Thursday, June 19, 2014

Family Three On The Tree - the missing '55






I've been in other lands on adventures, polishing dentures, securing debentures and cultivating dementia - hence no posts recently. It was great while I was away to get this email from Adam who's father and I both owned the same '55 Chevy. I've been trying to track it down, with little success, (seems the plate no longer exists so the person who bought it off me either has the car in a thousand pieces and it's not on the road OR it's been re-registered) but Adams dad just filled in a bunch of the cars history for me. Every car has it's own story - I'm stoked Adam's dad took the time to give me this info. Also, a few pics from when I owned it.

Hey Aaron,

Managed to finally get my old man to write down what he knew about the black '55 you both owned, here's what he said:

"Hi Adam. Ah yes, that fabulous black '55. The Chevy was N.Z. assembled in Trentram and shipped to the G.M. dealer in Invercargill. If I remember correctly it was registered in September '55. The proud first owner was Cyril Thomas More of Riverton. He owned a sawmill and timber yard. The Chevy was in his care for 20 years until 1975 at which time it had covered only 54,000 miles. That year Thomas and his wife embarked on a North Island holiday in the Chevy. On reaching Hamilton the radiator core failed and Thomas drove into Ebbett Motors to remedy a repair. While the car was being repaired the salesman, surname Boag, traded the Chevy for $500 on a new HQ Holden Belmont 202 coloured mustard yellow. The salesman retained the Chevy for his own use until 1981 at which time it had clocked 76,000 miles. Incidently it resided in Auckland. I presume during his ownership it had one repaint in the original black. The car was advertised for sale in the N.Z. Herald mid '81 for $2500. I phoned the owner and he informed me that he had probably sold the car as it was out on a test drive. A female doctor from Greenlane Hospital had bought the car, Helen Elizabeth Scott. In February 1982 the car was advertised for sale again at $3600. I phoned Ms. Scott and made arrangements to fly to Auckland from Hawkes Bay to view with the intention to purchase. Helen and her partner lived in Ara St. Remuera. Her partner owned a very clean '57 Ford Custom 500. On driving the '55 I was quite excited as I had never driven one that was so tight, quiet and rattle free! It was reading 82,000 miles on the odo. We did the deal at $3000 and Judy and I headed for home on the southern motorway. I was delighted as it sat at 70mph solid and quiet, with just that shimmy of the black bonnet at speed looking out over the hood bird. At Huntly the right rear tyre demolished itself so we put a new 670 x 15 on at the local garage for $50!
Once home in Napier I cleaned, groomed, tidied, serviced the Chevy over a period of time whilst enjoying her. I owned another '55 at the same time, a scruffy but original light blue and white 235ci stick which I had uncovered as a garage find on Bluff Hill Napier. The black '55 was registered AB 469. In 1983 I procured a '56 265, bored it to 283 std, Corvette heads, finned valve covers, 4bbl Rochester and installed it with a detailed engine bay, new ball joints, shocks, bushes, cadmium plated parts etc, to simulate a Power Pack 265. I widened the steel wheels and added moon caps. It looked real good and had some boogie! It was mated up to the original 3 speed on the tree. I used the car sparingly as it was some Sundays only and owned it up until 1990. I sold the car less V8, but still had the 235 which went with the deal. Also she went back on standard wheels and caps. I sold the Chevy in a weak moment to a guy named Lenny someone from Hastings. I kind of regretted modifying the car from total stock, orig. and I guess I wished I had kept it untouched.  The interior was all original and had grey and maroon leather in tidy condition with the rubber floor mat. I hope that this long chapter fills in some detail and that Aaron enjoys the read! Cheers Dad."

aaron@onepercentmag.com

1 comment:

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