After hand-stripping the car, I discovered a very nice body. Some trim was removed here and there, but otherwise I left it alone. An abundant effort was put into the grille. The parking lights were removed, the upper and center bars were welded together, and most of the lower uprights were removed. The Chevrolet name stamped across the upper bar of the grille was removed. All this wasn't as easy as it sounds, but Tim O'Connell in Plainfield, Illinois, made it look simple. O'Connell also tightened up some gaps and hand-formed the inner fender panel inserts. John Olay from Flint, Michigan, louvered the hood while I waited.
The finished bodywork was done by Ron Cirrencione at Ron Kral's Body Shop in Lockport, Illinois. Kral painted the car using DuPont paint. My friend, Jim Talaga, calls the color Stripper Red, but it's a Vespa Motor Scooter color. Letters, Lines, and Designs in Highland, Indiana, applied the subtle pinstriping.
Dave Schober, of Schober's Hot Rod Interiors in Sandwich, Illinois, finished the interior. The original seats are covered in vinyl with cloth inserts using material from our couch. The steering wheel and column come from a '53 Chevy. The factory speedometer has been preserved in the original dash, restored by Classic Instruments.
This was an 18-month job that stretched over a three-year period-and it's my last car. I won't do another. No more eBay browsing for me. Except for the '49 Chevy pickup I bought recently. I have no idea why. It's a curse.
Jim Evans can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.