John B

Back to my youth.

I had a 1957 Pontiac Chieftain before I went into the Army in 1961. I really liked that car and kept it in very good condition -- I couldn't stand a dirty car. When I was dating a girl who lived on a farm, it was about 1-1/2 to 2 miles off the highway on a gravel road to her house. I would drive very, very slowly on the gravel to pick her up to keep the dust down and when I got back to the highway, I'd stop and dust off the rear bumper. I installed a red truck marker lighst under the dash for courtesy lights that came on when the opening the doors. I remember I really enjoyed cruising around my small hometown of Mendota, IL, with the car.

When I got out of the Army, I had another 1957 Pontiac Chieftain which I liked very much. All my life a '57 Pontiac Chieftain was #1 on the list of cars I'd like to have if I ever bought a classic car. This spring, I started thinking about buying a hot rod or classic car and this '57 Chieftain just happened to be for sale right here in Prescott Valley, AZ, where I live. It had a frame off restoration that was featured in the May 1997 issue of 'Classic Auto Restorer.' Finding this car was an real stroke of luck and I just could not pass up buying it. Also, the coincidences between me and the seller added to the deal. Although the '57 Chieftain was not my first car, I had a '49 and '53 Pontiac before I got it, it was the first car the seller ever owned. Both the seller and I were Morse code interceptors in the US Army Security Agency and had been stationed at the same post, Rothwesten, outside Kassel, Germany, back in the 60s. He got there not long after I left. And, the vanity license plates I chose for the car, 57 CHFTN, turned out to be the same ones he had on the car when he lived in California. I believe it was meant to be that I found this car.

I enjoy getting all the positive comments from folks when they see the car and meeting other classic car and hot rod owners. The car was feathered as Car of the Week for June 24 in 'Old Cars Weekly' which makes me very proud. I'm looking forward to lots of fun with this car.

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