In the summer of 2011 I made one of my many visits back to my home town of Rexburg, Idaho to visit family and old high school buddies, do some good old Idaho fishing and relax a bit.
Early in my visit I called and met with one of my best friends of many years. I met Gary and his wife at their farm outside of town. After a while he mentioned that he wished to show me his latest project. It turned out to be the car he had purchased after high school and on our discharge from our six month active duty in the National Guard. He and I and both our future wives spent many a date night in that car.
One thing lead to another and I mentioned I would love to find an old 1936 Chevy coupe that I had while I was in High School (1960). I originally purchased the car in 1959 during my junior year in Rexburg, Idaho for $10.00. It was found in a farmers yard not in running condition but soon after became a daily driver and served me well during my senior year in High School.
I sold the car in the summer of 1960 ($50.00) before entering college, forgot about it and moved on with my life.
Gary said that he thought he knew of one “kinda like” the one I used to have, it belonged to his brother Bud and was parked just down the road in his garage. We drove to Bud’s place to look, and sure enough it was just like the one I used to own.
I made an offer. Bud indicated that there were a couple of people ahead of me. I told him I would leave a check with Gary, the next day told me he would sell. (Bird in hand rule?)
Once back home with the car I decided I would try to keep the car as original as possible. One concern was the original color. The name tag indicated “Taupe”, a sort of gray. I/we could not be certain since there didn’t appear that it was ever gray. I decided to contact the previous owners to settle the question if possible.
Talking to the second owner before myself he stated that it was purple when he and his father rescued it from the salvage yard. At once I had a tickle in the back of my brain, we painted my first car Maroon , and we added a homemade “Nerf” bar since it was missing the rear bumper and installed two 1953 Buick tail lights, an attempt at a hot rod look. I asked, “Did it have a rear bumper when he purchased the car”. His answer: “We had to locate and install an original and remove the two tail lights that someone had cut into the rear panel”. He also stated that he and his father (a mechanics instructor) had replaced the engine with a 1941-216 six (turns out that it is a 1946).
As I sat that evening, I wondered if it was possible this could be my original car. If it was, how could I prove it and would anyone believe me. Then, I remembered that it had a dent in the roof corner that we could not straighten and had to fill. I went to the garage, cut the head liner, felt for the repair and sure enough there it was. I had my original 1936 Chevy Coupe back after 51 years!