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Tunglands drive a nifty 55

August 8, 2014
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville News

It would only be appropriate that the Black Knights Car Club, originally founded in 1955, should have a car of that vintage at one of its cruise-ins.

And that's exactly what Denny and Raejean Tungland had at the club's Sweet Corn Days cruise-in last Friday night.

The Tunglands brought their 55 Chevy Bel Air they bought at a swap meet at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Spencer. The previous owner had it for 17 years.

Article Photos

Denny and Raejean Tungland with their 1955 Chevy Bel Air they brought to the Sweet Corn Days cruise-in Friday, Aug. 1.
Photo by Michael Tidemann

"It was just trash," Denny recalls.

So he did a frame-off restoration and dropped in a new Crate motor and bought a used 350 turbo automatic transmission he had rebuilt at Milford. The Bel Air still has its original rear end. He put in a stall converter and D&K Upholstery in Spencer did the interior. The paint job he did in his shop with a couple friends.

Denny kept the original colors that he got from the numbers on the car and from the firewall -gypsy red. He put on a four-barrel carburetor and headers, giving the Crate 350 260 horsepower with headers.

Some added creature comforts are power steering, power brakes and tilt steering from a '59 Impala.

He figured the entire restoration took four people working six months start to finish.

Denny also had a 1914 Speedster and a '27 TT truck. He has another '27 TT he's restoring now. He also has a '64 GMC pickup he's chopped.



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