Sage Chevy – Mike Michaud’s “Jaded ’55” Rekindles a Family Tri-Five Tradition
It’s amazing how vividly memories from our childhoods can stay with us throughout our lives. In Mike Michaud’s case, the impression of a 1955 Chevy may have come even earlier than his formative years. When Mike was a youngster, his parents owned three different ’55 Chevys over the years that he can remember, and before that Mike’s dad drove a 210 model when he met Mike’s mother. Years later, when Mike was talking about how much he liked ’55 Chevys, it came as no surprise to his mom – she told him that his life began in the back seat of a ’55!
Over the years, Mike has owned a number of hot rods, but never thought he’d really own a ’55, let alone a 210 sedan. As luck would have it, a neighbor bought one at an estate sale several year ago. The car was pretty solid and original, but of course needed basically everything. The timing could not have been better for Mike when it came to finally having the resources and time to tackle a dream car project. It took three weeks of pestering and negotiating, but Mike was able to purchase the one car he thought he’d never own!
With a plan and a vision in place, Mike went to work on the old Chevy. He stripped the car down to its bones and set about updating the solid original chassis. A set of Global West control arms was added to the front suspension, in conjunction with a pair of Viking adjustable coil-over shocks. A set of slotted 12-inch Wilwood rotors cap off the spindles, while out back a Heidts four-link secures a Currie 9-inch rearend assembly stuffed with 3.50:1 gears. Stance is everything and Mike fit a set of Mobsteel 18×8- and 20×11-inch wheels finished in a burnt bronze Cerakote, and then wrapped in Nitto tread.
While Mike enjoys the mechanical side of hot rodding, he knew that the bodywork would be best handled by a seasoned pro, so he turned the 210 sheet metal over to Billy Griffin in Boise, Idaho. Once in his shop, Billy tightened all of the seams, smoothed the bumpers and pulled them in toward the body. The emblems were all shaved and the fuel door was filled while Billy focused on making the 66 year-old steel razor straight. When the sheet metal was just right, he applied the soothing PPG Green Tea finish.
Once you click open the sedan door, you’re greeted to a comfortable interior finished in a combination of custom leather and suede. Brandon Hertzburg of Interior Revolution stitched the material over a set of Glide Engineering front seats while reworking the stock rear seat to match. All of the wiring was replaced with an American Autowire system to power a Dakota Digital instrument panel and the Vintage Air HVAC system. An Ididit column is topped with a New World Motoring steering wheel, along with ancillary components from United Pacific and Lokar.
Mike is a fan of horsepower and sought plenty of it, but still wanted the ability to cruise down the highway comfortable and idle smoothly, so the natural choice was with an modern LS-based engine. Mike assembled a 376c.i. block topped with a FiTech sheet metal intake with a Speartech EFI management system. A trick set of Billet Specialties Chevrolet script valve covers hide the eight coil packs, while an All American Billet front drive system keeps the accessories spinning smooth. Hooker cast headers are connected to a stainless steel exhaust system with Borla mufflers and a 4L70E trans sets the rpm at a comfortable level. But when Mike pulls the B&M shifter back, the ’55 rockets away!
Mike never thought he’d own his own ’55 Chevy at this level but this one kind of found him and just at the right time. The hardest part of the build was deciding on a goal and sticking to it! With some miles racked up on the odometer now, Mike is still 100-percent stoked about how the car turned out, from its overall looks and styling to its performance and handling. In short, the car is just flat-out a joy to own and drive. Sure, he’s had other cars over the years, but this 210 he calls “Jaded 55” will be in his garage as long as he’s able to drive it.
Photos by John Jackson