Found - A Unrestored Desert Classic

In early May, we attended the International Science Fair in Tucson, Arizona. Tucson was like old car heaven. I saw many old cars in great shape still being used as daily drivers. The last day an ad appeared in the newspaper:
55 Chevy 2dr station wagon. Great original condition. One owner AZ car. 123-1234

I had to check it out. Unrestored 55 Chevys cars are my favorite but I see very few now days. The car was located on the other side of the mountains that ring the city. This was near the Saguaro National Park in the middle of the desert. I couldn't believe it when I first saw the wagon sparkling the bright desert sun. I kicked the tires, looked for rust, drove it, looked for rust, negotiated a decent price, looked for rust, and then bought it. Needless to say I couldn't find any body rot, unbelievable! The wagon had been owned by one family since new. It had been parked in a carport for the last 20 years. Other than non original wheels and tires everything was untouched. It showed it's age as the paint was thin in many places. It was a 210 2 door wagon , a.k.a. Handyman wagon and had a standard 3 speed transmission and the trusty stovebolt six engine.
It was now noon and we had plane reservations early the next morning to return home. I quickly found a place to store the wagon and drove it back to town over a mountain pass. It drove fine for the 20 mile trip.

A month later we drove the 1800 miles to Tucson to pickup the Chevy and trailer it home. We made the trip a mini vacation and stopped to see the sites on the way out. We went by Carlsbad Caverns, Guadaloupe National Park in Texas and City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico.

Once in Tucson, we retrieved the Chevy from the storage lot and went sightseeing in it. It was a HOT 117 degrees. We took jugs of water, rolled down all the windows and returned to the Saguaro National Park near where we had found the car for sale. We toured the visitor center and drove the desert trails through the park.

The wagon drove well and we had no problems.

Later that evening after we had cooled off , we loaded the Chevy on the trailer for the trip back to Florida. The next morning we left early to try to get the 2 mountain passes or summits out of the way before it got hot again. I was worried about how my tow vehicle would do in triple digit heat while pulling a 5000 pound load.

Everything worked flawlessly though and we had no problems. We arrived back home to our humid heat , 95 degrees and 95% humidity.

I still hadn't decide how to fix my new classic. I am in the process of evaluating what needs restoring and how to do it. Take a detailed look at the Handyman.

Last Update: 11/13/96
Copyright 1998 by herb spies - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED