his creation was a 1956 Chevy 150 named Miss Taboo.
Ron built the custom Tri-Five Chevy over a four-year period from 1958 to 1962, incorporating some iconic details such as 1957 Chrysler 300 headlights, 1959 Impala bumpers, and swapping the stock grill for a 1954 Corvette with 14 extra teeth. The car made a splash in the custom car show scene, even making it on the cover of Rod & Custom magazine, where it was noticed by a man named CJ Carlile, who decided he had to own it one day.
It took a couple decades, but CJ finally found the custom 1956 Chevy for sale. It was being sold by a bartender on the east side of Portland, Oregon, who had been using the old show car as her daily driver. After making the purchase, CJ proceeded to freshen the car back up with some new upholstery, a little bodywork and by rebuilding the 327 c.i. small-block engine. Then, by the mid-1980s it was back to hitting the custom car show scene once again, where, believe it or not, the original owner Ron Luchs saw the car and had to have it back. CJ wasn’t all that excited to let go of the car he loved so much, but with another project in the works, he decided to sell it back to Ron. The only caveat was that CJ would get the first chance to buy it back if Ron were to decide to sell ’56 in the future.
Sell it he did, though not until 2009 and not under the best circumstances because Ron had encountered some unfortunate health issues. But on a more positive note, during that time, CJ’s grandson Dalton Carter had come into the world and developed a love of custom cars just like his grandfather. Old pictures of Miss Taboo, the ’56 Chevy, had been more than enough to get Dalton excited when CJ was finally able to buy the car back in 2009.
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CJ and Dalton took on the project together, working to undo some of the changes Ron had done back in the ’90s with the goal of giving the car back its original 1960s style. After making modifications like removing the roof scoops and side pipes and rebuilding the 327 and topping it with an Offenhauser 6×2 intake fed by six Rochester 2GC carburetors.
As it turned out, Ron never quite recovered from those health complications. Dalton told us, “Unfortunately, Ron passed away before he got to see the car fully restored, but I think he is smiling at how the old show car can still knock ’em out.”
CJ Carlile’s 1956 Chevy 150 Custom at a glance:
- 327 ci small-block Chevy
- Offenhauser 6×2 intake manifold
- 6 Rochester 2GC carburetors
- Custom 19-tooth 1954 Corvette grille
- 1960 Ford Thunderbird front seats, center console and rear seat
- Taillights from 1960 Chrysler 300
- Pancaked hood and trunk
- 1959 Impala front and rear bumpers
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