The road to classic car ownership included a very important bus ride for Gus Arroyave. While riding public transportation from the California trade school that he attended, Arroyave saw a 1954 Chevrolet 210 parked in front of a gas station and begged the bus driver to stop so he could take a look at it.
When the driver agreed, Arroyave ran inside and asked for details, but the owner was not around to sell it. Undeterred, Arroyave grabbed the For Sale sign out of the window, got back onto the bus, and made a plan to return and buy the car—which he did, for $400. There was one small problem: Gus didn’t know how to drive a manual transmission, so his brother had to drive the car home.
After learning how to handle a stick shift, Arroyave began taking the car to swap meets, where he bought an original, light-blue 1954 steering wheel. When it came time to pull the trigger on a new paint job, Gus decided to go with the original paint color (green, he thought) even though the steering wheel wouldn’t match. To his surprise, the VIN revealed that the original paint color was light blue, a perfect match to the steering wheel he purchased earlier.
Arroyave has owned the 210 for years. In fact, he drove the car while dating his wife, Diane. When the couple’s first son was born, they decided to park it, and the Chevy sat idle until a few years ago. It has since received a full restoration—painted light blue, of course—and will forever be a member of the Arroyave family.
Editor’s note: Hagerty’s Classic of the Month begins with a simple conversation. A current client calls Hagerty and shares their story with a licensed agent. Those stories are collected, and a committee chooses a weekly winner. The four weekly winners are shared with the entire company, and employees vote to determine a monthly winner. At the end of the year, there is another vote to determine Hagerty’s Classic Car of the Year. Congratulations to Licensed Sales Agent Nate Chamberlain, who provided details about this month’s winner.