Edward Brussel
1956 Bel Air




My sister was born in 1960 and I was born in 1963. We both came home from the hospital in our fatherís 1956 Bel Air. A new Chevy replaced the Bel Air in 1964, but the memories and stories of his 56í lasted for decades. The 56 Bel Air was my fatherís first new car and always remained his favorite. We heard stories about the Bel Air from his days in the Army. There was a building on base where he would wash it on weekends. Stories of vacations, moving to South Florida, and of course when my uncle borrowed the car and ran into the back of a city bus. We still cannot believe my father let his 18 year old nephew borrow that car. Dadís office was always full of pictures, posters and models of cars and featured the 56í most prominently. How many times over the years did we hear, ďI wish I had that car back.Ē  Sadly, in September of 2020, Dad passed away at 87 years old. A few months later, in December, I decided to spend an evening looking at cars on the internet. I am partial to the 57í, but something made me look up the 56í. To my surprise, there was a fully restored 56 Bel Air, 2 door, post, Sherwood green and Pinecrest green with green-on-green interior. I sent pictures to my uncle; yes, the one who ran into the bus, and he verified that was just like Dadís. After a brief conversation with the seller, the car was mine. Not Dadís car, but its twin. My fatherís name was Howard, but at an early age his sister called him Buddy and it stuck. In honor of my father, we call my car Buddy the Bel Air. I wish I could open my garage door and toss Dad the keys. As much as I wish Dad could see my Bel Air, somehow, I know that he saw it before I did. When I go out for a drive itís always nice to spend time with Buddy.