"THE ELUSIVE GEM"
1956 BEL AIR SPORTS COUPE
If there is one
thing I have learned well as a result of owning three very fine
Classic Chevys, it's that you never stop searching for that next elusive gem.
The story of
our '56 Bel Air Sport Coupe is not a unique one. In fact, it's
probably very similar to others you have heard or read about. However, I
can, as a result of this story, include myself in the group of Chevy enthusiats
who are often referred to as "The Lucky Ones".
There is, I believe,
a special and unusual feeling that you experience when
viewing a Classic Chevy for the very first time. This feeling is particularly
profound when hyou are waiting with hidden anxiety to eye what hopefully
will be a pristine Coupe, Nomad or Convertible.
Such was the
feeling in June 1983 when I responded to a local newspaper ad
for an unrestored 1956 Bel Air hardtop with 50,000 original miles. As this part
of Canada is not know for rust free automobiles I was less than optimistic as
to what the car would actually look like.
During our first
meeting the owner informed me that the car had been willed
to him by his late Uncle who purchased it new from Community Chevrolet
Oldsmobile Ltd. in Winnipeg on May 08, 1956. He also explained that the car
was last licensed in 1971 and that it had been stored in his garage since that
I had were quickly dispelled when the garage door finally
opened and I gazed upon what I immediately knew would be my next Classic
Chevy. I could hardly believe it. I was looking at one of the finest original,
unrestored Classic Chevys I had ever seen, but this time the car was for sale.
An agreement was reached and for the first time in twelve years this elusive
gem was street driven to it's new home in Winnipeg.
A closer inspection
later revealed that there were only a few minor
imperfections to the rust-free body and except for the front carpet the car's
interior was in near perfect condition.
The summer of
'83 was devoted to heavy cleaning and preparing our '56 for a
new coat of acrylic enamel. The engine compartment (still housing the original
265-V8) and undercarriage were detailed, new carpet was obtained and most
trim items were either polished or rechromed. The original colour combination
of "Laurel Green" over "Crocus Yellow" was applied, several new accessories
were added, plus 15" Firestone wide whitewall tires and by April, 1984 our
car was ready for the annual "World of Wheels" car show.
Since it's completion
we have won eight first place awards, three seconds,
three awards for Best Interior, one for Best GM Vehicle as well as Peoples
Choice. Our objective now is to attend the 1986 International Classic Chevy
convention in Minneapolis, MN. and have our '56 compete with the many
other beautiful Classic Chevys. In the meantime, we will continue our search
for yet another elusive gem.
This story was featured in the January, 1987 issue of "Classic Chevy
World" magazine. Our '56 appeared as the "Cover Car" on that issue.
Our '56 was driven to Minneapolis that year and participated in
National Classic Chevy Club convention. It received a "First Place"
award for "Contemporary" class.
Sign My GuestbookView My Guestbook
CLICK BELOW TO:
RETURN TO CONTENTS