December 5, 2020

The Car History of Alex Beloff III

MY SECOND CAR WAS THIS 1951 FORD SUNLINER CONVERTIBLE.  IT HAD THE FAMOUS FORD FLATHEAD V-8 WITH AN AUTOMATIC MADE BY BROUGH WARNER.  MY DAD HELPED ME BUY IT.  HE KNEW I HAD AN ABSOLUTE PASSION FOR AN OPEN CAR.  I HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO DRIVE IT WITH THE TOP DOWN WHEN IT WAS SNOWING.  THE CAR WAS THE MOST REPULSIVE DARK GREEN IMAGINABLE WITH AWFUL TAN INTERIOR.  DAD WAS VERY CLOSE FRIENDS WITH THE ROLLIE BEALE SPRINT CAR CHAMPION FOLKS. THEY AGREED TO PAINT MY CAR.

THERE WAS NO QUESTION IN MY MIND I WANTED THE 1959 PONTIAC BONNEVILLE WHITE.  THE FRONT TWIN BUMPER NACELLES WERE IN BAD NEED OF RECHROMING, SO I HAD THOSE PAINTED WHITE.   I  COULD NOT AFFORD WHITE WALLS SO WE INSTALLED PORT-O-WALLS (THAT’S WHERE YOU DEFLATE THE TIRE, INSTALL THE WHITE RUBBER RING UNDER THE WHEEL BEAD AND INFLATE THE TIRE.  YOU HAVE PERFECT LOOKING WHITE WALLS.  CAUTION:  MY DAD INSTALLED CURB FEELERS-A SPIRAL WIRE CHROMED THAT EXTENDED AFT OF EACH WHEEL THAT WOULD AUDIBLY SCRAPE THE CURB TELLING YOU TO EXERCISE SKILL IN PARKING.

THE CURB STRIKING THE PORT-O-WALL WOULD PULL IT OUT FROM THE BEAD AND IT WOULD LOOK LIKE A BIG WHITE TONGUE GOING AROUND.  SOON AFTER MY DAD FOUND THE DELUXE MOLDING THAT WENT FROM THE QUARTER PANEL IN AN ELLIPTIC PATH TO THE FRONT FENDER.  WITH FENDER SKIRTS INSTALLED, WE WERE ABLE TO TWO TONE IT DARK METALLIC BRONZE – VERY STRIKING.

IN A LOCAL JUNK YARD, ONE OF MY FAVORITE HANG OUTS, THE OWNER WOULD ALLOW ME TO RAID HIS WRECKED CARS IN LIEU OF CHORES I DID AROUND THE JUNK YARD.  IN MY MIND, I WAS VERY CONVINCED THAT THE CHROME DOOR MOLDINGS FROM A 1956 MERCURY WOULD FIT MY CONVERTIBLE.  THEY FIT PERFECT AND WE PAINTED THEM DARK BRONZE TO MATCH THE LOWER PORTION OF THE CAR.  I WAS FINALLY ABLE TO AFFORD SIMULATED 1956 OLDSMOBILE FIESTA SPINNER WHEEL COVERS FROM THE JC WHITNEY CATALOG.  REALLY COOL LOOKING!

I FOUND CHROME INTERIOR WINDSHIELD MOLDINGS OFF A WRECKED CAR, POLISHED THEM TO PERFECTION AND INSTALLED THEM ON MY CONVERTIBLE.  I THEN CHROME PLATED, YOU FORD FOLKS PAY ATTENTION, THE UPPER METAL INTERIOR METAL DOOR PLATES THAT RAN THE LENGTH OF THE DOOR.  VERY IMPRESSIVE LOOKING.  I PAINTED THE STEERING WHEEL V HUB WHITE AND SMEARED THE LOWER PORTION WITH GLUE AND SPRINKLED IT WITH GOLD GLITTER DUST.  SPECTACULAR.

I POLISHED THE ENTIRE CAR INCLUDING THE DASH SO IT LOOKED LIKE GLASS.  I PAINTED THE LOWER PORTION OF THE DASH WHITE VERY CAREFULLY WITH A BRUSH.  WHEN IT DRIED, IT TOOK A TOOTHPICK AND CAREFULLY PUNCHED HOLES INTO THE LOWER PORTION OF THE DASH – PROBABLY 200 SMALL HOLES.  CRAZY I KNOW BUT IT LOOKED GREAT.

