Volume III, Issue 10, Page 39

Words and photos by Jeff Burk - Lead photo by Ian Tocher - 10/16/08

here is perhaps no Fifties-era body style that is more iconic in drag racing than the 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Fifty years after GM introduced that body style and offered versions of it with a fuel-injected 283 ci mouse motor and a manually shifted four-speed, racers who weren’t born until 20 years after GM introduced the car are building street rods and race cars using that body style. There are so many of them that they often don’t catch your attention any more. But every once in a while an example comes along that is so “bitchin” that we have to show it to our readers. The ’57 owned by Wentzville, MO, racer Randy Matlock that we are featuring here is one of those special cars.

This ’57 impressed us because it retains the stock lines of the original and because it is simply one of the most sanitary Shoebox race cars inside and out that we have seen lately. The car is state-of-the-art and was built by Garret Race Cars in Marble Hill, MO.


The airbrushed grill and headlights are very realistic. The small lights in the grill actually are functional as ADRL Extreme Ten-Five rules require.

This car features a double frame rail chassis, which is the design most Pro Mods racers are favoring lately. Although it isn’t raced as a Pro Modified, this car certainly could be should Matlock choose to do so, considering that with driver and a full load of fuel, water and oil this low-rider tips the scales at just 2350 lbs.

You may not have heard of Garret Race Cars yet, but racers such as Kurt Damron and Jason Scruggs have his cars and Scruggs’ Garret-built car is the only doorslammer that regularly exceeds 200 mph in the eighth mile. As you can see from the photos Garret built cars aren’t just bad fast they are just “Bad” period.

Matlock’s most recent race cars have been the favored ’57 Chevy. Before this car he had a 7/8 scale blown ’57 built by another Missouri car builder, Tim McAmis.

Randy drops the hammer on a qualifying lap at the Norwalk, Ohio, ADRL event.