- 1961 Ford Thunderbird (White In Night Satin)
- 1951 Chevrolet Sedan (Heaven Bound)
- 2001 Toyota Celica (GT - great tourer)
- 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander (Ditsi Mitsi)
- 1950 Studebaker Champion (FozzieMobile)
- 1954 Nash Metropolitan (Metro)
- 1958 Mercury Monteclair (The Beginning)
- 1960 Oldsmobile 88 (California Kid)
- 1966 Chevrolet Nova (Easy Going)
- 1968 Rambler American (Dings)
- 1972 Chevrolet Caprice (Bowtie Boat)
- 1976 Plymouth Valiant (Tilt Power)
- 1977 Volkswagen bus (rust bucket)
- 1978 Datsun 510 (Ole Reliable)
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- 1989 Ford F 150 (Not So Big Foot)
- 2003 Mazda Protege5 (Japanese Ford)
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Long Road Trip
Jun 4, 2009 | Views: 1,048
Filed under: 1951 Chevrolet Sedan (Heaven Bound)
- Road Trip
- 9 photos
Such was the trip at the end of May as Brian Lee and his son Ben drove Brian’s 1951 Chevy sedan delivery to Rochester, NY, where it currently resides.
First, some background – Ben had done most of the work of hotrodding the Chevy, installing the driveline from a 1974 Nova SS, including a 350 V-8, while he was in high school. So, Brian told him that if he graduated college without the need to sell the Chevy to help pay for tuition, he could buy the Chevy for the original price Brian paid to acquire the car out of a junk yard. Ben graduated from college three years ago, but hadn’t settled down until now. So he said now he wants to buy the Chevy.
Ben flew to Sioux Falls from Rochester, NY, and on May 26 He and Brian set out for Rochester, taking turns driving the Chevy and Brian’s Toyota (which used almost one-third of the gasoline the Chevy consumed). Grace rode along, but had no desire to do any of the driving.
It was fun driving the old Chevy down the highway and hearing the various comments at stops.
“Is that a Nomad?” In more than 15 years of ownership, that’s the first time it’s ever been mistaken for that!
The car performed flawlessly, always starting and running smooth. And while it was fun to drive, it was equally fun to watch from the other car. Man, that car looked good going down the highway.
Brian and Ben kept in contact with each other by using a set of walkie-talkies. Remember them? They still make them.
“GT to Heaven Bound, you gotcher ears on good buddy?”
“Ten-four, I gotcher back door, Little Blue.”
“Traffic’s getting thick, if we get separated, I’ll meetcha at the choke-and-puke at the next travel plaza.”
Ben turned to his mother and said, “The what?”
“The choke-and-puke! That’s what they called a restaurant on the movie Smokie and the Bandit.”
But then there was the rain. It rained and rained, and we’re not talking spring showers. There were torrential downpours, that had even the best of drivers pulling over because they couldn’t see. The old Chevy, it still has vacuum-operated windshield wipers. So, during normal heavy rainfall, you could see while driving downhill, but not so well going up hills, when the acceleration used up the vacuum. And when the buckets came down, you couldn’t see from either car without slowing down dramatically.
“You still there, Heaven Bound?”
“I think so. I’m following a boat. It has trailer lights, but I can’t see the trailer. I think it’s just someone smart enough to use a boat to get down the highway.”
The skies were crying great floods, as Heaven Bound ran farther and farther away from South Dakota.
And then there was the weather-stripping -- or lack there-of. The Chevy always leaked when it rained hard. And as hard as it was raining on this trip, it leaked a lot. We had to hang our shoes, socks and even pants to dry when we spent the night in Indiana.
It’s just a hobby car, after all. When the weather was bad, it usually didn’t go out, so the vacuum windshield wipers and poor weather stripping had never been an issue before. And during the two-day drive to Rochester, NY, the car probably saw more rain than it had in the entire 17 years Brian has owned it.
But as they reached the New York state line, the rain subsided, for the most part. And upon arriving at Ben’s home, everything was rosy. The old car had made it.
Five days later, Brian left New York to return home – without the 1951 Chevy. All was not so rosy for him.
And again, the sky was crying.
So, who is the owner of Heaven Bound now? If you ask Ben, he is. His wife pointed out they have the car now, and possession is nine-tenths of the law. However, I still have the title to it, and if you ask any bank, possession of the TITLE is nine-tenths of the law when it comes to owning cars. He can enjoy it for a while, and we'll see how serious he is about this old car hobby. Maybe he'll buy it, and a family heirloom will be passed on. Or maybe he'll tire of it and find he doesn't have the time for it, upon which we'll have another long road trip (hopefully with better weather then).
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