Reunited! 1957 Chevrolet Finds Previous Owner

Many Barnfinds readers lament “the one that got away,” usually decades after selling a car that held sentimental value or appreciated immensely after they sold it. This 1957 Chevrolet coupe in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada caught the eye of Adam McMullen, who struck a deal to buy the car as you see it here. That became just the beginning of a story that ended up putting the car back in the hands of the man who customized it decades earlier. Keep reading for the details! Thanks to reader Paul Z for suggesting we cover this heartwarming reunion story.

Adam posted pictures of the car on the Carling Avenue Ottawa Street Scene Facebook page asking if anyone recognized the customized Chevy. Among many affirmative comments came one saying “…that was my dad’s car.” For more details, check out the original video sponsored by Eastwood here on YouTube.

One thing led to another and Adam talked with Skip, the gentleman who modified this ’57 named Just For Fun. Amazingly, the car had barely changed in all those years. Modifications included a big block Chevy 396 cid (6.5L) Chevy big block V8 set back in the car and connected to a four-speed manual transmission. Man; this baby must have hauled freight, and you know it drew a crowd when Skip popped the hood.

The car’s OG builder, Skip, agreed to check out the car on one condition, that there might be a chance to buy it back. Adam agreed and Skip showed up with his wife Kathy and their daughter. Skip recognized many elements of his handiwork that remain unaltered.

Adam suggested the car deserved to be mechanically refurbished, made safe, and otherwise put back on the road as you see it here. How many ’70s builds like this do you see around? Skip thought about it a bit and agreed – especially since it was his work garnering the respect!

The two struck a deal. Car and builder reunited around Skip and Kathy’s 50th wedding anniversary! We’d love to hear the next chapter in the story of Just For Fun in the comments below. What’s the car that *you* want back?

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Comments

  1. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    Great story. I have a 71 Buick out there somewhere that one still trying to chase down.

    Like 8
  2. Mike

    I have a bunch of paperwork, pictures and past history of a ’70 Harley FLH that I traded away back in the mid 90’s for a new Triumph. Trying to find the current owner so I can pass it on. I’m sure everybody wants to know what ever happened to their old rides.

    Like 7
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      Did they even sell new Triumphs in the mid ’90’s?

      • grant

        Pretty sure he means a Triumph motorbike, and you can buy a brand new one today.

        Like 5
      • grant

        Pretty sure he means a Triumph motorbike, and you can buy one brand new today.

        Like 2
    • Stevie B.

      My very first car when I was 16 was a frequently raced 68 SS/RS 396 Camaro, TH400, 12 bolt. The engine had a rod right through the cylinder wall. Resleeved the block and put it back together with a few new parts. Bought for 750 and sold for 1700 a few weeks later. Didn’t know the insurance was going to cost more than I paid for the car.

      Like 1
  3. Brian McGahey

    Everything I ever drove ended life as junk. Cars we bought from our family dealer ended up in big field behind the dealer, until they became toxic waste.

    Like 4
  4. Stephen Miklos

    Sold my Gold 70 442, 455 monster..4 speed, 12 bolt rear 3:90 gear. It had p/w.. a/c.. p/s.. p/b . Back in the early 80’s sold it to a guy from Connecticut. Never saw it again. The one regret I had in life. I hope she is still running around. 🙄

    Like 9
  5. Troy s

    None that I actually bought that’s for darn sure, maybe my ’87 Chevy half ton that was stolen with all my good tools,,
    One I’d like to have that I nearly bought was a primer red ’66 GTA Fairlane that sported 428 inches of scare me to death, maybe a white ’68 GTO. Between the two the Ford was a legitimate street/strip machine, probably too much car for my then seventeen year old self.
    Keep the classic street machine vibe as period correct as possible on ‘just for fun’, maybe a 427 this time just for good measure. Young folks need to see what kids used to do with cars, leaving them dead stock and original is a newer trend.

    Like 7
  6. James

    Sold a 69 RS SS 396 4 speed camaro for $675 in 1974.
    I wish that one back.

    Like 5
    • Bob Paul

      Yelp, I had a 69′ Z-28 R.S. Camaro back around 72′ was a bad ass car sold it 2 a buddy a mine 4 $1250, e moved away + that was that…..

      Like 4
    • john r

      I miss my 66 GTO tri power 4 speed. needed money for family.
      68 corvette 427 4 speed convert. growing family.

      Like 1
  7. Gene Mehring

    66 Mustang K. 289/271,4:11,4spd,no air,p.s,p.b. That car ran.

    Like 3
  8. benjy58

    1963 Vette split window coupe or a 56 Corvette 225 hp

    Like 2
  9. Charles Sawka

    Love to have my 72 454 Monte Carlo back. I miss my Alfetta GT as well.

