Gerry's 1940 Chevrolet

My website tracks a nine-year journey in the restoration of my car "Ruby", to preserve a piece of automotive history.

Family Help


My father-in-law was living with us when I was rebuilding the heater.  While testing the motor, I couldn't understand why its fan was not blowing air out the vent.  Richard was 88 years old at the time and was always willing to help with ideas and suggestions.  It was he who figured out I had the positive and negative wires reversed which was causing the motor to suck air in rather than blow it out!  I never was very good with anything electrical. 


The upholstery was a huge project.  I ordered a complete kit through Hampton Coach in Boston which carries original fabrics, colors, and carpet choices.  I was assured that the kit contained step-by-step instructions, and illustrations that enabled any novice to complete a professional job.  When the 7 large boxes arrived I was anxious to get started and envisioned taking our first drive in a matter of days.  After unpacking only a few pieces and scanning the instruction manual, I wisely decided to turn the job over to an experienced upholsterer.  He assured me the job would be completed in 2 weeks.   The weeks stretched on however, and 3 months later the job was finally finished.  It is beautiful, and another example of why it is a good idea to out source some projects to those with expertise.


                                                 


I have been blessed with six wonderful grandchildren who have all witnessed the progress on Grandpa’s old car.  Nick, the oldest, was sure he would be the first to drive it.  His family moving to Florida precluded that from coming true.  Ryan and Allie, from Seattle, have visited several times while the car was in various stages of repair.  Several years ago Allie was walking through the garage and looked up in disgust at the big old black thing and asked, “Grandpa, is that a rocket ship?”  


Ryan was fascinated watching me work on the engine.  He was on one fender while I was replacing the radiator, and was asking questions every 30 seconds, “What are you doing now… why are you doing that… now what are you going to do… what is that called… what does that do?”  He had never seen anyone work on an engine and his questions were nonstop.  I soon suggested we take a break and both get a snack.




Ashley is 15 and loves the car.  I have let her drive it and that was an experience!  I was very proud that my old Chevy was what she wanted to take her to her Junior High graduation.  She has helped me work on the car and even helped change the oil.  Many times her smaller hands worked much better than mine in tight places.  What a great way to bond with your granddaughter, working on an old car.  I'm a very lucky man.

         
        
                                 


Hannah is now 5 and doesn’t like the car much, especially the way it smells!  Until very recently she had refused to acknowledge that it is, in fact, a car, nor would she get in it unless her little brother was in there with her.                                                                                                          

Carson is 2 and every time he comes over the first thing he wants to do is head for the garage to play in it.

By the time Allie visited again the car was finished and I was anxious to take her for a ride.  At first she sat very quietly in the front seat with me, and then it started!  “Grandpa, why doesn’t this car have seat belts?”  I admitted that I did need to get them installed - soon.  After a couple of minutes she asked, “Does this car have air bags?”  I explained they didn’t have anything like that in 1940.  Several minutes passed without another word, then came the final hammer, “Grandpa I don’t think my Mom and Dad would want me riding in this car!  Can we go home?”  This granddaughter does not share my love of old cars!



I
t makes me very happy to realize that each grandchild will always have their own memory of my old car! 

     

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