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The Time Bandit Car: A '55 Chevy complete with a Champion Radiator

Johnathan Hillstrand's "Time Bandit" Car Built by Slick's Garage - Complete with a Champion Radiator Under the Hood

Time Bandit 55 Chevy with a Champion Radiator

Everyone who watches The Discovery Channel's reality show The Deadliest Catch knows who Johnathan Hillstrand and The Time Bandit are. The crusty Hillstrand and his brother Andy are two of the show's most popular crab boat captains and thousands watch the black pirate-themed ship and her crew elude disaster each week out in the treacherous Bering Sea.


These days, when Hillstand is on dry land, he can often be spotted in a super-cool black '55 Chevy that share's the ship's name and familiar skull and crossbones emblem on more than a few flat surfaces.


The car was built by our friend Slick, of Slick's Garage, in Palmetto, Florida. Super Chevy Magazine did a full story on the build, which was featured in the August 2013 issue. Time Bandit Car with a Champion Radiator featured in Super Chevy


Hillstrand got the idea for the car from the movie American Graffiti, and says he has wanted a black '55 like that ever since seeing the movie at the drive-in decades ago. He has always had Chevy's in his blood; his first car was a '57 with a 283 and a three-speed on the column. After he wrecked it, he got a '55 with a 396 that put out nearly 600 horses, which was apparently too much, as the not-even-sixteen-year-old Hillstrand lost his license due to not being able to keep his foot out of it. It wasn't long after that that the young Hillstrand took North to Alaska to become a crabber.







The Time Bandit Car Before

Then, just a few years ago, Hillstrand looked up Slick and so began the evolution of The Time Bandit Car. They found the long-neglected Tri-Five on Craigslist, and although she was rough, she had a 400 small block and a Muncie four-speed, which Slick says "Was wicked enough to do the original movie car justice". He then began the labor-of-love process of rebuilding the classic Chevy into a better-than-new and highly customized machine.


Here's a round-up of The Time Bandit Car's features:

  • A tilting one-piece glass nose
  • Weiand Super-Charged 502 Big Block
  • 830 CFM Holley Carburetor
  • Spectre Twin-Snorkel Induction
  • Carter Pump and Hedman Hedders
  • Champion Radiator
  • Custom 2x4" Frame attached to a C4 Corvette Suspension


 Champion Radiator in The Time Bandit Car

Slick also outfitted the car with electric exhaust cut-outs, a Monster Transmission 4L80E and a Fleetpride custom driveshaft. American Racing Daisy wheels are wrapped with Nitto NT555 rubber for a smooth ride and era-correct look. Slick also shaved the door handles, gas flap and emblems and added skull headlights and taillights.


Inside, Pontiac seats were skinned with diamond tuck and white piping, and a push-button start sits on the dash next to a chromed column. Last but not least, Slick adorned the rear bench with a lighted version of his logo.
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