My Classic Car: The “Perfectly Flawed” Bel Air

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In the fall of 1966 I was allowed to buy (with funds generated from mowing lawns, a newspaper route, farm fieldwork and other miscellaneous activities) my first car. For $175, I was now a mobile teenager. Over the next several years, the ’55 Chevy (no cute nickname ever stuck) served me through high school, the first couple of years of marriage, and then passed on to my two sisters, who drove it until it died.

The Bel Air at Jean Airport in Nevada (all images provided by Mike M.)

My father, who then had a trucking business, put it into a warehouse where it sat for the next 35 years, quietly gathering dust.

And then, one fine day…I decided to bring it back to life. Our journey is in images below!

There was some minor rust damage

Nineteen months later- she was home again! Restored, but not completely.

A replacement rear window would not have added much to the overall project cost, however keeping it original makes it priceless!

Look at the lower bead on the trim panel, just to the left of the clock. That dent was put there on a Friday night of my high school senior year by a girlfriend. Again, the trim could have been easily, and inexpensively, replaced, however to me these memories are priceless.

Matt M., Washington

The Journal

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