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2016 DACC 40th Anniv
'55-'57 Chevy Show



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2009 SEMA SHOW



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50th Anniversary Review of the 1957 Chevy



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Dallas Area Classic Chevys


June
FEATURE CAR
Dennis Fletcher's
1957 Bel Air Hardtop
'SURVIVOR'

McKinney, Texas



 

I own two Tri Five Chevy survivors.  You may have seen one or the other of them, maybe even both as they were both at the Lone Star Convention that we put on last year. My 1955 original 6 cylinder 2dr Sedan was featured in the past, so this story is about my other car, my 1957 Bel Air Sport Sedan.

I acquired it not too long after buying the Ď55.  I bought it in 1975 while still in college and it was all original except for two things - the seats and door panels had been recovered and the original 283/powerglide had been replaced with a 235 and a 3 speed manual with a floor shifter.

How I acquired it is a bit of a story. In the mid Ď70s, both my father and I had Ď55ís.  My í55 Sedan as I mentioned and his Ď55 Bel Air 4dr sedan with a 265/powerglide (wish I had it now, it was perfect).  We lived in a small town in Arkansas and of course everybody knew this.  My father worked at the local gas station and he spent a lot of time there.  One day I was home from college with my Dad and we noticed that a Ď57 Chevy was coming down the driveway, followed by another car.  Dad and I met the gentlemen out in the driveway to see why they were visiting. Turns out they had heard about our two cars and was wondering if we wanted another one, the Ď57 in other words.  We looked it over, it looked ok and obviously was running and driving.  They wanted $50 for it. Needless to say, I pulled out what little money I had (very poor college student) and handed to them!

I took it back to school and kept it with me until I graduated a couple years later.  It still has the Sigma Pi fraternity sticker I put in the back window at that time on it.  After that it spent some time at Dad's house.  He drove it work quite a bit and I would drive it whenever I was home.

Around 1980, not sure when exactly, I decided to start working on it a bit.  I bought a set of Cragar SSís for it with new tires and put those on it.  That greatly improved its look.  It had some rust spots here and there on it, so I bought a can of green spray paint and covered them up in an attempt to slow down the rustís progress (it didnít work that well I can tell you now).  

We also had a 1967 4 door Impala at the time in the family.  It was in ok shape but nothing special.  It had a 283 in it (the last year for that motor I believe) and I decided my Ď57 needed that motor more than the Ď67 did.  So we pulled the motor, rebuilt it and swapped it into the Ď57. We reused the 3 speed trans, by just exchanging the flywheel, clutch and bell housing with ones from a V8 (found in a local wrecking yard).  We put a hi performance Crane cam in it as well as added some headers.  In hindsight we should have kept that í67 Impala or I should have at least used the power glide it had in it. 

The upside regardless though was that the Ď57 was now like a different car.  Compared to when it had that 235 it now felt like the rocket it looks like.  It got driven even more and needless to say a lot faster at times than it should have been.  

I had moved to Chicago by now and so drove it up there and kept it there for awhile.  When I moved to California in the mid 80ís it went back to my Dad's house in Arkansas.  He drove it some and I drove it too when home up until 1995.  It got parked in Dad's shed for an extended period at that point.  

In 2012 we moved to McKinney and I now had a 3 car garage to work with. On the Fourth of July weekend of that year I took a truck and trailer to Dadís place and picked up the í55 (by now it was there too).  At Christmas of 2012 I did that again, this time picking up the Ď57.  I worked on the Ď55 first and got it running and driving, fixing all the various issues it had.  I have left it as is mostly, only putting carpet in and having the seats recovered with material matching the original.  

In the spring of 2016 I turned my attention to the Ď57.  I got it running, it had a number of issues. I had to rebuild the Q-Jet carburetor and gave it a complete tune up.  I replaced the gas tank, did the brakes, got a new radiator core and other miscellaneous work. 

Since getting it running I have worked on cleaning it up.  Since the paint is original, whatís left of it that is, I plan to leave it as is mostly.  I sanded off most of the green paint I had sprayed on it so long ago, revealing more original paint and that improved itís look a lot.  I have polished and waxed it too partly to shine it up but also to help stop any new surface rust.  As soon as the budget allows I will have it shot with clear.  I also intend to restore the interior, carpet, seats, door panels, rubber seals, etc. 

I also worked on the Cragar wheels after deciding finally to keep them instead of replacing them.  I decided they matched the car as both have patina.  After all this time they were a bit rusty too (ok a lot rusty).  I wire brushed the rust off the steel part and polished the chromed aluminum part as much as possible.  I sprayed all the steel with rust inhibiting primer and then sprayed the outside with silver wheel paint.  New tires went on too of course.  They look pretty good now considering and a few people have commented they get it and like the look.  

