Chuck Rader’s passion for
Classic Chevy’s goes back to his high school days in DeKalb,
Illinois. He was lucky enough to have his mom’s 1957 Chevy to drive
during his senior year, 1961. It was a turquoise and white 210
2-door sedan… what a cool Mom!!! Of course, cruising around and
around the drive-in every night was the thing to do in your cool
car. Even then Chuck was involved with the local car club, The
Chauffeurs, and enjoyed shows and activities with the other “hot
rods”. Pictured is the club emblem, which he made in high school
Chuck’s first chance to get back into the old Chevys was when his son, Dan, was at Lewisville High School in the 90’s. As a father-son project they bought a 1957 210 2-door sedan for $850. It had a nice red and white, rolled and pleated interior, but it had been painted white with a paintbrush! They completely stripped, straightened, filled and refitted the body panels. After a new red and white paint job, there were still several months of assembly to do. They did get “Christine” done before Dan graduated!
Of course, one old Chevy begets another… After 10 years with the 210, Chuck got the itch to upgrade to a nicer, more original car. He found his current car in a collection at Love Field Antique Mall in Dallas and fell in love with it. The same month he bought the car; it appeared as the centerfold in American Airlines’ passenger magazine “American Way” and was seen world wide.
Our feature car for September 2006 is
Chuck and Janis Rader’s 1957 Bel Air 2-Door Hardtop. A previous
owner last restored this car in 1989. It is Cordova red with
original-style red and black interior. It has a 283 c.i. engine,
4-barrel carburetor, power glide automatic transmission, power
steering, power brakes and dual exhaust. The most striking feature
of the car is the Continental kit and dual rear antennae.
The grill sports a badge declaring that it won 1st place in 1990 at the Antique Automobile Club of America Show in the Senior Class. More recently, it won the Restored Contemporary Class and a Platinum Certificate at DACC’s 24th Lone Star Classic Chevy Convention. The CCI classing procedure revealed that the car had the wrong carburetor, hence putting it in the Contemporary Restored class. Chuck immediately set about to correct that and is looking forward to showing again next year at the 25th Lone Star in Austin.
Chuck retired this year and loves to work on the car, do wood working, attend pro sporting events, is active in his church and looks forward to being even more involved with our club. Chuck and Janis assisted greatly with the registration procedures at the 2006 Lone Star Convention. You can frequently find Chuck picking up trophies for his 57 at local car shows.
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