There is always an eclectic mix at the Holley LS Fest events with Chevy’s LS workhorse as the glue that ties it all together. Naturally, when you spot a car at one of these gatherings the assumption is that it’s LS motivated. When we spotted Frankie Trutanic’s ’62 Chevrolet Bel Air Bubbletop sitting there with a wicked stance, we figured that it had been the recipient of, what else, an LS swap. We were on the mark with our assumption, but what pulled us in even further was how deceptively dressed it was underhood. The part that really put it over the top was his assertion that it was once owned by “Dyno Don” Nicholson. That affirmation prompted a completely different set of questions, with the most obvious being, why do an LS swap on a car with that provenance? Frankie was very straightforward in explaining that: “I have always been a big fan of LS swaps, and I like to drive my cars.” He is no stranger to dropping an LS into what he owns, with a number of swaps under his belt, and a 1,200-horse LS-powered ’86 Buick T-Type as his most radical to date.
The acquisition of the ’62 Bubbletop was a bucket list item that Frankie wanted to check off at some point. When his search commenced, he quickly realized that they were not the easiest to find—and the few that did emerge in decent condition were fetching a premium. One eventually popped up fairly local to him at a consignment shop that looked like it was in decent condition—with a hefty price tag. In the listing it was advertised as having been owned by “Dyno Don” Nicholson. It also provided additional information stating that he had sold it in 1999, and the second owner had, at some point, performed a full restoration with a fresh coat of Ermine White paint over the original sheet metal. Part of that refurbishment also included a completely redone red interior, a rebuild of the 409ci mill that had been stroked to 472 ci, and a swap of the Powerglide in favor of a Turbo 350. It also noted that after the restoration, “Dyno Don” signed his name underneath the hood of the car, and a photo of him signing the car would be part of the package that included all the documentation on the car. After doing a bit of detective work, he found out who the seller was and contacted him. “The guy who was selling the car was the owner’s son,” he explains. “His dad was fanatical about ‘Dyno Don’ and actually owned a few cars from his estate.” The biggest obstacle that Frankie was facing at that point in getting the Bel Air was the hefty price. He was prepared to pay a realistic amount, but there was a disparity between what was being asked and what he was willing to pay. It was suggested to him that he get a cashier’s check for the amount he wanted to offer, take a photo of it and send it to the consignment place, and see where it went from there. After some back and forth bartering, all the people who had some skin in the game came together and a deal was cut for the car.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Sing, Little Bird!
This Badass Buick has a Twin-Twisted Serenade
Project Fake Snake
The Coyote Swap Continues … Again!
PROJECT MUSTANG PART 5
The Father & Son Mustang Gets Much-Needed “Releaf” With a Rear Suspension From Summit
Project Mustang Part 4
Father and Son Replace the Window in a ’69 Mustang— and the Car Survives, Too!
This Street/’Strip Nova Sits On Used Circle-Track Parts!
Byron Tudor Surely Made the Most of What Started Out as a Freebie
HOLIDAY ON ICE
HOLIDAY ON ICE
Hunk-O-Junk Big-Block, Part 5: The eBay Turbo Test!
Surrounded by Higher Profile Rides, This ’631⁄2 Falcon Futura Stands Tall
Once Owned by “Dyno Don” Nicholson, This ’62 Chevrolet Bel Air Has Been Given an LS Swap by its Current Owner, Frankie Trutanic
Grace and Frankie
STREAM IT NETFLIX
BOBBY RYDELL - FAREWELL TO AN AMERICAN IDOL
"Music was always everything.... I just wanted to play."
Layers of ice cream and cake cloaked in toasted meringue create an edible homage to the icy peaks of Alaska. Bought by the U.S. from Russia in the late 19th century, the territory didn't become a state until 1959.
DREW BARRYMORE 5 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT ME
THE ACTRESS AND TALK SHOW HOST SHARES SECRETS ABOUT HER AMAZING LIFE & CAREER
New Challenges for a Church
With Sunday services online, this minister’s congregation is finding ways to stay connected.
WISEGUY SAMMY IS FULL OF BULL!
MOB rat Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano has whacked a Gambino wiseguy’s bid to get his murder conviction tossed!
A PERKY PUCKER!
Sealed With A Kiss
A TECHNICAL MASTERPIECE OR A PIECE OF ART? THE NEW SPIRIT 111 IS SOMEHOW BOTH, AND IS ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE LARGE YACHTS TOBY HODGES HAS EVER SAILED
WITH TRAVEL LIMITED, HOLLYWOOD LOOKS TO ‘GAME CHANGER' TECH
New LED video wall technology used in making last year’s “The Lion King” and “The Mandalorian” series could become more widespread as Hollywood production ramps back up during the pandemic.
Intelligencer – Harlem Is the Song of Summer
After a cruel, quiet spring, the neighborhood wakes up.