Charlie W

Tale of Two Chevys

After reading about everyone's car at 16 years of age, I decided to post a story of the past and the current.

The Chevy that is shown(Matador Red with India Ivory top) is my current ride. My love for the 57 Chevy began many years ago

in the early 60"s. My brother had one of the fastest 2 Dr Bel Air's in San Diego. I used to ride along on a few cruises which would inevitably

wind up in a challenge. Might seem impossible, but I don't think he ever lost a race , even to higher horsepower cars. I was probably around 12 or 13 and determined I would have one eventually. I worked summers(everything from assembling golf accessories, selling magazines door to door, to painting houses) in an effort to get my Chevy.

Saved up enough when I was 16 and bought a 57 Chevy 150 model from a young lady in Belmont Shore(Long Beach, Ca.) 283 with a 2 barrel, that was a "Harbor Patrol" car at one time. Pretty fast for a 2-bbl, so figure they must have done some work on the engine. Of course, big hit at my high school, since I was the only one with a 57 Chevy. Kept the 57 for about 2 years and moved up to 65 Mustang, then new 68 350 HO Firebird, then to 69 Dodge Charger. Yes, you are correct , I should have kept them all.. (the 57 by the way set me back $350 and I sold it for $450). Sorry I don't even have pictures.

Flash forward to 2015 and the current 57 Chevy is a 2 door Bel Air with a 350 engine and 700 R trans. The car is Calif. assembled and I have the original 283 and Powerglide transmission(other options were E-Z Glass and air conditioning, which the A/C no longer exists on the car).

The car is definitely a driver, but brings much pleasure to be able to drive it on weekends(usually to "Donut Derelicts car show in Huntington Beach, CA.) . This was definitely a "bucket list" item and even the car smell inside is what I remember of the first 57.

The 57 is a blend of old(interior and dash) and newer (350 engine, 700R trans., Weld Wheels and steering Wheel) and has a nice "rake" on both front and back, so the stance is just right.

As the guy in the 72 Challenger video said, when driving this beauty you get lots of stares, high fives, and everybody wants to know where they can get one. Most people reading this probably have a classic car, but if you don't, I encourage you to treat yourself and make the investment no matter what the make and model. Classic Car people are some of the nicest people you will ever meet and that is one of the benefits of being an owner. Happy Driving.

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