    Like 4
  10. Sid lucas

    Would love to find my 67 Chevy Chevelle convertible its in Chicago some where last I heard the title was messed up and it is setting around in a garage

    Like 1
  11. timothy herrod

    There is a few that got away, 70 Challenger RT 440,4speed, dana, 72 Charger Rallye 400 auto winchester grey and the one that scared the crap out of me several times a 73 Chevelle SS 454 auto, too much car for an 18 year old that liked to drink too much. I was at Tim Whelborns museum in alabama around 10 years ago and he had a 71 charger that was the same color as my 72 same stripe and all, i wanted it so bad but could never afford it as it was a hemi

    Like 4
  12. erik johnston

    my addition, started with a ragoon red 71 340 duster. Later I had the 3rd 64 gto built,66 shelby mustang-it was a racer of some kind. somany since i was blessed with getting so many for cheap as there where lots around if you looked , just a few of many i had,{68 z-28 s x 4) 68 chevelle ss convert.70 cuda440 purple 2ea70 cuda converts. so many more. love to have that duster backlost my #$%#$ in that one lol

    Like 4
  13. Tom

    Traded my ’70 Opel GT for a ‘ 70 Plum Purple Super Bee w/383 Magnum. Out of the service, going to college, couldn’t afford the gas. Traded the Super Bee for a 1972 Kawasaki H2 750 Triple, the “widow maker”. Yeah…still have that one! Hasn’t run in years and have had many offers to buy it. Facing semi-retirement, I’ve started to assemble parts and pieces that “could” go into a restoration…but who knows! I’d be scared to drive it at my age! It is a great tie to my past!

    Like 4
  14. Steve Clinton

    Just for fun? …Okaaay.

    • Phlathead Phil

      Yeah, who would “Radius” the rear quarters “Just for Fun” on a ‘57 top end or even sorta top end model???

      • ACZ

        This was very common back in the day. Most of the time it was to accommodate the installation of a complete Pontiac third member which was wider and stronger than the Chevy piece. Some also did this to accommodate a bigger pair of slicks.

        Like 2
      • Phlathead Phil

        ACZ,

        I know the reasons.

        Time has proven this not such a good thing to do. Some months back there was a cool VW Bus here on B.F.’s.
        It had the same.

        Radiused quarters. It got fixed and the value went up!!

      • ACZ

        Phil, then I guess I don’t understand your first comment.

  15. Steve

    Wish I had the Plymouth Satellite that my parents owned and I learned to drive in. It was copper colored with a 318cc. When they went to trade it for another Mopar I didn’t have the money to buy it from them.

    Like 2
  16. Desert Rat

    Had a black 71 Torino GT that I dated my future wife in wish I had that one back, but the one I really would love to have back was my 1979 Chevy 4×4 short bed pickup. I ran a BBC in it and did every thing from sand dragging to mud bogging. Bought it new and had it for 9 years still have dreams about it boy I wish I could find it but I don’t have the vin number. I do have an old license plate number but the never got me anywhere. Oh well it probably died in a junkyard in Mexico anyway.

    • Miranda Reitz

      What a great truck. I had one too. Unfortunately the rot & rust from living at the jersey shore & was sold before the body simply fell off of it. But man, some great memories there. Car-wise, I wish I’d never gotten rid of my 2002 35th anniversary triple black SS z28 Camaro. What a car…

  17. John Airola

    First new car I bought (and first delivered to small town of Farmington, Ill.) 70 Chevelle SS396, red with black strips and cowl induction (black interior). Had to sell it because we were expecting our second child.
    Only alteration was an antenna on the right front because the tack interrupted the radio. Please let me know if it is still alive!!!
    John Airola

    Like 1
  18. Johnny U

    Had a 82 Corvette Collector Edition for15 years. Traded for a 98 Vette in 2005. Did everything to the 82 to make it factory right. Drove it to Mid America Fun Fest one year in Illinois, hit a road bump on I-70 which created weird stress cracks in both front fenders. Decided to trade for the 98. Wish I would have kept the 82. Loved it/miss it! Stupid is as stupid does! Lol

    Like 2
  19. pt ches

    1963 Impala SS. 327, factory 4 speed with Power windows. Red with black interior. Only changes was a Hurst Comp Plus and Keystones. Sold it for $1100 because my new wife could not learn to drive it. Shoulda sold her.

    Like 11
    • Desert Rat

      Pt, thanks for the lol “shoulda sold her” moment, I’m still laughing…

      Like 4
  20. Dylan Jones

    Had a 1964 Corvette racer. I had spent 20 years on drag strips in Georgia when I found it in Panama City Beach in ’86. Factory M22 W/ Hurst linkeage and a 4:56 rear. Weighed only 2700 lbs. Growing family forced the sale in ’95.

