Way back in 2005 or 2006 my Dad and I were talking about building him another car. He kept telling me about the 57 Chevy that he had before we were born and one day he wouldn’t mind finding another one to build. It seemed that he wanted to build another car, one that maybe he would drive and enjoy a little more then his 62 Bel Air Bubbletop.
I am not sure how or even when the search started for the car, but it did. Lets just call it an addiction that some of us have that is passed down from father to son and now in my case father to daughters. We found a couple of nice 57’s on Ebay and I put this car on my watch list. Both of us watched the auction end on Ebay the first time and it didn’t hit the reserve.
We never made a bid on the car but we both liked the custom work that had been started. Pinkee’s Hot Rod Shop had smoothed the firewall and tucked the brake booster under the dash. They also had started the metal work under the hood. The car looked great and had already been block sanded and was ready for paint, but there was a lot that still needed to be done. A couple weeks later the car showed up on Ebay again and again my Dad looked at the car. This time I convinced him to put a bid on it. We placed one bid and won the auction. “Now what?” is pretty much what my Dad asked after the auction ended. I told him it looks like we’re building a 57 Chevy.
So we booked a trip to Colorado to look at and pay for the car. What was really strange is my friend Larry from the Syclone-Typhoon world knew the owner which made buying the car much easier. Now comes the fun part. Who is going to build this car? I had two little girls at home and my Dad wanted the car finished much faster then I could have done it in my garage. So our choices were Rad Rides, The Roadster Shop, or Kenny Davis Hot Rods. Kenny and I talked and he said he would build the car and do it for half the cost of the other quotes. He could even pick it up for us in Colorado the next week. The deal was made.
Stan was on his way back from the Salt Flats and as promised he stopped by and picked up the car. Kenny and Travis quickly started working on the car and I am pretty sure Kenny knew where this car was going before we even got started. He had big plans and we would talk every morning about what they did to the car and what he thinks we should do next. Add this, remove that, and maybe do this. I would walk into my Dads office and ask him what he thought of this latest idea and should we do it. He was hooked; that, or we did a really good job of convincing him he needed to do it.
Then the big day came and it was time to pick the color for the car. I wanted to do something different and he wasn’t sure what color he wanted. I told him I was going to have Carter Hickman do a digital rendering of the car in brown. I’m sure I got the “deer in the headlights” look. I told him not to worry, you’re going to love it; we just needed to find the right color of brown. So I sent him out to all of the dealerships looking at new cars in “brown” and finally he came back with a color he liked. I called Kenny and told him to walk outside and look at one of the cars on the lot and let me know what you think. The good news is he loved it also and the car was soon painted the brown you see here.
Next choice was to pick the right wheels. We chose Billet Specialties Chicaynes wrapped with a set of BFG KDW tires. There was still one more thing that needed to be finished and that was the bumpers. Kenny had narrowed the bumpers and removed the bullets from the front bumper, so they needed to be re-chromed. Kenny suggested that we use Advance Plating. The bumpers were shipped and 3 weeks later Kenny calls and tells me the bumpers are done and that I am going to have to tell my Dad how much they cost; I told him he had to tell him. We were like two little kids, scared to tell our Dad how much of his money we’d spent. The good news is I won and Kenny had to break the news to him. I quickly left the building so he couldn’t walk into my office to tell me that Kenny and I were out of control with his money and that there wasn’t going to be anything left in my inheritance.
I quickly reminded him that he still needed an interior so we weren’t done yet. That is when we made the call to Tracy Weaver from Recovery Room Interiors. I don’t remember how I initially met Tracy; my guess is it had to be through Kenny or Lateral-g. I remember convincing my Dad that he needed to ride with me to Tracys shop in Nebraska. Since Kenny was going to be heading to Tracys and leaving with an empty trailer I figured this would be a perfect time to give Kenny the Syborg mini truck and get some quality time with my Dad driving back and forth from Tracys.
One of my favorite memories was when my Dad offered to drive. I was a little worried since he had never pulled a trailer let alone an enclosed trailer. So we pulled over in the rest area and made the swap. I told him when you’re pulling a trailer you make little corrections and change lanes slowly. He said he’s got it and he understands. So as we were pulling onto the highway he merges quickly and over corrects a little, which caused the trailer to swing side to side really hard. It scared the heck out of us but somehow it straightened itself out and we made it to Tracys 30 minutes before Kenny.
I can still remember my Dads face when he saw Kenny pulling the car out of the trailer. I am pretty sure it was love at first sight. We pulled the car into the shop and Tracy had the new bucket seats ready and waiting. We literally put the seat in and fit my Dad to the car and started heading back home.
Once Tracy finished the car it was time to head back to Kennys for all of the final details. The car still needed something and by this time Kenny had already started working on Syborg. We decided that we needed Bob Thrash to come out and finish the paint work on Dads 57 and while he was there he might as well work on my mini-truck. Bob worked his magic on the car. He painted the cove and engine cover which completed the simple yet elegant look of the car.
Building this car with Kenny, Travis, Kenny Sr, Tracy, Bob Thrash and my Dad was a blast. I will always have these great memories and the great friends that have been made while building these cars. Each and every car is special to me but this one is my favorite because I did it with my Dad.