I havenít been able due to conflicting time demands to attend very many club events lately (for example I couldnít go to the recent Good Guys meetup) but I plan to come to as many as I can going forward. So, you guys will get a chance to see my survivors sometime soon Iím sure!

MORE PHOTOS
HERE

 

2019 Feature Cars

January
Steven Mensik

1957 Panel Truck

February
Mark Lambrecht
1955 Bel Air Hardtop

March
John Gibson
1956 Nomad

April
Robin Collord
1957 Nomad

May
Mike Nelson
1955 Bel Air Sedan

June
Dennis Fletcher
1957 Bel Air Hardtop

July

August

September

October

November

December

 

2018 Feature Cars


January
Duffy Oyster
1957 Convertible

 


February
Andy Kuchta
1955 Pickup

 

March
Steven Mensik
1957 Convertible

April
Duffy Oyster
1957 Bel Air Hardtop

May
Bobby Bonds
1955 210 Sedan

June
Kevin Sears
1955 Bel Air Sedan

July
Matt Heit
1956 Bel Air Sedan

August
Ken Horton
1957 Bel Air Hardtop

September
David Graves
1956 Corvette

October
Don Beck
1955 Bel Air Hardtop

November
Robin Collord
1955 Nomad

December
Clint Davis
1955 2nd Series Pickup

 

2017 Feature Cars

January
Larry Myers

'57 Nomad

February
David Hudson
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

March
Diane Bray
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

April
Dale Maddox
'56 Nomad

May
Terry Adams
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

June
Al Burgess
'56 Bel Air Hardtop

July
Joey Truelove
'56 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Duffy Oyster
'55 Bel Air Convertible

September
Roy Bilberry
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Dale Maddox
'56 Nomad

November
Johnny Gentry
'57 Pickup

December
Dennis Fletcher
'55 210 Sedan

 

2016 Feature Cars

January
John Green

'55 Bel Air Sedan

February
Dennis Gormley
'56 Nomad

March
Ken Burton
'56 Bel Air Sedan

April
Joe Angelini
'55 Bel Air Sedan

May
John Gibson
'56 Bel Air Sedan

June
Keith Brogdon
'55 Bel Air Sedan

July
No Feature Car

August
Mike D'Uva
'55 Nomad

September
Charles Haley
'57 Bel Air Sedan

October
John Yoby
'55 210 Sedan

November
Duffy Oyster
'55 Convertible

December
Ed Giolma
'57 Nomad

 

2015 Feature Cars

January
Al Thomson

'57 Convertible

February
Gunnar Grove
'55 Handyman Wagon

March
Carl Mitcham
'57 Convertible

April
Rico Padilla
'57 Bel Air

May
Bobby Wallace
'56 Bel Air

June
Donna Johnson
'57 Convertible

July
Jody Stiff
'55 Bel Air

August
Bill Preston
'57 Corvette

September
Ronnie Ruyle
'56 210 2dr Sedan

October
Patrick Briney
'55 Bel Air 2dr Sedan

November
Marvin Johnson
'55 Bel Air 2dr Hardtop

December
James Lair
'57 150 Sedan

 

2014 Feature Cars

January
Marvin Johnson

'57 Nomad

February
Gina Cammarata
'57 Be Air

March
Joe Angelini
'55 Handyman

April
Jack Stewart
'55 Convertible

May
Marvin Johnson
'57 Bel Air

June
Jac Broussard
'57 Bel Air

July
Terry Sealock
'57 Nomad

August
Bill Lewis
'56 Deluxe Pickup

September
Tom Entrekin
'56 Corvette

October
Donna Thomson
'56 Convertible

November
Mike Reeves
'56 Nomad

December
Jim Baughan
'55 Convertible

 
2013 Feature Cars

January
Don Andre
'57 Bel Air 2dr Hardtop

February
Don Sebert
'56 Corvette

March
Mike Dodson
'56 210 2dr Sedan

April
Dennis Gormley
'55 210 Sedan Drag Racer

May
Sharkey Nelson
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

June
AJ Pilie
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

July
Joe Harrington
'56 Pickup

August
Jim Gary
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

September
Kenneth Taylor
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Don Howard
'56 210 2dr Sedan

November
Tommy Sims
'55 210 2 Dr Sedan

December
Leroyce Jones
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2012 Feature Cars

January
Tom Walker
'56 Sedan Delivery

February
Don Mullins
'57 150 2dr Sedan

March
John Rogers
'56 Nomad

April
Jim Leinart
'55 210 Sedan

May
James Carter
'57 Bel Air

June
Rob Bryngelson
'57 210 Sedan

July
Mike Jones
'55 Bel Air Sedan

August
Jon Ellison
'57 Pickup

September
Jim Leinart
'55 210 Sedan

October
Ken Dobbs
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

November
Rich Purvis
'55 Nomad

December
Philip Romo
'55 Bel Air Sedan

 