    Like 2
  21. Frank Thomas Stewart

    I bought a new 68 Dodge Super Bee in 1968 in Dayton Ohio when I got back from Vetnam. I traded in at a Cherry Hill N.J. when I got married. I am now 75 years old and would love to see it one time before they plant me. I really loved that car.

    Like 2
  22. Kenn

    Had a 1948 Ford Sportsman convertible. Power hydraulic windows! Traded for a 56 Chevy convert fully loaded including continental kit. Dumped it after being sideswiped while parked. Wish I had both of them back.

    Like 2
    • Kenn

      I forgot to add the 1930 Ford Model A rumble seat coupe which I purchased in 1952. Drove it to college from East Lansing to Ann Arbor for a couple of years. It sits in my garage to this day!

      Like 2
  23. Kenn

    Anybody know why comments are not added, assuming ‘No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.” Also I didn’t post a car for sale. Last two comments not posted. I can’t find a place to inquire other than here.

    Like 2
  24. Denis taillon

    Love that story, I
    Sold my 1979 Z28 late 90’s to a kid
    Saw it for a few summers driving around
    , last time I. Saw it, it had a big dent in the drivers door, and that was it , never saw it again, kinda miss it

  25. Kenn

    Ignore my post about comments not being added. I didn’t realize sometimes it takes a while for them to appear. My apologies.

    Like 4
  26. Al

    have 3 1958 impala 348 3speed sold in 1964 next 1967 vette green 300 hp 327 pw 4speed sold in 1968 wife pregnant which lead to no 3 1968 torino gt 390 4speed

    Like 3
  27. christopher lemm

    I sold my high school project car in 1982,it was a 1935 Chevrolet master 2 door sedan completely finished , it had a charcoal body with black fenders with a small block 350 Chevy and turbo 350 trans with a corvette rear end, the guy I sold it to sold it in 1983 to someone in Waukegan Illinois, I haven’t seen the car in forty years and would love to buy it back!

  28. Ken

    Was looking for for my first car a1964 Pontiac Custom Sport baby blue with dark blue lnterior last seen around Owensound Ontario

  29. DAVID BAUER

    2 cars one was a 1969 Camaro SS 396 4 speed that I could have got in 1978 for 1500.00 and the other was my 1970 Mach 1 that was stolen in 1983 from my condo that we first lived in I still have the title to it.

    Like 2
  30. Dave G

    I sold my triple black 72 Grand Sport convertible in 1989 for 5 grand in order to replace our roof and blacktop the long driveway. If the car is still around in reasonable shape, I could never afford to buy it back. Our roof was just replaced, the driveway is still holding up.

  31. dennisapplegate

    I still have my 1955 chevy 2 door handy man wagon since 1967

    Like 1
  32. joe molinaro

    i’m now 70 yrs old now…and i bought a new 69′ Chevelle SS396 4spd. from the dealership i worked at when i was 19 yrs old…i wish i had thar one back…

    Like 1
  33. John Oliveri

    I bought my 73 Luxury Lemans in May of 78, my first car, black w white interior, full white top, and every power option available, even power drivers side bucket seat, had appliance spokes and 1.5 inch whitewalls, ready for all NYC nightclub curbs, took it with my buddies to Spring Break Fort Lauderdale April 79, came home , broke up w my girlfriend and decided to sell the car, fresh start, bought a brand new 79 Grand Prix 2 tone blue, once again Spokes Vogues etc, but never stopped loving the Lemans, told the guy I sold it to, wanted it back, if he decided to sell, fast forward summer of 80, car disappears, ask the guy what happened, said he hit the nose, totaled it, I went to the recovery yd that towed it, gone! Fast forward 1982, my then girlfriend is on the 6 train going to work, looks down by the recovery yd that said it was gone, and there it is, w bald tires and a blue nose on it, she calls me I leave work and go there, guy said it belongs to one of his workers, he comes in at night, I go back, tell the guy I want the car that night, I swear to you, the next day place gets raided for auto theft, car gets taken in the sweep, never to be seen again, I search every day for one like it, I own a 73 Grand Prix same colors in honor of it, I’ll search till the day I’m no longer here

    Like 3
  34. John

    My dad had a 48 Buick 2-door with a straight 8 when I was just getting out of high school and he sold it for $300 and my brother had a 1954 Chevrolet two-door sedan that he put a 348 engine in with a fake vinyl top and vadero green metallic and then I had a 1950 Plymouth Woody station wagon that I traded a ’68 Chevy fastback that I paid $60 for to get the Plymouth wagon I’ve probably owned in my 60 years of age over 300 and some cars probably closer to 400 I tried one day to count them all out and almost every one of them classic by today’s standards 😕

    Like 1
  35. AZVanMan

    Back in the late 80’s, my dad gave me his beloved ’64 GMC 1/2 ton LWB pickup. 305/4spd with power steering, Battleship grey. My 2 brothers and I learned how to drive a stick in that beast. I drove it for 10-12 years, then passed it on to my son back in Arizona, with the one demand that he not sell/give it to anyone but myself or one of my brothers. He was living with his mom at the time, and he drove it for a few years until one day when I asked how the Jimmy was running, he told me his mom talked him into selling it to a neighbor because of some engine issue. By the time I found out, they had moved and we could not locate the new owner. They were living in west Phoenix/Glendale area at the time, my brothers and I would sure love to find that truck.

