Hagerty Video: Secret Chevy: A Father-Son Feud Over a Bel Air with family memories | Barn Find Hunter

Secret Chevy: A Father-Son Feud Over a Bel Air with family memories | Barn Find Hunter

Posted: 2023-05-16 12:00:53
Author: Hagerty
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In this episode of “Barn Find Hunter,” Tom uncovers a rare gem: a 1957 Chevy Bel Air with a history of family drama and memories of the owner’s Mother. The car used to belong to his father, and the two had a falling out which resulted in the Father ultimately deciding not to pass the Car on to his Son. In an effort to keep the Car in the family, the son turned to his uncle and convinced him to purchase the Car. The son then bought the car from his uncle, ensuring that it would stay in the family and carry on its legacy. Tom’s discovery of this unique vehicle is a testament to his expertise and dedication to uncovering the hidden stories behind these forgotten automotive treasures.

SPECIAL THANKS to Lenn Soderlund who designed the new Barn Find Hunter logo you see featured in this episode. Like you, Lenn is an avid Barn Find Hunter fan who took it upon himself to design a logo and send it to us. We loved it so much we made it the new face of the series.
– Instagram @lennjamin
– Website: lenn.co

Caption DISCOUNT: try.rev.com/3qJddt

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Like what you see? Watch our other series including:
Redline Rebuilds | Time-lapse engine rebuilds from start to finish http://bit.ly/RedlineRebuild
Barn Find Hunter | Tom Cotter searches the country for abandoned cars http://bit.ly/BarnFIndHunter
Jason Cammisa on the Icons | The definitive car review
Revelations | Untold Stories About Automotive Legends with Jason Cammisa

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Hagerty Video Transcript

We had a disagreement about some things and we kind of had a falling out and uh and because of what we were going through he was adamant that I wasn’t going to get the car and does your father ultimately know you wound up with it not until he watches this episode

Wow I met David at a Cars and Coffee over in Concord where cars have to be 50 years old and older and like the shoe shoe repair man that’s you know got wholesome shoes or Barbara needs a haircut this guy restores muscle cars and yet his car never gets a chance to

Get completed because he’s working on other people’s cars yeah 30 years 30 years so thanks for inviting us up here today yeah is that a GTX it’s a 1968 corn at 440. the last three drives through Cars and Coffee I guess it needs a paint job otherwise well it needs

Metal work which I finally bought all the sheet metal for it last year but it got like you said I gotta find time to do it yeah I get it so I was walking up and I just had to having a comment on your Miata yeah you told me a little

Story about this so this is your daily driver yeah I bought this car off a friend of mine a few years years back it the motor went bad in it on him and he just didn’t want anything to do with it he sold it to me for 1200 bucks the time

He needed some money and he didn’t need the car so I got the car but uh it’s a great little car I started driving it last year full time because it gets great gas mileage and with the price of gas these days and it’s a fun car it’s

Like an oversized go-kart so you’ve got it all trimmed out with this paint now tell me the story about that paint uh when I was getting ready to do this car years ago I went to my paint supplier up in town and when they mix miss mix some

Paints they’ll stick it on a shelf and they sell it at discount so they had three and a half quarts of this yellow that was mis-mixed for Penske Motorsports and uh I got it dirt cheap and I thought ah yellow everybody will see me coming yeah Roger would not tolerate a wrong

Color no everything’s got to be perfect with his with his race cars sorry man so I’m looking a lot around here I mean I thought you all muscle cars but there’s a 280 SL Mercedes yep 280 SL 69 model an Avanti Avanti two 74. all right so that

Had a Chevy engine it’s got a 404 Barrel in it turbo 400 trans 10 volt rear yeah I’m not familiar with much about Avanti’s they have fiberglass bodies they are complete fiberglass bodies steel you know I’m not sure what the chat I was going to ask you about this

Because you’re a little familiar with Corvettes what do you think that chassis might be at because it is an x-frame chassis I’m guessing it’s Studebaker I’m thinking Lark or something yeah they didn’t have a lot of development I’m not familiar with Studebakers either so I don’t really know Corvette I know

Corvette had the independent and transverse leaf spring in the back but you know you could add hangers so let’s see the car we came here to see all right I got it I got it hidden away out back before we take a look at this Dusty

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What if you and I unloaded this stuff and reveal the car and you could tell me the longer version as we yeah cool good all right let’s do it So like I said this car was originally bought by my uncle who was my mother’s sister’s husband and he bought this car in 1960 he was a senior in high school and he bought the car off of his history teacher in high school so you want to guess what he paid

