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Copyright 2018
Dallas Area Classic Chevys


July 2018
Feature Car

Matt & Sandy Heit
1956 Bel Air Sedan
Midlothian, Texas


A Tri Five Chevy Family Affair

As a new DACC member I have been asked to write an article about my car for the feature car section of the monthly newsletter.  I procrastinated for quite some time before sitting down to write this letter, I even tried to get my aspiring-writer granddaughter to write it for me.  When I asked her, she said ďI donít know anything about your carĒ.  My hopes fell through the floor, and then I procrastinated some more.

This 1956 Chevy 2 door Post Bel Air trim was purchased by my brother back in 2008. When he decided to sell it in 2012, I got to thinking, I sure hate to see a car that nice leave the Heit family.  After a little bit of negotiation, (and a lot of brotherly love), I ended up taking the car home with me.  I have owned it for seven years now, and each year I continue adding my own touches.

The first thing I had to do was replace the gas tank.  After the first couple times I drove the car and filled up the tank, I would park it in the garage and you could smell gas. It took quite some time, but I finally found the leak on the top side of the tank.  During the restoration of the trunk carpet and finish out, a screw had gone through the top of tank. Iím not sure how many owners there were before 2005, when the car went through the complete restoration, but I canít believe seven years went by and no one smelled the gas.

The second thing I wanted to do was put a complete set of Wilwood brakes on all four shoes, so I purchased the brake kits and was prepping to get them installed.  Thatís when I noticed a scratch on the firewall and got sidetracked for 12 months.  I made the decision to clean up the fire wall and re-paint everything under the hood before the brakes got installed.

What I wanted to do was remove the motor and front end, repaint the firewall, and repaint the inner fenders for a cleaner look.  Boy was that a project!  I got the front clip removed and pulled the motor and transmission, removed the brakes and started plugging holes in the fire wall.  All along the way I was removing rust and repairing the frame to paint it as well.  During this process in 2016, it was determined I needed to have heart surgery (6 bypasses). The car had to sit a little longer during my recovery in order to get it back together.  I told my car buddies, ďIf I donít make it through the surgery, be sure the car gets put back together so someone could enjoy it.Ē  Thankfully I made it through the long recovery with flying colors, thanks to the help from my amazing family and excellent team of doctors.

If you have ever painted before, you know itís not as easy as it looks.  Iím a DIY guy, so I decided to dive in with both feet.  I learned a lot during the process, and I have a great sense of pride in the hours and sweat equity I put into it, we all know that these cars and modifications donít come cheap.  I painted the fenders and fire wall, painted the motor the same color as the car, cleaned the transmission and clear coated both, painted the frame black and cleared coated it, and replaced every bolt, nut, washer and bushing along the way, and finally was able to slide the motor back in.

When I reinstalled the hood, I replaced the front clip, and decided to put billet hinges on.  Finally, the second project was complete, and I could now finish what I set out to do in the first place, installing the Wilwood brakes.  Of course, I had to put new shoes and wheels on it to make the Wilwood brakes look good.

The next project was a new March kit, after it was installed I was ready to charge the AC, this is where the DACC group came in and helped. I wanted to install a trinary switch and charge system, so I reached out for help on the DACC web site Wrenches, and received help form Don Andre, Bill Preston, and Ed Giolma. These guys really know what theyíre doing and were a great help. I love the Wrenches program, and I plan on putting my name on the list to help out and learn from this great group.

The next project I want to tackle is installing an aftermarket 15íí steering wheel and paint it the same color as the car. Yes, itís still in the box has been for several months, but thatís just seems to be my style.

My dream is to own all three Tri- Fives someday, and Iím happy to say that last year I purchased a 1957 2 door post as a project car. This car has been in my family for the last 20 years just sitting in my parentsí barn. In this barn is a 1955 two door Post, and a 1957 two door Post that belongs to my older brother Henry. He purchased these two cars 20 years ago with the hope of getting them back on the road. Last year, after several years of convincing, I finally talked him into selling me the Ď57.  I wanted the í57, because that was the year I was born, and my first car was a 57í 2-door Post. I was 14 years old when I purchased it for $700.00, back then we could drive to work and school at age 14 with a farmerís permit.  

My younger brother Dale finally uncovered his 1964 Malibu from the garage.  In June of 2015, I went to Augusta, Kansas for a week to visit family, and in that one week we got Daleís car running.  My three brothers and I worked together on the small body work, and we hired a friend in Kansas that owns a body shop to do the finial paint job.  Henry has also started working on his Ď55.  With the help of our brother Neal, he has replaced the underbody bracing, some of the side panels, and has it primed. They have a long way to go, but after 20 years in the barn, itís finally starting to come to life.  Itís not every day that you see four brothers between the ages of 56 and 63 working together on the family cars.

