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1960 Chevrolet Bel Air 4 Door Sedan

Hi all,

I fell in love with the 1960 full size Chevy when my dad bought a 2 door Bel Air in late 1960. He kept it for 3 years and then traded it in for 1963 beige Chevy Impala. The color was tasco turquoise with an ermine white top. I was 5 in this picture basking in the sun with my mom and little sister Lucy (notice our neighbor's 1960 Pontiac next to it).

I always said that I would own a similar car one day. I remember day dreaming of driving a 60 Chevy on the highway while working out in gym class during my teenage years.

Fast forward to 2004 when I punched in "1960 chevrolet" on eBay Motors. About 40 of them, popped up on the screen. I was stunned! I hadn't even seen a picture of a 1960 Chevy in about 30 years. I even noticed that a few of them had a manual transmission. I never thought that they had manual shifters on big cars like that. I knew right away that my 60 Chevy would have to be a 3 on the tree.

After looking at all the ads on eBay every day for the next 2 years, I finally made up my mind to bid on a Tasco Turquoise Bel Air 4 door sedan with a 235 6 cylinder engine located near Dallas TX. As I was a bit apprehensive about dealing on eBay I flew down to meet with the seller, Bill Jackson, to take a look at it. After all, I wasn't buying a loaf of bread here. Being a southern car, It had virtually no rust except in the trunk because the 2 drain hoses were missing. The mechanics were tired though after 95,000 miles. Bill had to show me where the gears were as I had never even sat in a car with a manual column transmission. Unfortunately, he couldn't tell me much about the history of the car as he was selling it for someone else. The VIN showed it was built in St-Louis, MO.

I went ahead and bought the car on January 13 2006, the year I turned 50. I said to myself that now was the time to do it; not 10 or 20 years down the road when my eyesight, back and general health were probably not going to be any better. After all, I knew that I wanted to do a total restoration, as much as I could myself. Bill was more than helpful in making the transaction go flawlessly. The Chevy was shipped on a flatbed to Champlain, NY, a small town on the Canadian border, about 30 miles from home. Getting the car across he order into Canada went without a glitch. I had done my homework getting all the required paperwork in order. After an hour and a half at Canada customs, on February 20th ,off I was driving the very dirty 60 Chevy home, my girlfriend, Lisa driving our 0-6 Chevy Cobalt behind the 6-0 Chevy Bel Air proudly sporting a new Texas plate.

I immediately went to work during the winter and got the brakes, suspension done. I had RM Motors rebuild the engine. I redid the interior seat covers (in the 59 Impala style), door panels from scratch, replaced the headliner, all weatherstrip and other small stuff myself. Quite an accomplishment considering I had never done this before. Good thing I bought the shop and assembly manuals, and the Ecklers catalog! I spent 500 hours working on the Bel Air that winter. Many $$$ were spent at Ecklers for replacement parts. I had Ecklers ship all the parts to my good friends at AN Derringer US customs brokers in Champlain NY and picked them up there. Goods crossing the Canadian border is expensive so I saved a lot of money on shipping costs this way.

It passed inspection in March with flying colors. I had to show the inspector how to use the shifter! By the way, he was looking for the VIN number in the lower windshield!

What a thrill it was to start driving this work of art around Montreal. Peoples jaws drop & go bonkers when the see it, especially the older folks. I get honked at and the thumbs up every day I drive it. Even had an 85 year old man started crying when he saw it in a restaurant parking lot! He had owed a Biscayne of the same color back in the day and he was in shock seeing one 40 odd years later

It won an award (Mayor's Choice) at it's very first outing, in Victoriaville, Quebec

I decided it was time to repaint the car and rechrome the bumpers for it's 50th anniversary. During the winter of 2009-sping 2010, I disassembled the body in my small garage and sent it to Di Ioia Bodyshop in Montreal North on November 15th. The car was then stripped down to the bare metal and repainted in its original color. I got a lot of compliments this summer on the great paint job. It was brought back home on December 24th where I started putting the car back together. The job was done by mid April. I even kept a tab of the hours (783) and work details on an Excel spreadsheet. It was the thrill of a lifetime! Lisa was quite lonely upstairs that winter but she knew it was for "good cause".

Although this was not a frame off, the body was lifted off the frame to replace the old dried out body mounts. The oil bath oil filter housing was cut to accommodate a paper element. The points were replaced with a new electronic system. The old generator was replaced with a new alternator. I also installed the 500 power steering system after reading Randy Irwin's tech articles in the July & August 2009 issues. What a difference in driving enjoyment that change made. These cars tend to wander all over the road with the older steering boxes. I replaced the old original cracked Bel Air steering wheel with one found on eBay, that came off an Impala. It has much more style. Apart from those changes, the car is pretty much stock. The car now sports brand new American Classic "shoes" with the 2½ white sidewalls

To my knowledge, there are only 10, 1960 Chevys in the province of Quebec. Only 4 are regularly seen at car shows in the area. Mine is the only one here that is turquoise and the only one with a 3 on the tree.

Year:  1960    Brand:  Chevrolet   
Model:  Bel Air    Body Style:  4 Door Sedan   
Owner Name:  Marc Angers    Contributed By:  Marc Angers   

Item viewed 19543 times, created on 2010-10-11 17:08:36, last modified on 2010-10-22 16:11:51.

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