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"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
    time.

    Any apprehensions 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.

    Note:  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 the
              National Classic Chevy Club convention.  It received a "First Place"
              award for "Contemporary" class.
 
 

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