I have inherited my Father's 1956 Chevrolet 210 two-door hardtop. This thread will share with JeepForum its journey back from still life to thrill life. First, a little history...
Dad bought the car in 1956 brand new off the showroom floor. He liked the 210 trim package better than the Bel-Aire. He also wanted the Power pack option, which gave the little 265 Cubic Inch V8 a four-barrel carb and duel exhaust to go with the three-on-the-tree manual transmission. He ordered his car in solid black paint. Some cars are built on "hangover" Monday, some on "gotta get off work, it's" Friday. This must have been a Wednesday car. Or maybe all the parts just happened to match right and the engine was balanced perfectly. Or maybe my Dad was just a hell of a driver. He has a trophy from 1956 when this car was the fastest stock car in Los Angeles County in the 1/4 drag race. My uncle said it was weird, that little 265 CI would beat a 57' Chevy with the more powerful 4-barrel 283 CI engine every time.
Dad cruised in the car, was a member of the Drifters Car Club, street-raced in this car, drove his best friend to his wedding at 110 MPH across the California desert to Las Vegas in this car (his friend's fiancé asked Dad to slow down when they were getting air born on the road's "hips and hollers" ). A year or so later he met my Mom, got married, started a family. My very first memories are from this car--- I remember the "fire-breathing dragon" from the James Bond movie Dr. No.
Dad had taken Mom and I to the drive-in. I was two years old.
A brother arrives. Dad takes out the back seat, and builds a full width bed that reaches from the trunk to the front bench seat, and Mom upholstered it to match the seat. My brother and I remember playing back there, and napping back there on long trips. Yeah, this was way before mandatory child safety seats.
My sister arrives, and Mom decided she wasn't going to raise her family in smoggy L.A. We move to Northern California, and Dad takes up racing at the local 1/4 oval track. he and his cousin race another Chevy they stripped and built into a race car. It needed a carburetor, so Dad parked his car in the garage, took the carb and battery to the race car, and had a blast for several years.
Another brother arrived, and life got more expensive with four kids. The money to get his old Chevy back on the road took second priority to giving us kids what we needed. For one reason or another, year after year, decade after decade, the car took a back seat. What was a simple part replacement became a needed full restoration. Life moved on, Dad retired, and he and Mom set out to see the world they missed while raising us kids. They toured the Western USA and Canada in their motor home, while the car still waited for Dad to restore it. Another decade rolls by...
Mom passed away recently, and Dad is no longer strong enough to restore the car himself. He wants me to take over now.
So much for the long intro. Here's the old gal as she looks today:
Compared to today's cars, there not a lot of stuff under the hood. Emissions equipment? What's that?
Good thing the intake has been covered all these years.
The interior is in really good shape, considering.
And the headliner still looks like new.
A little surface rust on the trunk floor, but not too bad. And there's the missing air cleaner!
Steering by armstrong, braking by stomp. No A/C, no FM, no power windows, no GPS, no seat belts. What's not to love?
So there she is. First step, I bug bombed Dad's garage to kill 45 years of black widows. Next up is removing all my woodworking tools from my garage. Then insurance.... *BEFORE* I tow the car to its new home, and give the cylinders a few shots of Kriol over several days. Find and rebuild an old carb. Drain and replace all fluids. Make a gravity feed gas tank. See if I can get her motor to run again.
Then a new gas tank, fuel lines, brake lines, plugs, wires, points, rotor, cap, tires, etc. Lube the chassis, and check her running gear and suspension.
Then take her for a drive.
It won't be done overnight, and it won't be done fast. I have two girls to put through school, so a full restoration will take a while. But I hope to have her running in time for some summer cruising. So get in, sit down, and hang on.... it's gunna be a fun ride.
This is for you, Dad.