Kent Ladners Custom Red 1955 Plymouth Belvedere Shines at 2011 SEMA

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What catches your attention after the paint job is that the SEMA 1955 Plymouth Belvedere appears to rest on the ground.
What catches your attention after the paint job is that the SEMA 1955 Plymouth Belvedere appears to rest on the ground.
The sweet red 1955 Plymouth Belvedere drew people to the Meguiar's Car Crazy TV booth at SEMA like bugs to a flame. The tantalizing red paint so delicious from afar you could almost taste it with your eyes. Once you get up close the next thing you notice is that Plymouth's body appears to rest on the ground, yet on even closer examination, "I'd have to say the onboard computer system is what most people remember," Kent Ladners told K&N News. "The car was built without the use of any switches. There's no key, no window, light, or any other kind of switches in the car at all. Electrical is easily my specialty. That's all I do at work all day. I'm also well versed in suspension and metal fabrication too, but there's always more to learn."
The bright red paint on Kent Ladners 1955 Plymouth Belvedere drew SEMA fans for a closer look.
The bright red paint on Kent Ladners 1955 Plymouth Belvedere drew SEMA fans for a closer look.


The 1955 Plymouth is Ladners fourth personal full-build custom vehicle and it clearly won't be his last. Ladners owns his own custom shop in Katy, Texas called Pistons N Pipes. His shop specializes in simple repairs, to one-of-kind, hand-made custom creations. Currently Ladners' day job is working for a local Chevy dealer as an ASE and GM Master Technician, but as word spreads and appointments mount, we suspect he'll be spending increasingly more time at Pistons N Pipes. Ladners says his inspiration for the dazzling red Plymouth was simple "To build something cool and bend a few rules along the way."

Like so many other custom builders, Ladners passion for cars grew from a childhood surrounded by them. "I've been around cars and motorcycles all my life, my uncle has been building drag cars and hot rods for as long as I can remember," he adds. "I built my first custom vehicle when I was 14; I am 33, so it's been 19 years now."
What visitors to the SEMA show remember about Ladners Plymouth is the complete absence of any electrical switches.
What visitors to the SEMA show remember about Ladners Plymouth is the complete absence of any electrical switches.


Ladners' work has had its share of accolades over the years too, having won many awards and several Best of Shows. His Plymouth for example was featured in Rod and Custom magazine and it was on the cover of Street Scene magazine, as well as in a charity calendar in Houston, and it was the featured vehicle in a Crime Pays video. Some of his past builds have been featured on the cover of Street Trucks, Truckin', Streetsource, and Phlat Out video magazines.

When listing what sort of modifications Ladners has done to his Plymouth it's easier to begin with what hasn't been modified. "There's not much that hasn't been modified in some shape or form," says Ladners. "I think the front turn signals, headlights and headlight trim is about it."
Regardless of how you view it Ladners' 1955 Plymouth Belvedere was a stunning show stopper at SEMA.
Regardless of how you view it Ladners' 1955 Plymouth Belvedere was a stunning show stopper at SEMA.


A good friend of Ladners was to taken by the extreme custom work on the Plymouth that he insisted Ladners contact K&N, figuring they would be impressed enough by his handy-work that they would feel it worthy of promoting their products. And they were, three months before the SEMA show K&N installers arranged to hook-up his ride with a full array of K&N goodies. Now when the car isn't at shows says Ladners "It mainly sits in my garage or the showroom at my shop."

The 2011 Las Vegas SEMA show is Ladners' eighth visit to the Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show, and he's without doubt a devoted fan. "I even got married during the SEMA show six years ago. My goals for the rest of this year and next year are to spend time with my kids, continue to grow my business, and to work on my current project when time permits for next year's show."

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