There is a WFO Car Show in Augusta, Kansas that I enjoy attending with my brothers, and we plan on attending that show together for many years to come. The first year I attended, I won the award for coolest color!  There is a lot of Tri-five history in my family as you can see, and I hope that tradition will continue.  When I was twelve, our oldest brother Perry, was killed driving a 1956 Chevy. I only have one photo of him and his car, but I have many memories in my head of watching him work on it.  I wouldnít blame anyone for never wanting to look at the car their brother died in, but for us it had the opposite effect.  In my opinion, there is no better masterpiece than a Tri-5 beauty.


MORE PHOTOS
HERE

2018 Feature Cars


January
Duffy Oyster
1957 Convertible

 


February
Andy Kuchta
1955 Pickup

 

March
Steven Mensik
1957 Convertible

April
Duffy Oyster
1957 Bel Air Hardtop

May
Bobby Bonds
1955 210 Sedan

June
Kevin Sears
1955 Bel Air Sedan

July

August

September

October

November

December

 

2017 Feature Cars

January
Larry Myers

'57 Nomad

February
David Hudson
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

March
Diane Bray
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

April
Dale Maddox
'56 Nomad

May
Terry Adams
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

June
Al Burgess
'56 Bel Air Hardtop

July
Joey Truelove
'56 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Duffy Oyster
'55 Bel Air Convertible

September
Roy Bilberry
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Dale Maddox
'56 Nomad

November
Johnny Gentry
'57 Pickup

December
Dennis Fletcher
'55 210 Sedan

 

2016 Feature Cars

January
John Green

'55 Bel Air Sedan

February
Dennis Gormley
'56 Nomad

March
Ken Burton
'56 Bel Air Sedan

April
Joe Angelini
'55 Bel Air Sedan

May
John Gibson
'56 Bel Air Sedan

June
Keith Brogdon
'55 Bel Air Sedan

July
No Feature Car

August
Mike D'Uva
'55 Nomad

September
Charles Haley
'57 Bel Air Sedan

October
John Yoby
'55 210 Sedan

November
Duffy Oyster
'55 Convertible

December
Ed Giolma
'57 Nomad

 

2015 Feature Cars

January
Al Thomson

'57 Convertible

February
Gunnar Grove
'55 Handyman Wagon

March
Carl Mitcham
'57 Convertible

April
Rico Padilla
'57 Bel Air

May
Bobby Wallace
'56 Bel Air

June
Donna Johnson
'57 Convertible

July
Jody Stiff
'55 Bel Air

August
Bill Preston
'57 Corvette

September
Ronnie Ruyle
'56 210 2dr Sedan

October
Patrick Briney
'55 Bel Air 2dr Sedan

November
Marvin Johnson
'55 Bel Air 2dr Hardtop

December
James Lair
'57 150 Sedan

 

2014 Feature Cars

January
Marvin Johnson

'57 Nomad

February
Gina Cammarata
'57 Be Air

March
Joe Angelini
'55 Handyman

April
Jack Stewart
'55 Convertible

May
Marvin Johnson
'57 Bel Air

June
Jac Broussard
'57 Bel Air

July
Terry Sealock
'57 Nomad

August
Bill Lewis
'56 Deluxe Pickup

September
Tom Entrekin
'56 Corvette

October
Donna Thomson
'56 Convertible

November
Mike Reeves
'56 Nomad

December
Jim Baughan
'55 Convertible

 
2013 Feature Cars

January
Don Andre
'57 Bel Air 2dr Hardtop

February
Don Sebert
'56 Corvette

March
Mike Dodson
'56 210 2dr Sedan

April
Dennis Gormley
'55 210 Sedan Drag Racer

May
Sharkey Nelson
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

June
AJ Pilie
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

July
Joe Harrington
'56 Pickup

August
Jim Gary
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

September
Kenneth Taylor
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Don Howard
'56 210 2dr Sedan

November
Tommy Sims
'55 210 2 Dr Sedan

December
Leroyce Jones
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2012 Feature Cars

January
Tom Walker
'56 Sedan Delivery

February
Don Mullins
'57 150 2dr Sedan

March
John Rogers
'56 Nomad

April
Jim Leinart
'55 210 Sedan

May
James Carter
'57 Bel Air

June
Rob Bryngelson
'57 210 Sedan

July
Mike Jones
'55 Bel Air Sedan

August
Jon Ellison
'57 Pickup

September
Jim Leinart
'55 210 Sedan

October
Ken Dobbs
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

November
Rich Purvis
'55 Nomad

December
Philip Romo
'55 Bel Air Sedan

 

