About The Cover: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

by erik@localeben.com
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Editor’s Note

Each year we sponsor the Annual Swan City Park Car Show hosted by Cheese Wheel Inc.  A part of that sponsorship allows us to make a sponsor pick.  We get to give a big trophy to our favorite car, and that car is our July/August cover.

The past cars have been Bob Christian’s 1960 Chevrolet Corvette, Thomas Foulk’s 1970 Ford Mustang, and Brian Schraufnagel’s 1966 Dodge Charger. This year we have Tim Mace’s 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Hard Top Coupe.

I have only three criteria when I select the cover car. 1) It has to stop me in my tracks, 2) it has to be local, and 3) it has to have a great story.

Like all of the cars before, this one stopped me in my tracks.  Check off #1.  I have never seen a 1957 Chevy THIS YELLOW.  Most are pale – classic for sure but without that WOW.  I immediately went and introduced myself and began asking about the car.  I met Tim Mace and his friend Sandy from Columbus.  Check off #2.  As we talked I quickly learned that this one had a great story.  Check off #3

Turned out Tim has had this car a long time.  It was an authentic barn find back in the early 1970s, purchased from a neighbor for only $50 when he was just a young kid, with 4 other friends – each with only 10 bucks in their pockets.  When they got it back to Tim’s parents’ house, they were in trouble.  His mother Marion scolded him that they were never to go over to their neighbor’s barn because it was so dangerous.  That eventually blew over and I get the sense that Tim’s father Harold knew this was a good thing.  Over time the other “partners” needed their 10 bucks for something silly – a first date with a dream girl, model cars, or a movie.  Before long, just Tim and his Dad owned the car.

Over the years, the car was torn down, put back together, and wrecked a couple times.  Never fully restored, the car sat until Tim’s father passed in 2003.  At that time Tim knew he had to properly finish the car.  Most of the work on the car was done at his parents’ home with his mother Marion watching close and hosting all the workers.  After six years of long nights and weekends, the car was finished.

There was no intention of really showing the car – simply a way to honor Tim’s dad Harold.  You can see the fine detail inside and out of the loving restoration that Tim performed with the help of many friends.  There are few things that can boil up nostalgia and good feelings like a nice car story.  This one does that with the best of them.

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