Before and after I retired from the military, I collected classic cars. I love the ’55, ’56 and ’57 Chevys.
I would go to the old car swap meets, buy one and fit it up if it needed some work. I would either drive it for awhile or sell it for a lot more money than I paid for it.
I bought a restored 1957 four-door sedan for $2,300; the man wanted $3,000 for it. He restored it for his wife, but she did not want to drive an old car. The car had factory air conditioning, and wide white wall tires, and was so pretty. I drove to car to 36 states in the 18 years I owned it
At one of our night senior softball games, a man from New Orleans, La., who was here visiting one of my ball players, came up to me and wanted to buy my ’57 Chevy. He offered me $5,000 for it. I told him that the car was not for sell.
The guy followed me home after the game. He said it was the best-looking ’57 Chevy he ever saw, and asked me what I’d take for it. I thought if I gave him a high number that he would leave me alone. I told him I’d take $7,500 for the car.
He fooled me, went to the bank the next day, and showed up at my house with a certified check with my name on it for $7,500. I had other cars and let him have the car. I broke my heart.
About a week later he called from New Orleans telling me that it was the best driving car he ever drove.
I missed that car. I belong to the California 1957 Chevy Club.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.