The Story behind this Chevy 59
This car was made in switzerland
To buy an old american car, this decision happened probably 40 years ago when I was a little boy (about 5). It must have been these wonderful scripts I have seen on these trunks of these fat and large american cars. These words like Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and so on they where just like music in my ears. All these wonderful taillights with there beautiful bezels and the large and heavy chrome bumpers, I was always fascinated when I’ve seen one on the road while driving around with my parents.
I think the decision to buy such an old american car was made even before I knew it!
Well it took another 20 years till I finally bought one. I really didn’t knew a lot about these American cars. I just wanted to own one with wings. So I found a car in a magazine about one hour to drive from my place. I phoned the owner and made an appointment to see the car. It was a 1959 Chevrolet Bel-Air with 115’000km (71’500 miles). It was love at first sight. The car was grey and it was 4 door Sedan, but I really didn’t cared about the color, because in my mind I already had the vision to restore it and to change the color, so I decided to buy it. That was in 1995.
But at this time I had no money left to restore the car, so I had to drive my chevy for the next 5 years the way it was.In that period I made a 12’000km (7’500miles) I wasn’t really sure what color would be the best for a 4 door Sedan, so I painted the car by myself in red with a white roof (by spaying). That way I saw that red does not really fit for my taste, so I decided to paint it in white. So now my big vision could start.
The frame off restoration (august 2000- july 2002)
Just a few weeks after I purchased the car I found on the inside of a hubcap an address of a man living 10 min away from my place. I thought this address could not be actual any more, so I didn’t paid much attention. But just for fun, a 5 years later during the restoration I searched by name on local telephone CD-ROM, and I was really surprised that this man was still living on the same place, so I called him. I told him that I am the new owner of his old chevy and so I asked him to tell me something about the car. This old man now told me the full story about the car, because he was the first owner. He used the car as a daily driver from 1959 to 1983. Then he kept the car in his garage for another 12 years till he sold it in 1995 to the person from which I purchased it in in the same year. Finally I asked him how many km the car had when he sold it. He told me that he has driven the car for about 215’000km (133’500miles) between 1959 and 1983.
This were a 100’000km (62’000miles) more than the salesman told me, but now I know the hole story of my chevy 59.
From 1933 - 1972 there was a GM Factory in Switzerland. This Chevy is one of 833 built in 1959 in this swiss factory.
Since the restauration with ended in july 2002 I had a lot of fun and also a lot of issues with the car. I drove to many car meetings and I'm also a wedding driver.
Check my other website www.hochzeitsfahrt.ch
Of course there are allways thing to do on that car as it is driven and it is not a trailer queen. Beside keeping the car in good shape there is always the excitement to do something additional.
So here are the things been done in the past years.
- Thickston valve cover
- Steering conversion kit Borgeson
- Enforced sway bar hotchkis
- Impala style interior 2013 Ciadella Interiors
- New windshieldglass 2016
- Reworked 3 speed manual transmission video
- New camring, rotor, vanes (power steering pump) youtube video
- Reworked generator
- New differential (ring & pinion) 2017 (the oldone was so noisy)
Most of these works have been done by Classiccars Rippstein