Myron Smith and his father each bought new 1959 Chevrolets — 55 years apart.
The elder Smith bought a new El Camino, and Myron bought one of the five unsold 1959 Chevrolet four-doors from the Lambrecht Collection auction on Sept. 28, 2013. Along with his father’s El Camino, Myron has several other 1959 Chevrolets. Most of them have low miles, but none has as few miles as the 1959 Bel Air Sport Sedan that Myron bought last September. The low odometer reader of the Bel Air — just 2 miles — means the car is a time capsule of data on how General Motors built Chevrolet cars in 1959. Myron is using that information to make his other 1959 Chevrolets as correct as possible, and he shared that information with other 1959 Chevrolet owners in a feature story appearing in the July 10 issue of Old Cars Weekly, as well as here.
The following color detail shots were shot by Myron from under the chassis and hood of his “new” 1959 Bel Air while he was cleaning off five decades of neglect. He said the under side of the car was the most interesting. If you attend the 2014 Iola Old Car Show or the AACA Central Spring Meet in Lincoln, Neb., you’ll see these features in person. If you can’t make it to either, perhaps the following pictures will help your own restoration.
A “before” shot taken on Sept. 27, 2013, of Myron Smith’s 1959 Bel Air Sport Sedan at the Lambrecht Chevrolet auction in Pierce, Neb.
An after shot of Myron Smith’s1959 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Sedan (four-door hardtop).
The dusty 283-cid V-8 in the 2-mile 1959 Bel Air, before Smith began cleaning the car. Note the Chevy orange paint on the driver’s side exhaust manifold — the passenger manifold looks the same.
Another “before” shot, this time of the trunk before the auction on Sept. 28, 2013. Note the Firestone spare tire and jack instructions remained in the trunk.
Smith found this white mark on the coil spring of the 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air.
The brake fluid had turned to mud, so Smith replaced the master cylinder and wheel cylinder – the biggest change he’s made to the car. Upon removing the drums, he found the brake parts retained the original paint in excellent condition.
A view of the floor pan of the 1959 Bel Air. Note the red-oxide primer on the floors and the black paint on the other chassis and suspension components.
A view from the passenger rear shows overspray of sound deadening material from the spare tire well onto the bottom of the rear quarter panel and rear valence panel.
The factory applied an X to the bottom of each inner fender with a paint pen.
Smith took this shot of the 2-venturi 283-cid V-8 engine to note the placement of the decals.
The original air cleaner remained like new, further proving the car has the 2 miles showing on the odometer.
Note the ink used on the heater hoses is orange — not white, as is commonly seen today.
Note the black overspray on the exhaust pipe of the 2-mile Chevrolet. Smith noted overspray all over the chassis, which he said indicated parts had been painted as assemblies.