2828 Wiregrass Rd. Lakeland, Fl. 33810
Classic Chevy Club
My Belair was purchased in 1980. A fellow club member found the empty shell parked in an alley in one of the local townships, bought it and had it stored at another club members home. I already had a bronze and white two door hardtop without floors, and at that time there were very few restoration parts available. When informed of this project car, I went down with my buddy to look it over. The car needed work, but it was very buildable. I secured a deal, brought the car home and proceeded on a new venture.
The Belair was assembled to its current state with parts from my donor car and miscellaneous items saved from cars I had owned in the 1960’s and ‘70’s. With the exception of needing bodywork, the car was presentable and driven as you see it for the next few years.
When I started the body work on this car, closer examination showed me it had seen better days. There were no dents, but the paint was cracked and faded with aqua and white paint poking through in places. There were also spots of surface rust, filler and rot in the usual areas that had to be repaired. This was still less work than the first project.
Finally, in February of 1987, my car was painted.
This Belair was manufactured at the GM plant in Baltimore, MD in February, 1957. The aqua and white two door hardtop was shipped to Wilkin Chevrolet, in Norfolk, Virginia, where it was later purchased by a Navy couple with two young children. According to the original owners, this car came with the 283 V8 engine, power pack heads, a single four barrel carburetor, automatic transmission and dual exhaust. The Chevy had served their owners well and came to Connecticut when the family was transferred to the Naval Base in New London.
In 1963, the Chevy was traded for a new Galaxie at Simon Ford in Norwich, Connecticut. But all was not lost, as one of the mechanics at the dealership bought the car and it was back on the road as a hot
rod. The car was repainted burnt orange and as I understand, it had many high performance engine and transmission combinations. Over the course of a fruitful life, changing times ended this Belairs reign. The car ended up being stripped and parked not knowing what would become of its future…until now.