Mary’s 1956 Chevy Bel Air


This is Mary’s completely original Chevy. She and her late husband purchased it new. The Chevy has never spent a night outside. Mary drove it very little after her husband died 3 years ago and now at 80 years old she no longer drives. Ann, a fellow volunteer at the museum, saw it in Mary’s garage recently. Ann says she screeched to a stop and went to investigate. Mary wasn’t very friendly at first but Ann must have done something right. Mary has lent her Chevy to the museum. When Ann drove this car to Sacramento and the museum, she was the third person to drive it since it left the dealership. Ann says it was quite happy running with traffic at 75 mph.


The interior is as pristine as the outside. The plastic covers are still on the seats. Mary and her husband took their Chevy to car shows and won numerous awards. This Chevy truly is a time capsule for visitors to the museum to marvel at and enjoy.


It is very generous of Mary to lend her treasure to the museum. It was a great garage find for Ann and a test of her negotiating skills. Mary has many great memories of the adventures she and her late husband shared in their Chevy. It will always be “Mary’s Chevy”.


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  1. Mark H

    Great story – I bet the lady wasn’t too friendly at first because she has probably had a lifetime of people trying to buy the car off of her. Obviously the car is priceless to her – she must have been about 20 when she & her husband bought it 60 years ago. Nice that it can be displayed in a museum – lady still owns the car, but now the museum is keeping it safely stored for her, and doing the “car show” for her.

    • roselandpete

      Better be careful with those museums. A friend of mine was asked for some items by a baseball museum. He asked when the museum was going to return the items and the museum replied that they weren’t.

  2. P

    Love it

  3. Mark H

    This video is a local lady in my area (West Bend, WI) who bought this ’57 Chevrolet as a dealer demonstrator. Has owned & driven it continuously since then. The video is 5 years old, the car has 1116,000+ miles on it. She is still driving it – lives about 2 miles from me, a few weeks ago I was behind her at a stoplight.

    ’57 Chevrolet Lady

    • JW

      Very smart lady and sadly today those words of wisdom fall on deaf ears. JMHO !!! Love the featured 56 as well because my dad had one during my early childhood.

    • bruce

      Just saw the wonderful video; thanks for posting it.

    • Mark H

      Oops about the mileage – 116,000 is what I meant.

    • SPLITZ

      Sorry, it s a 1956,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  4. Rob

    I can see Mary’s point of view.. My Mum drove her 1956 T-Bird, which she and my Dad bought in 1958, up until she was 92, that’s its original license plate to the right, then she gave it to my brother, who has now passed it along to his son. It will always stay within our Family. This photo was taken in 2011, with my Nephew, its new caretaker.

    • Woodie Man

      Lucky guy!

  5. Fred W.

    Not exactly a barn find, but I still love stories like this. Amazing to see the original upholstery under clear vinyl.

    • David Frank David Frank Member

      Thank’s Fred! I’m glad you love stories like this. Thanks to Ann and her sharp eyes Mary’s Chevy did not languish gathering dust and rust very long. I guess you could say Ann saved it from being a “true barn find”, or garage find, by discovering it after only sitting for a short time.

  6. Chebby

    Damn that is clean. Great colors.

  7. roselandpete

    I’m amazed that Ann was able to drive the car on the expressway without replacing all the old belts, hoses, and the other fun stuff that goes bad from sitting but this is why I love original, unmodified, unrestored cars in nice condition. They are truly time capsules.

  8. John

    I’m sure some of the rubber items on the car had to be replaced over the years, belts, hoses, wheel cylinders, tires. How many people buy a car new with the intention of keeping it in A1 shape and taking it to car shows? Something not heard of in recent years! Great car though. I grew up with a 55 Chev.

    • roselandpete

      I would have thought so too but that would also mean that more than three people must have driven the car.

  9. Bill Morrell

    When I was stationed at Luke AFB (Phoenix, Az) in 1963 I owned a ’56 exactly like this. Same color combo and all. I was just as pristine. I sold it when I went to Southeast Asia for my last year of service. Great memories.

  10. Bill Morrell

    Previous comment should have said “It” was just as pristine. God knows I wasn’t. Haha

  11. Rick Haskell

    My favorite car is my 56 Belair convertable. It too is black and white. I use it a lot. We live in Loveland Co.

  12. Bobsmyuncle

    I can’t help but wonder why Ann would take someone else’s 60 year old classic and drive it 75 MPH.

    We can only hope that was after a thorough mechanical inspection. . Given that it was, “when Ann drove this car to Sacramento and the museum” I think not.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Agreed in principle, but I have been on some highways in California where you’d be risking your life if you did less than 75 mph ;-)

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