HomeCar CultureMy Classic Car: The "Perfectly Flawed" Bel Air

My Classic Car: The “Perfectly Flawed” Bel Air

A complete restoration can remove the emotional value of a long-held car


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In the fall of 1966 I was allowed to buy (with funds generated from mowing lawns, a newspaper route, farm fieldwork and other miscellaneous activities) my first car. For $175, I was now a mobile teenager. Over the next several years, the ’55 Chevy (no cute nickname ever stuck) served me through high school, the first couple of years of marriage, and then passed on to my two sisters, who drove it until it died.

My father, who then had a trucking business, put it into a warehouse where it sat for the next 35 years, quietly gathering dust.

And then, one fine day…I decided to bring it back to life. Our journey is in images below!

There was some minor rust damage

Nineteen months later- she was home again! Restored, but not completely.

A replacement rear window would not have added much to the overall project cost, however keeping it original makes it priceless!

Look at the lower bead on the trim panel, just to the left of the clock. That dent was put there on a Friday night of my high school senior year by a girlfriend. Again, the trim could have been easily, and inexpensively, replaced, however to me these memories are priceless.

Matt M., Washington


  1. Great great story. Good for you and hope you are enjoying it even more now!!! I have a 1974 International 100 Pickup that my father bought new and I am now almost 80 years old and have to sell it!!! Semper Fi from a Vietnam Veteran.

  2. Great story! Similar to my first ‘55 when I turned 16. Mine was a 2dr. hardtop and same color as yours! Mine was a 6cyl. auto. with 56k! miles! Gave $435.00 for it! Needless to say I drove it for 3 years and sold it!😢 Bought a ‘62 Impala then got drafted and spent my vacation in Vietnam! 68/69! Fast forward today I have a’55 2dr post 265 and 3 on the tree! Also have a’62 Impala SS 409 4spd! I enjoy them everyday and just go back to the’60’s every time I get in either of them! Enjoy yours every chance you get!


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