My wish to own a 1957 Chevrolet convertible has finally come true. It has been a long and windy road but it is finally here and on the road. For those who don’t know my past, I owned a black 1957 210 sedan Chevrolet. Then, there was the 1957 purple 4 door hardtop Chevrolet.
The first time I saw a 1957 Chevrolet convertible (other than in posters) was at Danchuk (Chevrolet warehouse in USA) when I was on holidays for my 25th wedding anniversary, in 1995. The warehouse had a red 1957 convertible on display. I asked the Manager if I could take a photo with the convertible (after all, I did spend thousands of dollars in parts for the black 1957). The manager wouldn’t let me, so I had to find a convertible for myself so I could take as many photos as I wanted. After searching high and low, I finally found a convertible in Queensland in 2003. Brian, my son, and I flew up. It was a piece of crap – rust bucket with no roof or floor. It was kind of like a Flintsones car where you paddle with your feet. That did not bother me – it was my dream coming true
I arranged for the transportation of my chev. There were many delays with the car carrier and I couldn’t wait. So, I decided to drive myself up with a car trailer and collect my dream. Diane, my daughter, came with me. We drove directly to Surfers Paradise in 10 hours, loaded the chev on the trailer and within a couple of hours we were headed back to Sydney.
This is where my dream comes to fruition, I couldn’t stop working on my chev. It took me all these years of weekends, after work and through Christmas holidays to finish my dream.
As my chev was being sand blasted, I noticed that there wasn’t much rust. The chev had original paint, except the front guards and the bonnet. The first Christmas break I converted the chev from left hand to right hand drive and installed the 57 Aussie dash. I decided to put 2 new door skins which didn’t need to be replaced.
That following year, the chev was on vario (primer). I got into the chasis and also had that sand blasted, I fitted an LS1 motor with a turbo 700 (Camaro), I put a Ford 9 inch diff, I did the tail shaft and I painted everything black.
I was undecided on the colour. I finally decided on red (VS Commodore Sting Red Hot). After my chev was painted, I took it to the electrician, where he worked on it for 3 months. Then the exhaust was done. The trim was completed after 6 months. There were some minor problems with the chroming.
After all that, I took my chev home and started to finally put my dream together.
Just before Christmas 2007, the engineer gave me the report and here I am with my dream.
I also wanted to thank my mate, Warren McMartin, fromACE (Automotive, Colour & Equipment) for sponsoring me with all the materials and Spies Hecker paint.