CLASSIC CHEVY CLUB
It was the late 1960's and there were still lots of trim, emblems and other needed parts to make the car look great-it was a rust free west Texas car and the body was straight. I remember finding a pair of NOS bumper ends buried in a corner covered with dust...those were the days!
The next year I had the body shop paint the car black and we put a new 4spd in it. The last thing I added to the car was an 8 track tape player. Then it was stolen from the front of the house and never recovered.
Twenty six years later, even after putting 3 kids in braces, I was ready to buy the car of my dreams, a 57 convertible, I had squirreled away about seven thousand dollars and now, in 1996, I started looking for a restorable one. I found one which had undergone disassembly and then it was left untouched for at least1 5 years. It was within my budget and I had almost all necessary parts except an engine and trans.
Restoration didn't start for a year, delayed by an agreement with my wife to put in a new kitchen and home expansion. I went to many swap meets and started accumulating quite a cache of parts. A friend located a complete 4dr sport coupe with a 283 powerglide...what a find for $1500!
On the advice of the resto guys at Ole 55 Chey (aka East Coast Chevy) in PA, I took all useable body parts to an acid dipping facility (Ready Strip) and then quickly epoxy-primed everything. Next was to bring it to Ole 55 witht he new floor, braces, etc. While the metal work was being done (about two months) I got everything ready,mostly restoring all useable parts.
When body work was done we took the completed frame to ECC and they mounted it and shimmed it up-it was exciting because now it looked like the real deal.
I spent the next 2 1/2 years working weekends and some weekday nites in my small garage putting the car together. I took adult education classes
on body work and painting, well worth the time. I finished the complete frame off resto after a total of 5 years after I bought the car. It was alot of work with many "bumps in the road' but well worth it, especially when people tell me, "What a beautiful 57 convertible!".
2828 Wiregrass Rd. Lakeland, Fl. 33810
When I was 7 years old my father brought home a yellow and white 1957 Bel Air 2dr. hdtp. I would spend hours washing and waxing it and sitting behind the wheel. I think that I was about ten when I first drove it up and down the driveway. My uncle was a Chevy dealer and I would spend summers with my cousins doing everything related to cars, including
driving the old ones around a track we had on a big field behind the dealership. Needless to say, I started driving at a very early age!
I got my first 57 when I was 17 years old. My brother bought home a Bel Air 2dr hdtp while in the service in Texas. It was Inca Silver w/ a PP 3 spd on the column. Of course, the first thing I did was throw out the air cleaner and put a floor shifter in it. Subsequent visits to my uncle's included searches through the parts department.