2011 Feature Cars

January
Andy Salinas
'56 Bel Air

February
Scott Hengemuhle
'57 Bel Air

March
Joe Mason
'57 210

April
Mike Reeves
'57 Convertible

May
Josh Hart
'55 Bel Air

June
Ed Robertson
'55 Nomad

July
James Sparrow
'56 Bel Air

August
Mike Russell
'56 210

September
Top 5 Lone Star Picks

October
Jim Leinart
'55 Bel Air

November
David Sherman
'55 Nomad

December
Michael Brown
'57 Convertible

 

2010 Feature Cars

January
Larry Freeman

'56 Convertible

February
Michael Brown
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

March
Ray Langford
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

April
Billy Walker
'55 Drag Racer

May
Terry Sealock
'57 Convertbile

June
Carl Soeffker
'55 Pedal Car

July
Tom McGee
'55 Bel Air Sedan

August
Scott Hengemuhle
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

September
Bryan Greenfield
'56 210 Sedan

October
Larry Rogers
'57 210 Sedan

November
Mike Bresler
'55 210 Sedan

December
Terry Hitch
'57 Nomad

 

2009 Feature Cars

January
Doug Pedersen

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

February
Bennie Zimmerman

'57 Cameo Pickup

March
Ralph Sandlin

'57 210 Wagon

April
Bob Caruth

'56 Bel Air Hardtop

May
Glen South
'57 210 Sedan

June
Brian Sherwood
'55 1st Series 3100 Pickup

July
James Carson
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Marvin Cowden
'55 Bel Air Sedan

September
Loren Baxter
'56 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Mark Baker
'55 210 Sedan

November
Michael Brown
'57 Corvette

December
Geoff Clark
'55 Handyman Wagon

 

2008 Feature Cars

January
Debbie Guido

'57 Bel Air Sedan

February
Tim Page

'57 Bel Air Station Wagon

March
Greg Strader

'55 Bel Air Sedan

April
Stu Jacobs

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

May
Terry Box

'55 Bel Air Sedan

June
Rex Buzan

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

July
Joe Sanders

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Mike Dodson

'56 Nomad

September
Irv Engelbrecht

'55 210 Sedan

October
Bill Raley

'56 Pickup

November
Bob Brandenburg

'57 Bel Air Sedan

December
Tommy Simmons

'57 210 9 Pass Beauville Wagon

 

2007 Feature Cars

January
Lorenzo Castillo
'55 210 Sedan

February
Phil Haynes

'57 150 Sedan

March
Joe Ortega

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

April
Robert Black

'55 Sedan

May
Ben Weehunt

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

June
Jim Sellstrom

'55 Bel Air Sedan

July
Bob Smolik

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Mike Reeves

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

September
Larry Epperson

'57 Bel Air 4dr Hdtp

October
Mike Cook

'55 Convertible

November
Don Clark

'56 Nomad

December
James Carter

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2006 Feature Cars

January
Jim Conkle
'55 Bel Air Sedan

February
Nick Roppollo
'56 Bel Air Sedan

March
Dennis Gormley
'55 210 Sedan

April
George Caruth

'57 Sedan Delivery

May
Bob Vaughan

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

June
Doyle Irick

'57 Cameo Pickup

July
Mark Lamkin

'55 Bel Air Hardtop

August
Ralph Ellis

'57 Convertible

September
Chuck Rader

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

October
Dan Bunch

'57 Bel Air Sedan

November
Frank Makarauskas

'57 210 Sedan

December
Carl Mitcham

'57 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2005 Feature Cars
January
John Rush
'56 210 Sedan
February
Sharkey Nelson
'57 Limo
March
Joe Gaikoski
'56 Convertible
April
Dean Schmidt
'57 Bel Air Hardtop
May
Lewis Reynolds
'55 210 Sedan
June
Tom Walker
'57 Bel Air Hardtop
July
George Johnson
'56 Nomad
August
Sonny Poteet
'55 Bel Air Hardtop
September
Alan Strong
'57 150 Sedan
October
Rodney Nevils
'56 Corvette
November
Tom Blackburn
'57 Bel Air Hardtop
December
Dennis Lind
'57 Bel Air Hardtop

 

2004 Feature Cars
January - none February - none March - none April
Steve Pratt
'55 Bel Air Sedan
May
Larry Rollow
'57 210 Sedan
June
Marvin Johnson
'56 Bel Air Hardtop
July
Kevin Brown
'56 210 Sedan
August
David Graves
'55 Bel Air Hardtop
September
BJ Bucher
'57 150 Sedan
October
Greg Hedum
'55 Bel Air Hardtop
November
Bill Preston
56 Nomad
December
Ron Davis
'55 Bel Air Hardtop

 

 


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