Belly Tank Hot Rod with a Chevy V8

Belly Tank hot rod with a Chevy 350 V8

Max and Kyle from RoadHeads stopped by Joe Alessandrino’s garage to talk about his custom Belly Tank hot rod. The project started in 2010 when Joe purchased a 150 gallon fuel tank from a WWII era P-47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft. Then a friend told him a Chevy V8 couldn’t fit and he set out to prove them wrong. The hot rod is registered as a 1957 Chevy four-door which makes it the lightest in the world at only 1,100 lb. The powertrain consists of a Chevy 350 ci V8, Muncie four-speed manual (shifter located between driver’s legs) and a rear end with 3.07 gears. Since there is no room for a radiator the engine is kept cool using two Bus heater cores under the car while the coolant is held in the frame. The suspension comprises of a Austin-Healey Sprite front and Neuspeed coilovers in the back. Joe also built a 1963 Ferrari with a Chevy V8.

Belly Tank hot rod with a Chevy 350 V8

Belly Tank hot rod with a Chevy 350 V8

Belly Tank hot rod with a Chevy 350 V8

Belly Tank hot rod with a Chevy 350 V8

Belly Tank hot rod with a Chevy 350 V8

Full Stats:
Body:

  • P-47 Thunderbolt 150 gallon fuel tank

Chassis:

  • custom frame 2×4 tubing
  • 0.120 wall or thicker
  • holds 12 gallons of coolant

Suspension:

  • front – Austin-Healey Sprite, springs made for 1,200 lb car
  • rear – ladder bars, Nuespeed coilovers with 115 lb springs

Engine:

  • Chevy 350 ci V8
  • New World S/R heads
  • mild camshaft

Drivetrain:

  • Muncie four-speed manual
  • GM rear end with 3.07 gears

Brakes:

  • front – Austin-Healey Sprite disc brakes
  • rear – 10.5 vented disc brakes

Cooling:

  • chassis holds 12 gallons of coolant
  • 2 x Bus double pass heater cores
  • 2 x 10″ electric fans
  • large oil cooler

Source: RoadHeads

3 Comments

  1. Jiro

    there is no P-47 bomber. There is the World War 2 era P-47 Thunderbolt fighter or the post WW2 B-47 Jet Bomber. I imagine this is a fuel tank from the P-47 fighter plane. It had a very thirsty R-2800 engine!

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