More and more street stock racers seem to have grown weary of the conventional 1980s Chevrolet Monte Carlo body common throughout the sport. Desperate for something different, they’ve turned back the clock and turned to the iconic look of the 1957 Chevy.
Street stock racer Landry Potter, of Genoa City, Wisconsin, builds 1957 Chevrolet bodies as part of his business, Potter’s Vintage Race Car Bodies. He recently finished his 100th ’57 Chevy body.
“I just got sick of Monte Carlos,” said Potter. “That was six years ago. Now, I’ve put bodies on more than 15 modern chassis a year since then. I found a lot of other street stock racers were sick of the Monte, too, and wanted something different.”
Potter found his inspiration for racing ’57 Chevrolets after seeing some on Facebook. He friended car builder Ted Evans and traveled to Ravenna, Michigan, to meet him and see his ’57 Chevrolet creations up close.
For body parts, Potter found a treasure trove of them in the junkyards of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He worked out a deal with his local Fastenal to have the parts delivered from the Keystone State to Wisconsin. Potter uses authentic hoods and roofs. He fabricates the fenders, quarter panels, doors, and filler panels.
Potter and his son Cody race the 1957 Chevrolets in the street stock class at Wisconsin’s Wilmot Raceway. They use metric chassis from Eliminator Chassis in Humeston, Iowa. The bodies are painted in Tropical Turquoise, a factory color from Chevrolet in 1957. Cody’s car has pink trim while Landry’s has orange. The cars race as well as they look. Cody won nine features at seven tracks last year in the Cow Bell Street Stock Tour and this year scored four victories out of five races held at Wilmot.
Potter also helped craft the 1957 Chevrolet Nomad station wagon body used by Cody Erickson in the street stock class at Wilmot. As with Cody Potter, Erickson’s car wins, too.
“It’s the fastest grocery getter on dirt,” Erickson, a body shop worker from Algonquin, Illinois, said. “The fans love it because it’s fast, different, and pretty. The paint is my own secret formula, using Tropical Turquoise and Plum Crazy Purple, with Winter White on top.”
Cody Potter started the season by turning his ’57 on its side — and miraculously saving it from rolling over.
“They don’t want to see the ’57s get wrecked,” Cody Potter said. “When I went on my side, everyone was scared for the car, not me.”
“If I knew of the amount of PR a ’57 Chevy body gets in oval racing, I would have had one on my late model years ago,” Landry Potter said.
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 50th year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.