    Like 2
    • Bmac777 Member

      Them kids never listen.
      I bet it wouldn’t have happened if we could still spank them. lol

      Like 1
    • Cattoo Cattoo Member

      Perhaps she knew you wanted it back and wasn’t having any of seeing you happy?

  36. Steve miller

    I had a 35 Chevy 3 window standard that I restored then years later I modified it into a street rod
    . With 350 motor and autmatic.i changed the front end and added a possi rear end with dis brakes.i painted it brown with real diamond dust in the paint.definately regret selling it.

    Like 1
  37. Tom Armstrong

    the only car that I regret letting go was my 68 Firebird 400. I bought for $200 from the original owner. I sold when I got laid off from my job. What made the car so special was that it was loaded like a Cadillac from the factory. It had all of the goodies including power steering,power brakes and power windows. as well it had A/C tilt steering wheel and cruise control. I have never found another one like it.

    Like 1
  38. Enfield 750

    Back in September of 1973 I bought a 1968 SS 396/325 Chevelle convertible,
    Drove it for a year or so and than purchased a motor from a 69 Camaro which was a 396 with aluminum heads and a spun bearing for $300. Bought a new steel crank and some rods from Chevy and rebuilt it not realizing it was a L89 motor and how rare it was. Sold it around 1980 for about $2500 this was in Rockland County N.Y. wish I had it now…

  39. Scott Reese

    Still got my toys 67 chevy shortbed, 68 chevy longed with factory 396, 4 speed, factory bucket seats and factory tach dash, 67 Ford f100 shortbed, and 69 roadrunner 383, 4speed car

    Like 1
  40. Jon.in.Chico

    Bought a ’61 Corvette, 283 w 2-4bbl, 4-speed, in Chicago in 1974 … paid $1200 for it … traded it for a ’55 TBird … should have kept it … didn’t need much work … took my wife’s grandfather out for a ride, nailed it, and he yelled and reached for the hand bar … said he didn’t know if he was going to stay in his seat or fly out the back … great car, couldn’t pass a gas station, but who cared with gas prices back then … still have pics of me and the car … wonder whatever happedned to it …

  41. Ron Trainor

    Back in 1970, I had a beautiful 1955 Chevy and installed a Pontiac 389 (4 speed). Sold it in Trenton NJ to my best friend for $400.00. He sold it a week later to DN. Wish I knew what happened to that car.

  42. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    1966 GTO 389 tri-power 4-speed with 3:55 safe-t-track rear axle. Except for a mild Isky cam that Goat was all stock. I don’t regret selling that car because otherwise my parents would have buried a son.

  43. Camaro guy

    3 cars for me, a 61 Impala 348/4 speed, 69 Chevelle SS 396 L78, 4 speed 4.10 posi, and a 1971 Camaro Z/28 4 speed, 3.73 posi. wish i had any one or all 3 back but i couldn’t afford one of them now much less 3

    Like 1
  44. Mike Brown

    My wife found and bought back the one I let get away. It’s a 1970 Chevy Malibu that was a real street brawler back in its day. Tuxedo black with a 1 piece fiberglass tilt front end. Back then, I ran a 408 small block, TH-350 and a Ford 9″ with either 3.90 or 4.56 gears. I was a regular at the street races back then and won a lot of money to help pay for her nursing degree. After she graduated, I found a 1974 Camaro and went “legit” drag racing. The Malibu sat for a while with no drivetrain until I eventually sold it. Within hours, my wife and I both started getting sentimental about ol Blackie and all the memories we’d made when I wasn’t thrashing her for a few extra bucks. I sold her in about 1995 but fast forward to 2017. My wife is driving home from work and spots a beat up old Malibu peaking out of a shed. The giveaway was the glass front end, which was still present, along with a few other things. A few weeks later, on our 30th anniversary, the car came home on a roll back. She hadn’t said anything and I was literally speechless. The restoration and upgrades are nearly finished now. She’ll be repainted in a fancier, metalic black and now has a 434 small block and TH-700R4 trans but still has the 9″, this time with 3.73 gears and disc brakes. Other upgrades are too numerous to mention but, not that anyone will believe it, she will still wear the 307 callouts on her glass fenders.

    Like 2
    • Desert Rat

      What a great story and what wonderful wife you have Mike, I’m happy for you guys enjoy your old/new Chevy.

      Like 1

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