Chris C 1961 Chevrolet Impala 2dr Convertible

"The Chevy"

"The Chevy" identifies the blue convertible to all the Campbells. Back in 1961 my Dad traded in his '56 Chrysler for the Chevy convertible. It was his car. He loved to drive around with the tp down on summer days. He drove me to my first day of high school in it in 1961. Three years later he loaded me into the Chevy and we made a tour of colleges. Four years after that I had the Chevy at college--it was my car now. The photo shows a much younger me and a much prettier Chevy at my dorm.

Eventually it was passed down to my younger brothers. We all learned a variety of lessons about driving, all to the Chevy's detriment, Then the old car was retired to behind the garage. It was too nice to sell. Not too long after that my parents bought an old house with three spaces in the garage and the Chevy moved indoors. It's been there for 40-some years, waiting patiently under a load of cardboard boxes, old boat covers, and the usual detritus of garage life. About ten years ago I suggested that maybe it was time to sell the Chevy. I had calculated my increasing age and decreasing future and figured that maybe it was best to let the old car go to a new family. But when I announced the concept, my mother--whom I expected to place an ad promptly--said "But I like that car!" So the Chevy stayed. Two years ago I tired to pump up the tires. None held air for more than ten minutes. Last summer I bought four new appropriate tires for the Chevy, and then rebuilt the Rochester 4-Jet carburetor.

When I pulled the Chevy out of the back corner of the garage last summer, I found my 1969 college bumper sticker still there on the back. I challenged other alumni to produce photos of older stickers. Nobody did.

So now my goal is to get brakes and a gas tank cleaning, and see if the Chevy will start. It would be cool to enter it in the annual St. Patrick's Parade in Bay City, MI, where it lives. It was in the parade in 1964 and 1965. A return engagement would be a good show.

Chris Campbell

Traverse City, MI

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