1957 Chevrolet 3100- The Blueprint

Big Horsepower for a Limited Time

Phil Gordon
Aug 22, 2018
Photographers: Phil Gordon
The custom truck culture is diverse in nature, with people from every genre of vehicles finding their way into the industry. For Mike Sewell of Mandeville, Louisiana, it all began when he was a teen. Sixteen-year-old Mike and his 18-year-old brother decided to build a truck for mud bogging, an off-road motorsport in which you drive through a pit of mud and winners are judged by distance traveled and time taken to complete the course. Mike began learning about every inch of a motor and how to make things faster than normal.
Photo 2/13   |   1957 Chevrolet 3100 The Blueprint 3 4 Rear
After 10 years of competing in the mud, he landed a great job as a crane and hydraulic engineer. Working in the oil and gas industry, Mike works on lift boats and drilling rig jack systems, an occupation that takes him to many different countries. “I live out of an offshore bag,” Mike tells Truckin. “I spend 10 months of the year in different countries.” While on his downtime, Mike was searching online advertisements and came across a mint ’57 Chevrolet 3100 near Chicago. Although he was in Dubai for work, he purchased the truck sight unseen and had it shipped to his father’s garage where his brother had a shop. Mike used his one “family emergency” trip back to the States for the moment it arrived.
Photo 3/13   |   1957 Chevrolet 3100 The Blueprint Bed Lift
He drove it around town to test out the truck and immediately his racing nature came back. “I got my doors blown off by an early model Mustang,” Mike says with a laugh. “It was time to make this truck fast.” The stock 350 was swapped out for a small-block 408 with a blower from Big Al’s Toybox. With help from his brother and family friend Gasper, Mike had the motor dropped in and ready to roll. His good friend Joe Damare handled the tough job of upgrading the rear end and added tubs to the bed for the larger tires. A hydraulic bed lift was installed to make access to the rear end even easier.
Photo 4/13   |   1957 Chevrolet 3100 The Blueprint Engine
Once the motor was added, the blower stuck out over the hood, which led Mike to just roll around without a hood. That lasted through a couple of warnings from the police until Mike got some help from Joe and his friend Mike. They cut the hood and modified it to clear the scoop and installed a reverse flip hood. Now that bodywork had started, the Chevy needed to be repainted, so Toulouse Street Rods coated the entire body in Indian Turquoise and Indian Ivory White two-tone paint. Joe Vincent from Vincent Designs came in to add his pinstripe masterpiece.
Mike decided the suspension needed to be upgraded, so he replaced it all, including a full air-ride suspension that gave the 3100 a more aggressive stance once lowered. The front suspension was changed to tubular control arms. The interior was almost completely mint, so not much had to be upgraded for Mike’s liking, but small adjustments were made by re-covering the seats and adding new carpet.
Photo 5/13   |   1957 Chevrolet 3100 The Blueprint Rear Suspension
Photo 6/13   |   1957 Chevrolet 3100 The Blueprint Wheel
Although the truck is stored in Mike’s garage in Louisiana, his brother and his 22-year-old son James take the truck around the block to make sure the fluids stay active. Although Mike is convinced his son does more than take it around the block, he knows that the two months he’s in the States, he has one bad classic truck that’s built to drive. His mentor and family friend (known as Mr. Don) who has helped him build motors had a vanity plate “Dons 55” on his custom ’55 Chevy car, so Mike added the vanity “Mikes 57” to honor him. For the six years Mike has owned the classic, he has spent a total of one year with the truck but has put his heart and soul into this immaculate build.
Photo 7/13   |   1957 Chevrolet 3100 The Blueprint Interior

Inside the Build

Year/Make/Model: ’57 Chevrolet 3100
Owner and City/State: Michael Sewell; Mandeville, Louisiana
Club Affiliation: Ground Zero
Chassis:
Front Suspension: First-generation Camaro front sub frame, Air Ride Technologies 2,600-pound airbags, tubular control arms, QA1 shocks, Wilwood six-piston big brakes
Rear Suspension: Air Ride Technologies 2,600-pound airbags, dual 450c Viair compressors, ENDO-T 5-gallon air tank, C-notch framerails, QA1 shocks, custom ladder bars, Wilwood four-piston Big Brakes done by Toulouse Street Rods
Drivetrain:
Engine: 408 small-block Chevy blueprinted engine, Dart block, forged 4340 crank, H-beam rods with 2000 Series rod bolts, JE forged pistons, SFI double-keyed balancer, Comp Cams 652/652 roller cam and lifters, Comp Cams double roller timing chain and gears, polished aluminum timing chain cover, polished 210cc runner, 64cc chamber aluminum heads, MSD ignition, dual 750 Holley carbs, serpentine pulley kit, custom Mark 7 billet radiator, 17/8-inch Hooker ceramic-coated super competition long-tube headers, MagnaFlow race mufflers
Transmission: Monster transmission TH 350 with 3,500-rpm-stall convertor, shift kit, chrome Mr. Driveshaft shaft
Rearend: Moser Engineering 9-inch rear end, 4:11 gears with Detroit Locker
Body/Paint: Indian Turquoise and Indian Ivory White two-tone paint, pinstripe by Vincent Designs, custom hydraulic dump bed, custom wheeltubs and hump by Toulouse Street Rods, custom-cut hood with reverse tilt
Interior: Traditional white tuck-and-roll interior, Dakota Digital gauges, ididit steering column, Billet Specialties steering wheel, Painless wiring harness, Vintage Air
Stereo: Alpine head unit
Wheels & Tires:
Wheels: 22x8.5, 24x15; Raceline Status 5
Tires: 255/30ZR22, 405/25ZR24; Pirelli P Zero
Special Thanks From Owner: Mr. Don, my father, Joe & Mike at Toulouse, Big Al Fred at Mark 7, and Ground Zero

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