DACC FEATURE CAR
I was born in 1950 in the month of May on the 14th day. I’ve enjoyed my life through the fifties even though I contracted Polio when I was a year old, I’ve always felt like I have been blessed my entire life.
Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s I loved the cars that my parents had through those years. The cars we had the most were the 1955 Chevy 210 series and some Bel Air’s. You might say my dad loved the 55’s also. They were great affordable cars that would run for a long time without having any major issues. The cars were usually 4 doors because my dad did not like to hug the steering wheel while us six kids would get into the car.
Years went by and I bought my first car from my dad for $65.00, of course it was a 4 door 1955 Chevy 150 series, aqua color with a 6 cylinder and 3 on the column. My dad had just bought 4 new Davis blackwall tires from Western Auto when I bought it from him. I drove the car all through my high school years in Oak Cliff at Sunset High.
When I graduated high school I bought a ’66 442 Olds which I had for a couple of years and then a ’66 GTO. I had friends that had ’55 Chevys and I wished I had another one. In 1987 my wife Anna bought me a 1955 Chevy 2 door hard top. It had a ‘66 327 Corvette motor, Doug Nash 5 speed, ‘66 Vette seats and 4:11 gears in the rear.
I still have that ’55 and was getting ready to retire from DISD HVAC Department after 33 years and thought I would do a frame off restoration on the old ’55. When I started pulling the car apart I started looking at the rolling chasis and main body and proclaimed “What have I gotten myself into?” The floor on both the driver and passenger side, glass, glass operator, as well as many other parts needed to be replaced. We started looking on Craigslist, classic dealers, and everywhere you could think of when we came across a 1955 Bel Air 4 door that had been kept in a little old lady’s garage. Unfortunately, she had passed and the family did not want the car, in fact the last time it was inspected was 1973. We ended up buying it even though it needs a lot of work to make it great again, but the 265 V8 and old powerglide were rebuilt, a new gas tank was installed, new breaks and master cylinder was replaced. It runs down the road and has a great sound with dual glass packs we had installed.
After all of that I still wanted a 2 door Bel Air. So in the summer of 2011, Anna found a guy that has a great shop and many classics he’s restored. She called him at his home and shop in Crowley, TX. He said he had two ’55 2 door hard tops for sale. When we got there he had sold one and the Lord was watching out for us because the one that was left was the one we wanted, red and white outside and white leather seats with red carpet, a Corvette 383 stroker, 700 R automatic transmission with shift kit, Camaro rear end, 18” American mags and low profile tires.
It is a pure pleasure to climb into one of America’s best classic Chevys ever built. Anna and I both enjoy the ’55 and the time we share with it. We thank the Lord for our 1955 Bel Air 2 door hardtop Chevy and a club that honors the Tri-Five Chevys (DACC).
Roy & Anna Bilberry
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