Once upon a time, I was at home watching TV with my dad and a show came on about cars that baseball super star Reggie Jackson owned. He had many great cars but the one that caught my eye was a 1955 Chevy Bel Air. At that moment I told my dad that I was going to own one of those cars.
As with anything it sort of got put on the back burner but it was always on my mind and I would talk about 55’s with friends and coworkers. One day at work a guy told me he had a 55 that he wanted to get rid of. Well at this point I hadn’t even seen a potential prospect so naturally I was pretty excited about the offer. I went to look at the car and instantly fell in love with it. It was a turquoise and white post with black leather interior. It was hot rodded up with a pumped 283 with a Holley 780 Muncie 4 speed, nice wheels and tires, and the son of a gun sounded like a million bucks.
Well it took a couple days to get the loan but things were starting to look pretty good and soon I was the proud owner of a great hot rod. I will never forget the guy pulling it out of the garage for me to take. I handed him the money and off I went. This guy was real particular about this car and the sight of me leaving with his baby must have brought a tear to his eye. But the sight of me stopping shortly after I took off and then smoking the tires may have had him thinking he made a mistake selling it to me.
For a young man of 21 to own such a ride was a dream come true. It was not only fun to drive it seemed to immediately raise my social status with friends and the entire community. I was getting stares from people where ever I drove the thing. I once had a guy offer me his wife and $500.00 for my car. I responded by asking him what his wife looked like.
This car also was the reason I first caught my wife’s eye. It has been told that she said “Wow what a nice car who is the guy driving it.” We were married just two years after that.
As it turned out I was only able to drive the car for one year because I blew the engine up from too much hot rodding. I moved to California and put the thing in moth balls at a local storage garage. When I moved back to West Virginia I got it out and put it in my garage. The only time it would leave the garage was when I would roll it out for an occasional cleaning.
In summary I’ve owned this car for 25 years and I was only able to drive it 1 year before I blew the motor. Although I’ve had many offers for it I passed on all of them because of what the car has meant to me. I finally got the car running in 2003 so I’m back on the road again.
And that’s the truth.