Name: George of Carbondale, Co
Tell Us Your Story: My family and I emigrated to Downey, California from Trinidad in the British West Indies in March of 1963.
I was dumbfounded by the car scene in Los Angeles and promptly hired on as a Lot Boy at a VW dealer in Norwalk. That first summer I achiveved the unimaginable dream, to me, of buying a 1957 Pontiac Chieftain 2 door hardtop for $400.
But my story lies with our next door neighbor, Nick, who drove a 1957 Fuelie Corvette. I longed for that car having never seen American cars previously. One fateful Nick asked me to help him wash the Corvette in exchange for a night ride. We cruised Harvey’s Drive In located in Downey with strict admonitions tto not smile, look straight ahead and try to be a cool 17 year old. I was terrified that I would fail by staring at another car or start smiling!
I was in 7th Heaven and Nick was my idol. I washed that car every week for months! One day, I dreamed, I would own a 57.
In 2009, I found, on Ebay, a highly modified, Racing 57 Fuelie on a used car lot in Wisconsin. It had substantial race provenance, winning the Monterey Historics in 2007 and I instantly recalled shivering with excitement on my rides with Nick in his red 57. I shipped it to Laguna Seca and drove 2 laps in a completely unsafe, undeliverable car. I was crushed.
She sat in my Las Vegas garage until 2012 and I sadly sold her.
Instantly, I developed sleeping problems and all I could do was dream of my Vette. Regretting the sale almost daily. I began calling the buyer. Would he sell her back to me. No, his children and he loved her. I kept offering more money, far more than I sold her for.
Finally, after 9 months of calling he said “George, you obviously want the car more than I do. She’s yours!” Needless to say I was ecstatic. He delivered her back to my Las Vegas garage.
Last Fall, whilst Co-Driving Lee Schumacher’so fine 1950 XK 120S I met Tom Ellis, Proprietor, of Thomas Vintage Autos. Over dinner I described all of my aspirations and dreams for.my 57. I delivered her to Tom in December and he is working his magic on race restoring my beauty. It turns out that out that the car has many unique features and is anything but a stock 57.
Sometime this summer I will take her back to Downey and drive down Firestone Boulevard recalling those wonderful nights in 1963 with my idol, Nick. I may even blow off someone at a stoplight for old times sake!