For the car in 1960s or three years old yeah probably 1200 bucks or something 900 bucks and this car was what color originally silver now you send picture of it the picture I sent you was that that this car I would venture to say that picture was probably 60

61.62 maybe well it might have been one of his nephews oh I’ll sign this out of here too Oh it had this silver Interior right now yep silver and black interior wasn’t it kind of a complicated story for you to acquire this car uh yeah my mother passed away in 2015 the original plan for this car was for it to come to me after they passed yeah things got a little

Complicated after my father got remarried we had a disagreement about some things and we kind of had a falling out and uh he needed some money and he decided that he wasn’t going to be able to do anything with the car and he was going to sell it

Um and because of what we were going through he was adamant that I wasn’t going to get the car ah yeah yeah it’s it’s one of those things yeah so called his brother called him up to talk to him and I said hey you know what’s going on

And he asked me the story about him I told him I said well the car is up for sale right now he says I know you you were supposed to get that car I said yeah I was but you know what am I going to do and he won’t

Talk to me about it so he says you want me to buy the car so he offered to put the money up and purchase the car and I can make payments to him and pay him back for the loan that he gave me for the car so that’s what that’s how I

Ended up with the car I came in the back door and does your father ultimately know you wound up with it not until he watches this episode wow he knows the car is here because he kind of knew I was going to do the car by thinking I’m doing it for his brother

So he doesn’t really know that I have I’ve been paying for the car I don’t have the title yet because the agreement was I don’t get the title type pay for the car just like any other car loan have you patched things up with your dad yes we have since mended our our

Disagreements and we do we do talk wow my father my father is ill right and he has ALS oh boy so he’s got a it’s it’s a long progressing ALS you know some people get it and they’re gone quickly he’s been dealing with it for 10 years

But thank God you guys mended your fences before yeah yeah I didn’t want to lose him without yeah you know making making amends with him was he a car guy he was a car guys a matter of fact that’s where I got it from because he

Always did all his own repairs when he was younger uh his brother and him used to race uh 61 or a 62 Lancer oh wow yeah yeah we’re Slant six in it yep Slant six three speed my uncle was the driver and my father was the mechanic yeah I’m gonna pull that over

I’ll help you with it when was the last time it’s probably been 15 20 years since this car is wrong so I figure in 20 minutes we could get this thing far I believe the last time it ran my brother was fooling around with it and

He got it running and I think it had a burnt valve so what motor what motor’s in here 283 283 yep yeah so can you pop this here yeah hopefully nothing jumps out of it yeah yeah well I don’t think we’re going to get this one running yeah no carburetor

And it looks like the squirrels have been down inside of it but uh it’s got a four barrel it’s got some cool yeah I I put the four barrel on it because I drove this car when I got my driver’s license this was my car to drive

No I actually took my first driver’s test in this car so like and I failed in high school yeah wow yeah I drove it to high school before I got my Dodge so I mean look at this thing this is stuff you’ll see the generator yeah Powers the

Power steering what a brilliant yeah there were two two functions out of one yeah this wasn’t a real heavily auctioned car it had power steering had windshield washers which was an option that’s pretty much automatic automatic power glide yeah yeah my father changed this motor out years ago

And I there’s certain things I have vivid memories of with this car and one of them was when he went to go get the engine for this car he had a friend of his in town that had a garage and he had an engine for sale and we went down

There to check it out and I remember this guy hooking a battery up to this engine on the ground and starting I’d never seen you know I’m seven eight years old I’d never seen that before and I was just amazed you know there’s this engine running on the ground wow wow

Yeah a couple other memories I have from the I can remember riding around in the back of this car as a little kid laying in the package tray in the back window you know gee so this car has been a part of your mom’s life your Dad’s life

Your’s life I’ve known it my entire life so it’s got Chrome mag wheels on there it has some of those original five spoke like those Hildebrand the flat spoke magnesium they were magnesium mags that my dad had on it but for some reason we couldn’t keep them all and the left

Front wheel always kept coming off because there’s a big dent in the rear quarter behind the driver’s door from one time when the wheel came off but the original hubcaps are right here yeah he kept all the original hubcaps for it yeah cool yeah I see an extra okay so

There’s a radio two radios on the floor yeah like I said we’ve got I’ve collected a lot of there’s still a lot of parts over at my father’s house for this car oh are they really yeah I’ve probably got five five sets of fenders a couple hoods

