HomeCar CultureMy Classic CarMy Classic Car: Roxy’s 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe Business Coupe

My Classic Car: Roxy’s 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe Business Coupe


$200 Chevrolet has a 409 under its hood
$200 Chevrolet has a 409 under its hood

I was 21 years old in 1963 and working at a bank when I was drafted. Naturally, I had to sell my 1962 Corvette.

Then, a couple weeks before I had to leave, the vice president of the bank pulled some strings and got me signed up in the National Guard, so my draft orders were cancelled. But I was left without a car.

I was driving through a shopping center in Denver in my mother’s 1959 Cadillac when I saw a 1950 Chevy Business Coupe coming in the opposite direction. It looked so nice and clean that I made a u-turn and chased it. It stopped at the Skaggs Drug Store and an elderly woman got out and went in the store. The driver was sitting in the car, so I pulled up and started talking to him. The car had 19,000 miles and looked great.

The owner told me he might have to sell it if he couldn’t pass the eye test coming up in June to renew his drivers license. I asked him how much he wanted for the car. He said, “I won’t give it away, I will want a couple hundred dollars for it.”

Real fine 409
Real fine 409

I gave him my phone number and got his, and wished him well with his test.

I called a couple months later just to touch base and tell him I was still interested. The wife answered and told me he had passed way. She said she had my number and was going to call me.

A couple of neighbors had made offers on the car, one for $ 600 and one for $750. I told her the price that her husband gave me, and she said he told her he wanted me to have the car.

“If $200 is the price he gave you , that’s all you are going to pay,” she said.

I told her I would take care of the car, and never sell it. I have kept that promise. I have many great cars, and would sell any of them for the right price, but the little ’50 Chevy is not for sale.

I left it stock for a couple months, then found a nice 1963 327 engine and did the swap with a ’57 Chevy rear end and a Corvette 4-speed transmission.

A friend and I took a trip to California and went to Mexico and had it upholstered in black rolled and pleated naugahyde.

In 1964, I proposed to my wife of 52 years in that car. In 1991, I pulled out the 327 and replaced it with a modified 350 and installed a narrowed IROC Camaro rear with disk breaks. It remained that way until 2015. The time had come for a complete update.

The new drive train is really sweet. A 1962 409/409 horsepower engine, Richmond 5-speed trans and a C4 Corvette rear.

This little Chevy still turns heads when I drive it! It keeps up with traffic better that ever!

— Roxy Vendena, Arvada CO

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  1. Hi Roxy, G’day from New Zealand. Great car, great story. $200,huh? You could double your money easy! (Haha) I love that two door body and the ’50 grille is the best (simplest) that body came with. It’d be a fitting continuation of the story but I bet you won’t be selling it for a giveaway price to some pimply youth when failing health means you can’t renew your licence any more.

  2. My first car was a “51 Chevy. I always loved cars like that. Had a nice 1950 one time. I really like your cars, but I think you should be quiet about pulling strings to beat the draft, and poofing around in your Mom’s Caddy while your peers were in Viet Nam.

    Sonny Oliver
    US Army, Retired

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