I purchase my 1955 Chevy Bel-Air in the spring of 1987 in Ocala, Florida. I am its second owner. The original owner purchased the car at University Chevrolet in Gainesville Florida in May 1955.
When I first saw the car, the thing that convinced me to buy it was its good mechanical condition and a solid chassis. I drove it for three summers as is. However, it had a very poor second paint job, and major body rust behind the rear bumper. Since I didn't have enough money to start a restore project, the car was put in storage for several years.
During the 1987-purchase process, the original owner remembered and gave me an envelope of maintenance receipts that had been saved through the years. Several years later, I was looking through the envelope and marveling at the low cost of services that were done. Within the paperwork, I found the original dealership warrantee inspection document that showed all the identification numbers and options. To my pleasant surprise, the car still had the original numbered components and options.
I took the car out of storage upon saving enough money to begin the restoration. It took four summers to complete it. I did all the restoration work in my garage except for the engine rebuild, headliner install, seat recover and bumper re-chroming. The budget buster was the engine. The final cost exceeded initial estimates by 85%.
It was judged at a Classic Chevy International Convention with 970 out of 1000.