Cary Wagner was 16 years old when he spotted a base model 1958 Chevy Delray in a car magazine. He said, `I'm gonna have one some day.' He found this one about 6 years ago and transformed it into this Torch Red beauty.
The curvaceous full-sized 1958 Chevrolet body was a radical departure from the '57 models, as seen in this rear view of the car. The sharp fins were gone, replaced by the softly sculpted contours of the '58's rear fenders, which wrapped around twin-pod tail lights.
A massive set of 8-inch wide 18" Coys wheels mounting 245/45/18 BF Goodrich TA's fill the rear wheel wells of Wagner's Chevy. The are bolted to a modified 9-inch Ford rear end that houses a set of 3.50 gears.
Wagner spared no expense in having the limited amount of chrome on his Delray rehabbed. He shipped it off to Paul's Chrome Plating Inc. in Evans City, Pa., to bring it up to better-than-showroom quality.
Horsepower and torque are supplied by a Chevrolet Performance Fast Burn 385 crate motor that has been beefed up to approximately 430 horsepower. A March serpentine belt system simplifies accessories such as air conditioning and power steering, while a Griffin radiator dissipates heat and a set of Doug's headers expell spent gasses.
Four wheel disc brakes were used, with a set of Ford Explorer units used up front, redrilled to mount the Coys 17x7-inch wheels and 225/50/17 BFG TA tires. The nose of the car was brought down via a set of 2-inch dropped spindles.
A Zoops leather-wrapped billet steering wheel was a perfect match for the Ultraleather interior stitched up by Auto Upholstery Unlimited in Salina. A hefty Auto Meter tachometer and shift light are used when the Delray is in competition mode.
Thanks to a lowered stance, minimal chrome and modern wheels and tires, Wagner's Delray doesn't appear to be as big a car as the more commonly seen '58 Impala hardtop, which has enjoyed growing popularity in recent years.
It was the first year for quad headlights in the Chevrolet lineup, with a wide mesh-style grille replacing the single grille bar from the year before; park light/turn signals replicated the tail light treatment at the front of the new design.
A look at the long, wide dash reveals the factory-installed air conditioning vents and the 4-speed Hurst shifter atop the Muncie transmission, which replaced the original 3-speed column shifter. The car was originally a 283 V-8 powered machine.