Trunk Lids I’ve got a door for this side because this door is rusted out really bad I probably bought the door for this 30 years ago hopefully after your dad sees the episode he’ll let you have all those parts so this is a Bel Air so this is a Bel

Air upper trim model right with the nice stainless steel side and it’s post which was and those those stainless sun visors that was another Factory option oh wow I’ve never seen it on a back window is it that the gas caps on that side yep

It’s in the the center could you show us how it works yeah I hope your movies finished these look like Dodge fenders oh yeah all right so I’ll let you show how this gas cap works yeah I used to work at a gas station as a kid yeah and and like

You know you see other people that are brand new on the job and they try to that’s why that plate is that’s why the plate is so bad because you probably lift it up yeah especially with being up north because we were right across the river from New Jersey and in New Jersey

You’re not allowed to pump your own gas right so anytime you went into a gas station they’re they’re pulling on the license plate so 55 had the fuel door right on the side of the car 56 the tail light was here and it had a little lock

And you open the light on 57 they did the trim and the trim has a little door and a hinge on it that’s so slick I mean that should be a like a an award winner for some kind of denied uh design contest yeah so what’s your intention for the

Car uh my intentions for the car are to kind of Resto mod it you know I want to modernize it I don’t think I’m going to LS it because not that there’s anything wrong with that no there’s nothing wrong with that but I do have a 283 block

Cranking rods that I had done for my car years ago that I never put the engine together for sitting in my shed back here waiting you know and 283 is a special motor some people won’t even take a 350. so I’m thinking 283 good set of heads Holley sniper injection on it

Yeah would you make it silver again I think I’m gonna go back to Silver yeah or is it now I’ve never known it silver as far back as I can remember it’s been maroon and I tried to find out when it got changed the color got changed

But I didn’t want to I didn’t want to ask my father about this because then he’d be wondering why I’m asking questions about the car so when you when you look at this car do you remember your mother mostly yeah because it was part of her life first so

Yeah it was it was a big part of it so she she got this like 17 18 years old I guess yep it was her first car yeah I mean we happened to be standing next to another interesting car a wife with a barn find Chevelle is a is a cool lady

That’s one of the reasons why I married her the 66 67. we after we got married before we moved down here we had got a 66 and it was just a shell of a car but we pretty much didn’t want to haul it down here so sold that car she found

This one here and then I’m gonna say around 2002. this is a 327. no I don’t I’m not really sure I think it’s a 350. you know I don’t know what was it was it in this condition or was it a driving car no well we drove it home yeah we drove it

Home but it needed work the interior was ready and I did floors in this I did all the interior work new headliner all the seat covers door panels you know everything I pulled the engine on it resealed it put headers on it it’s got brand new pipes exhaust system on it put disc

Brake set up on it oh man yeah put the smaller disc brake set up on it so we could keep the steel wheels yeah because she liked because it had brand new tires when we got it so she didn’t want to bind the wheels and tires so it looks

Like it’s a four speed but automatic it’s automatic turbo 350. I couldn’t see a clutch pedal I I got that shifter one time uh Car Quest in downtown Mooresville was going out of business and I walked in there and I got the shifter for 35 bucks

Is this the first one you’re going to work on or is that the first one or what’s the what’s it uh the Chevelle will probably come first she’s been hounding me to get it fixed she’s got the money put aside to do it so that’s two Benchmark Chevrolet’s you got there

Man this one’s getting an LS this is getting it this is getting an LS yes we bought an LS engine for this it came out of a 2004 Silverado it’s got 24 000 miles on it whole package engine transmission wiring harness the whole nine yards but that was at the time when those

Swaps were just getting going and everything was extremely expensive to do the swaps in them yeah so now with the prices have come down it’s going to be a little easier to do yeah I I hope you invite us back when these cars are you

Know back on their wheels so I hope you still got the series going at that time oh it’s gonna it’s that long okay so David you know was kind of born into this car what year were you born there’s a good chance I was brought home and

From the hospital in this car you could have been conceived in this car that’s possible also yeah well no my father had the wagon so that would have been yeah okay but really you know Dave was born into this car I just put a bit a part of

His life and you know through this car he thinks of his mother then his relationship with his father and that went away and now it’s back again but your father’s got a bad illnesses wow this car I mean it’s like a it’s like a book you know it’s a story of your

Family that’s why I couldn’t let it go I get it man I get it well thanks so much for inviting us out man I appreciate you coming up to see me finally Happy Hunting