2011 Feature Cars

January
Andy Salinas
'56 Bel Air

February
Scott Hengemuhle
'57 Bel Air

March
Joe Mason
'57 210

April
Mike Reeves
'57 Convertible

May
Josh Hart
'55 Bel Air

June
Ed Robertson
'55 Nomad

July
James Sparrow
'56 Bel Air

August
Mike Russell
'56 210

September
Top 5 Lone Star Picks

October
Jim Leinart
'55 Bel Air

November
David Sherman
'55 Nomad

December
Michael Brown
'57 Convertible

 

2010 Feature Cars

January
Larry Freeman

'56 Convertible

February
Michael Brown
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

March
Ray Langford
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

April
Billy Walker
'55 Drag Racer

May
Terry Sealock
'57 Convertbile

June
Carl Soeffker
'55 Pedal Car

July
Tom McGee
'55 Bel Air Sedan

August
Scott Hengemuhle
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

September
Bryan Greenfield
'56 210 Sedan

October
Larry Rogers
'57 210 Sedan

November
Mike Bresler
'55 210 Sedan

December
Terry Hitch
'57 Nomad

 

2009 Feature Cars

January
Doug Pedersen

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

February
Bennie Zimmerman

'57 Cameo Pickup

March
Ralph Sandlin

'57 210 Wagon

April
Bob Caruth

'56 Bel Air Hardtop

May
Glen South
'57 210 Sedan

June
Brian Sherwood
'55 1st Series 3100 Pickup

July
James Carson
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Marvin Cowden
'55 Bel Air Sedan

September
Loren Baxter
'56 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Mark Baker
'55 210 Sedan

November
Michael Brown
'57 Corvette

December
Geoff Clark
'55 Handyman Wagon

 

2008 Feature Cars

January
Debbie Guido

'57 Bel Air Sedan

February
Tim Page

'57 Bel Air Station Wagon

March
Greg Strader

'55 Bel Air Sedan

April
Stu Jacobs

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

May
Terry Box

'55 Bel Air Sedan

June
Rex Buzan

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

July
Joe Sanders

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Mike Dodson

'56 Nomad

September
Irv Engelbrecht

'55 210 Sedan

October
Bill Raley

'56 Pickup

November
Bob Brandenburg

'57 Bel Air Sedan

December
Tommy Simmons

'57 210 9 Pass Beauville Wagon

 

2007 Feature Cars

January
Lorenzo Castillo
'55 210 Sedan

February
Phil Haynes

'57 150 Sedan

March
Joe Ortega

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

April
Robert Black

'55 Sedan

May
Ben Weehunt

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

June
Jim Sellstrom

'55 Bel Air Sedan

July
Bob Smolik

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Mike Reeves

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

September
Larry Epperson

'57 Bel Air 4dr Hdtp

October
Mike Cook

'55 Convertible

November
Don Clark

'56 Nomad

December
James Carter

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2006 Feature Cars

January
Jim Conkle
'55 Bel Air Sedan

February
Nick Roppollo
'56 Bel Air Sedan

March
Dennis Gormley
'55 210 Sedan

April
George Caruth

'57 Sedan Delivery

May
Bob Vaughan

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

June
Doyle Irick

'57 Cameo Pickup

July
Mark Lamkin

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Ralph Ellis

'57 Convertible

September
Chuck Rader

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Dan Bunch

'57 Bel Air Sedan

November
Frank Makarauskas

'57 210 Sedan

December
Carl Mitcham

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2005 Feature Cars
January
John Rush
'56 210 Sedan
February
Sharkey Nelson
'57 Limo
March
Joe Gaikoski
'56 Convertible
April
Dean Schmidt
'57 Bel Air Hardtop
May
Lewis Reynolds
'55 210 Sedan
June
Tom Walker
'57 Bel Air Hardtop
July
George Johnson
'56 Nomad
August
Sonny Poteet
'55 Bel Air Hardtop
September
Alan Strong
'57 150 Sedan
October
Rodney Nevils
'56 Corvette
November
Tom Blackburn
'57 Bel Air Hardtop
December
Dennis Lind
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2004 Feature Cars
January - none February - none March - none April
Steve Pratt
'55 Bel Air Sedan
May
Larry Rollow
'57 210 Sedan
June
Marvin Johnson
'56 Bel Air Hardtop
July
Kevin Brown
'56 210 Sedan
August
David Graves
'55 Bel Air Hardtop
September
BJ Bucher
'57 150 Sedan
October
Greg Hedum
'55 Bel Air Hardtop
November
Bill Preston
56 Nomad
December
Ron Davis
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

 

 


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