Doane Yawger: 1955 Chevy makes Snelling trip sweet

dyawger@mercedsunstar.comJuly 18, 2013 

Any time you get to ride around in a 1955 Chevrolet two-door hardtop for an hour or more is a good day.

Recently I got a chance to take a trip out to Snelling and back with a friend on a sunny and pleasant weekday afternoon and then stop at a downtown coffee shop for a quick pick-me-up.

Was I having fun? You bet! I hope I get more rides in some of the vintage vehicles that grace this area.

The red-and-white Chevy cruiser has been mildly street-rodded but keeps its distinctive lines and original personality. The old Bel-Air definitely is an attention-getter wherever you go.

Powered by an upgraded V-8 engine, the Chevy certainly is no slouch in the horsepower department. It jumped when you stepped on the gas. Yet it was very smooth and sedate with less pressure applied on the go-pedal. The suspension soaked up any bumps without notice, cornered easily and stopped quickly. It has a manual three-speed transmission but that doesn't hold it back in the least.

We had all the windows rolled down for our jaunt along G Grade and then Highway 59, but the wind never disturbed my hair. Old cars didn't come with air conditioning but we didn't need it.

That old Chevy is meant to be driven; there are a few rock chips and minor blemishes here and there with the paint but nothing that would detract from its overall beauty. The interior had been upgraded at some point in its 58-year lifespan and remains very presentable.

Chevrolets from 1955-57 remain very desirable in the collector car market. With their clean but eye-catching lines, the Tri-Five Chevrolets are highly attractive vehicles.

The 1955 Chevy has a prominent chromed airplane-like hood ornament, a large rectangular cross-hatched grille area, a wraparound panoramic windshield and the flashy trim pieces and medallions that come with the car.

Old cars are meant to be enjoyed and driven regularly. Not only would short trips in the country keep the car running in top order, they are fun for driver and passenger, especially this passenger.

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or

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