Member’s Feature - 1956 Chevrolet 210 sport coupe
Berny and Joan Corscadden, Member # 177
Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia

by Gary Porter, Photos by Gerard Bryden, Keith Messenger & George White
Berny Corscadden made his first pass down the 1320 at age 16. Except for a few years off to build a home and start a family, he has been at it ever since with a variety of race cars. His latest is a 1956 210 sport coupe. However, the story of this car actually starts with a previous one.

About eight years ago Berny built a 1970 Nova to compete in the NCMA Real Street class. It sported a 2"x3" tube chassis and a 496 cubic inch big block. When Berny took the car to Columbus, Ohio to race, the Real Street rules had been changed preventing the car from competing in Real Street. So, the Nova was rebuilt to run the IHRA 10.90 Super Pro class. At this time, a guy in Ohio wanted the Nova in the worst way. Berny wasn’t that keen on selling the car, but this fellow persisted for over a year. Finally, Berny felt that if he agreed to sell the car, but put a ridiculously high price tag on the car, this guy would go away. That plan backfired and suddenly Berny was without a race car.

The hunt was now on for a new race car. One day while perusing, Berny came across a 1956 Chevrolet in Indiana sporting an Alston chassis which was IHRA certified to 8.50. This combo caught Berny’s fancy and he became a Classic Chevy owner.

The powder coated Alston Eliminator tube chassis supports an original steel body with 'glass front clip, doors and trunk Berny redid the body and tin work after he purchased the car. It’s painted white over red in the Bel Air two tone style. He also added the missing trim to retain as much of the original appearance as possible. A set of custom tail light lenses and tube grill gives the car a 50's custom touch.
The engine is a Dart big block Chevrolet displacing 555 cubic inches. On top is a 1250 c.f.m. Holley Dominator carb passing fuel through an Edelbrock Victor intake. Dart heads are also used and feature Jessel rockers. Comp Cams provided the roller camshaft along with the belt drive system. With 12.6:1 compression the motor produces 867 horse power and a whopping 800 ft/lb of torque.
To get all this power and torque to the ground, a turbo 400 with a 5,600 r.p.m. converter and pro-brake is the transmission of choice. It was originally built in Ohio and is now maintained locally by Major Discount. A 9" Ford rear end fitted with 35 spline axles and 4.56 gears rounds out the drive line. Berny utilizes 15''x14" Centerline Convo Pro wheels with 15"x33" Hoosier tires when running IHRA Super Pro using the the throttle stop. For local racing he runs 15''x15" Centerline Convo Pro wheels with 16"x33" Hoosier tires. This combination had propelled the 2860 pound Classic to a best e.t. of 9.14 at 146mph.

Berny has now had the ‘56 for six years. He admits that this setup would be quicker in a Camaro, but then it wouldn’t be as unique or as much fun and having fun is what it is all about