PIN STRIPING WAS HUGE BACK THEN AND COST PROHIBITIVE SO I FOUND A WHITE PIN STRIP DECAL THAT I CAREFULLY INSTALLED ON THE MIDDLE OF THE DASH.   LATER I FOUND IN A JUNK YARD A TOTALED 1959 BONNEVILLE FOUR DOOR HARD TOP.  IT HAD DARK BRONZE CARPETS WITH GOLD FLECK FIBER WOVEN THROUGH IT.  WITHOUT A DOUBT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CARPETS EVER CREATED FOR ANY CAR.  I CUT THEM TO FIT MY CAR FRONT AND BACK.  AT NIGHT WHEN THE COURTESY LIGHTS ILLUMINATED UNDER THE DASH, IT LOOKED LIKE SOMEONE THREW GOLD GLITTER DUST ALL OVER THE CARPETS.  THE 1959 BONNEVILLE WAS ALMOST TWICE THE SIZE IN MY VIEW AS MY 1951 FLATHEAD, SO I HAD PLENTY OF CARPET MATERIAL LEFT OVER AND I LINED THE GLOVE BOX AND PARTS OF THE TRUNK.

MY DAD HAD FRANK AT HIS GULF STATION IN ROSSFORD TUNE THE CAR FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE. ALTHOUGH RELIABLE IT WAS NOT VERY IMPRESSIVE.  IT WOULD NOT SPIN THE WHEELS UNDER HARD ACCELERATION, BUT A SET OF GLASS PACKS AUDIBLY HELPED THE ILLUSION OF A FAST CAR.

THIS WAS AN ERA POPULAR FOR TRI POWER 3 BLBL CARBURETORS WHICH I HAD INSTALLED ON MY FLATHEAD.  I FOUND A RARE SET OF RED WHITE AND BLUE PONTIAC EMBLEMS IN A JUNK YARD THAT NO ONE WANTED.  I METICULOUSLY DETAILED THEM AND HAD DAD INSTALL THEM ON THE FRONT FENDERS WITH GREAT PRECISION.  YOU WILL NOTE NOT A SPECK OF RUST ON MY CAR EVER.  I WASHED IT ALMOST EVERY DAY AND POLISHED IT AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK EVEN IN THE WINTER.  THE SILICONE BASED POLISH DID NOT GIVE CORROSION A CHANCE TO OCCUR EVEN ON ROCK CHIPPED METAL SURFACES.  I WAS NOTED FOR ALWAYS HAVING THE CLEANEST CAR IN TOWN.  I WORKED PART TIME AT PAUL’S UNION 76 PURE OIL STATION ON THE DIXIE HIGHWAY AFTER SCHOOL WITH FRED.  EVER WASH A CAR IN THE BAY AND GO OUT TO PUMP GAS FOR A CUSTOMER IN SUB ZERO WEATHER AND HAVE YOUR SKIN FREEZE TO THE PUMP?

I WAS THE FOUNDER AND CHARTER PRESIDENT OF THE REVS HOT ROD CLUB SPONSORED BY ROSSFORD’S MARTY ALMISTER POLICE CHIEF 1959.  WE WERE ALL MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION DEDICATED TO HIGHWAY SAFETY AND WERE THE ONLY GROUP OUTSIDE THE ROSSFORD HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS ALLOWED TO WEAR OUR REV’S JACKETS IN HIGH SCHOOL.

I ENTERED THE AIR FORCE, SPENT ALMOST A YEAR GOING TO ELECTRONICS WAR FARE SCHOOL, AEROSPACE EQUIPMENT AT CHANUTE AFB RANTOUL ILLINOIS.  I GRADUATED NEAR THE TOP OF MY CLASS AND HAD RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY.

I HAD SECRET ORDERS THAT DEPLOYED ME TO THE 1265TH AACS, TAIPEI AIR STATION, TAIWAN AND FROM THERE TO THE 1ST MOB IN LAOS AND VIETNAM.  THUS BEGAN MY 366 DAYS IN THE RICE PADDIES, BUT THAT IS ANOTHER STORY TO BE PUBLISHED LATER.

I AM HONORED TO HAVE PRESENTED A PROGRAM ON VIETNAM, LAOS AND THAILAND FOR THE SECOND GRADERS AT KELLER HARVEL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ON VETERAN’S DAY FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS.  THE CHILDREN ARE FASCINATED WITH ALL MY PHOTOS TAKEN WITH MY BROWNIE HAWKEYE CAMERA.  THEY ASK “WHAT IS FILM?”

IT WAS A VERY SAD DAY WHEN I WAS IN VIETNAM AND MY DAD SOLD MY FORD SUNLINER.   HE HAD A GREAT JOB AT LOF AS WELL AS A TV AND ROOF ANTENNA  BUSINESS BUT HE MUST HAVE A FINANCIAL STRAIN.  LITTLE DID I KNOW AS A YOUNG MAN  JUST HOW CARS WOULD PLAY SUCH AN INTEGRAL PART IN MY LIFE AND VERY SUCCESSFUL SALES CAREER.  I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED CARS AND MUSIC!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Alex Beloff III

 

Alex has always had a sense of humor, an enthusiasm for his vocation, a way of expressing himself to you, and his passion for cars, music and the concepts is unending!

 

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