- 57' Chevy Bel-Air Convertible, My Grandfather's and my dad's dream car

Why 3 generations of my family love the 57 Chevy

A love for the Chevy's of the 50's that started with my late grandfather and has continued since.

6w ago
41.3K

My grandfather Luis Aguilar was a very hardworking, short tempered, and very stubborn man, to the point he rejected to study a career, told his father off, and started to work and build a house on his own with little help, he was by all means the stereotypical old school strong very manly guy.

When he met my grandmother, life suddenly went very fast for the two of them as they had 7 kids in a row in a span of almost 10 years, both of them had to work to support their home and feed their 7 children. Meaning that the money left for savings was short, and they constantly had to save as much possible to keep extra possible expenses at bay.

He drove a 1956 Chevy Bel-Air as a family car, very big car and surprisingly spacious on the inside, it fitted the entirety of the 9 family members, a little tight but manageable, and because he was an old school man, he worked on his car on his own, with the little tools he had, he'd sometimes put the car with a jack and support it with cinderblocks and be all day out servicing the big car.

Photo from an old album of my Grandfather's Bel-Air

Photo from an old album of my Grandfather's Bel-Air

Since he was a kid, he was diagnosed with a heart condition, nothing extremely dangerous for his development, but still a risk that could evolve into a complicated condition that would require treatment. He got into surgery once because he started to feel chest pain and turned out fine, he eventually recovered, however, he then entered a second optional surgery suggested by the doctor in order to clear everything out, he reluctantly accepted at the request of his wife and while on surgery, he suffered a heart attack and sadly passed away.

When he passed, my dad was only 12 years old, his youngest son, 5th overall of the siblings, he was always a fan of cars and would pay attention to some of the details on my grandfather's love for both his 56' Chevy and the HotWheels he collected. My grandfather specially loved the 1957 Chevy Bel-Air, the iconic poster car of the 50's, as well as every variant of that chassis, like the Nomad.

After he passed, things went awry at the family home my dad shared with his siblings, leading to troublesome teenagers who understandably missed their father, and acted out accordingly to it. My grandmother eventually left their home to start a new life and they were on their own.

They kept driving the 56' Chevy for years since it was the only car they had, but eventually when they grew up things changed, the eldest siblings moved out and as you can imagine, the car's current fate is unknown. Fast forward to when my dad met my mom, and while dating my dad casually mentioned that his favorite car was the 1957 Chevy, but didn't specify the model. My mom knowing little of cars got him a diecast model of a 1957 Chevy Corvette, which still I have to this day and was the source of many laughs early in their relationship.

Bburago's diecast model of the 1957 Corvette

Bburago's diecast model of the 1957 Corvette

She eventually got him a correct model of a red 1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible, that then my dad misplaced at his job. Probably stolen by one co-worker as its common on workplaces, and of course an event that upset my mom after she had worked hard to get him that model.

Growing up I bonded with my dad over our mutual love of cars, a thing that pretty much made up for the fact that I never liked sports, which my dad of course, loves. So of course he was marveled to teach me all about this passion that he at one point shared with his father, going as far as to make me the car obsessed geek that I am today.

He introduced me first to his favorite cars and of course the 1957 Chevy Bel-Air was one of my earliest memories of a 1950s car, I'm gonna be honest, it's not my favorite car in the world, but sure is one that means a lot because of the story behind it. I eventually gave my dad as a birthday present a 1/18 diecast model of a black 1957 Bel-Air, which hopefuly he won't misplace at work again.

My dad's 1957 black Bel-Air Convertible, the day I bought it.

My dad's 1957 black Bel-Air Convertible, the day I bought it.

Cars is a passion we all share here on DriveTribe, and it's more meaningful when its something we share with those who are close to us, and it's nice to carry a piece of my grandfather's legacy whenever we see a mid 50's Chevy.

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Comments (8)

  • My grandmother used to have a 1964 Chevy Impala SS. She loved that car, and told me she believed it was "the car to have in 1964." She drove it well into the 1990s, and it eventually became my mom's first car. But sadly, it got rear-ended at an intersection and the insurance company declared it to be totaled. They sold it to someone who claimed he intended to restore it, and they never saw it again. Although I never got to see the car in person, I grew up hearing stories about the car from my grandma, and I've wanted one ever since. I actually found one of the car's hubcaps while digging through their garage, and I've kept it as a reminder of my grandma and her '64 Impala.

      1 month ago
    • Sorry to hear about that Impala, those are lovely cars, having the hubcap as that reminder is just wonderful

        1 month ago
    • I often wonder if it's still around... The guy they sold it too did say he wanted to restore it, after all. But that was decades ago, it could've been scrapped, or it could even be a lowrider now for all I know. We do have the VIN number still, so...

      Read more
        1 month ago
  • I hope to be able to work on a classic car with my son someday. When I was in elementary school, my best friend at the time took me out in their backyard to show me 'His car'. I don't remember what the car was, I just remembered seeing a classic car with surface rust and parts sitting on the seat, as it sat on a trailer. His dad had bought the car, for the 2 of them to restore together. I'm not sure what ever happened to the car, it only stayed in the back yard a few weeks. I know years later when he got his drivers license he was driving a 65 Ford Mustang, but I am pretty certain that was not the car on the trailer.

    At the time I asked my dad to buy me a car to restore together. His answer was that he didn't have the money or the time for a project like that. I probably should have hit up my brother as he was the one with project cars sitting around all the time. While I understood my dads answer the idea of sharing a project like that has stayed with me. Hopefully I can make it happen as a father.

    It's good that you have that shared interest with your dad... and I suppose your grandfather, even though you never got to share it with him in person.

      1 month ago
    • Thank you! Its sure nice to share the passion for cars with my dad, I'll share more stories involving the two of us

        1 month ago
  • What a good story, Alexis! Thanks for sharing it with us. 😊

      1 month ago
  • I love it!! My grandparents had a '55 Bel Air before switching over and getting a '63 Impala then a '65 Impala. It's refreshing to read this! Good stuff brother! Thank you for sharing. 🤜💥🤛

      1 month ago
  • We have a similar in my family everyone loves cars, bikes, anything that goes fast. Sometimes ending up in chaotic races. The first model car I got was a 57 chevy, I always look at that car and remember gluing my fingers together trying to put it together. 😂😂

      1 month ago
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