December 5, 2020

The Car History of Alex Beloff III

I READ IN HEMMINGS THAT THERE WAS A 1957 CADILLAC ELDORADO BIARRITZ CONVERTIBLE FOR SALE IN A VERY SMALL INDIANA RURAL TOWN NEAR KOKOMO.  I THOUGHT HOW COULD I GET SO LUCKY SINCE I HAD BEEN SEARCHING FOR A BIARRITZ CONVERTIBLE FOR YEARS.  A QUICK CALL REVEALED IT HAD TWO 4’S, NEEDED A COMPLETE INTERIOR AND MINOR BODY WORK BUT IT PERFORMED GREAT.  WELL FOLKS IN 1973 TO REPLACE A FACTORY CORRECT INTERIOR ON A 1957 BIARRITZ PLUS RESTORATION COULD COST AS MUCH AS A THREE BEDROOM HOUSE.  NO ORIGINAL PARTS GROUP CALIFORNIA FOLKS AND NO JENKINS RESTORATION UPHOLSTERY PEOPLE.  YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.  THE CAR WAS CHEAP ENOUGH CAUSE EVERYONE WHO LOOKED AT IT TURNED AROUND AND RAN AWAY.

IT WAS THE ORIGINAL METALLIC BLUE WITH MATCHING BLUE INTERIOR ALSO NEEDING A COMPLETE TOP REPLACEMENT.  I BOUGHT IT AND HAD MY LOT MAN FOLLOW ME AND DROVE IT HOME TO PERU.  THE FIRST THING I DID WAS REBUILD BOTH CARBURETORS, GRIND THE VALVES, AND SERVICE IT COMPLETELY INCLUDING TRANSMISSION, BRAKES, SUSPENSION COMPONETS, AND A MAJOR TUNE UP ON THIS NON-AIR CAR.  I PUT A SET OF MATCHING CUSTOM CHROME AIR BREATHERS ON THE DUAL QUADS AND IT LOOKED GREAT AND RAN GREAT.  I PAID OUT OF MY POCKET TO HAVE EVERYTHING REMOVED FROM THE BODY AND PAINTED IT WHITE.  I SHOULD HAVE PAINTED IT RED.  I WAS SCARED THAT THOSE SLOPING REAR BODY PANELS WOULD SHOW EVERY IMPERFECTION IN RED.

HERE’S MY ACE IN THE HOLE.  REMEMBER READING ABOUT MY 1957 CADILLAC ELDORADO SEVILLE COUPE #45 THAT WAS PARKED IN AN ABANDONED SERVICE STATION IN INDIANAPOLIS.  IT WAS A DECREPIT LOOKING SILVER PAINT, DISINTEGRATING WHITE VINYL TOP AND YET THROUGH LAYERS OF YUCK ON THE WINDOWS, I COULD SEE A PERFECT ORIGINAL RED AND WHITE LEATHER INTERIOR INCLUDING CARPETS, DOOR PANELS AND DASH.

I KNEW I COULD USE EVERY INTERIOR PIECE ON THIS CONVERTIBLE.  NATURALLY THE BACK SEAT OF A COUPE IS WIDER THAN A CONVERTIBLE.  I HAD AN EXPERT LOCAL PERU TRIM MAN CUT THOSE IMPORTED CAPE BUFFALO HIDES TO FIT THE CONVERTIBLE.  AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE PHOTOS, IT WAS AN OUTSTANDING INTERIOR AFTER CAREFUL ATTENTION TO DETAIL.

 

 

ALL I HAD TO DO WAS PAINT THE BOTTOM OF THE DASH WHITE INCLUDING THE TRAILING DASH PIECES THAT GO INTO THE DOORS AND REAR QUARTER PANELS.  WITH THE EXPERT REPAINT, A NEW WHITE TOP AS WELL AS CAREFULLY DETAILED CHROME SABER SPOKE WHEELS AND THE ONE YEAR ONLY REAR BUMPER EXHAUST AND BACK UP LIGHT HOUSING, IT WAS ONE OF THE FEW IN THE COUNTRY IN THAT CONDITION.

I SOLD THE DEALERSHIP AND MOVED TO RICHMOND INDIANA AT THE REQUEST OF CLIFFORD C WAGNER WHO WANTED ME TO BE HIS USED CAR MANAGER.   I ACQUIRED A MAGNIFICENT HOME WITH FOUR CAR GARAGE WITH A SECOND FLOOR CARRIAGE HOUSE FROM THE OWNER OF THE MCDONALDS DRIVE-IN WHICH WAS LOCATED RIGHT NEXT DOOR COMPLETE WITH A CABOOSE FOR DINING PLEASURE.   THE OWNER OF TWO MCDONALDS, DANIAL WIEGEL SPOTTED MY CAR.    HE WAS THE OWNER OF A 1958 ELDORADO BIARRITZ CONVERTIBLE UNDER GOING A COMPLETE RESTORATION AND WE BECAME GREAT FRIENDS.

I HAD MY 1957 BIARRITZ IN THE ROSE CITY PARADE.  KEN FROM THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RODE IN MY CAR ONE YEAR.

SOMETIME LATER SOMEONE FROM CINCINNATI HEARD OF MY CAR.  BACK THEN WHEN YOU HAD A CAR THIS RARE, IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG FOR THE WORD TO GET OUT ON WHO OWNS WHAT.  HE WANTED TO COME AND SEE IT.  BEFORE HE GOT THERE I HAD THE ENTIRE DUAL EXHAUST SYSTEM REPLACED.  VERY DELICATE WORK RUNNING EXHAUST PIPES THROUGH THE FACTORY HOLES IN THAT FIRST YEAR X FRAME.  THEIR FIRST VISIT DID NOT REFLECT AN AGREED DOLLAR AMOUNT.  THEIR NEXT VISIT KNOWING I HAD MULTIPLE INTERESTS IN THE CAR WAS SUCCESSFUL AND IT WAS SOLD AT MY PRICE.  I DID NOT WANT TO SELL THIS CAR.  THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE FAMILY AND CHILDREN OBLIGATIONS CAN PERHAPS SYMPATHIES.    WITH THE REQUEST TO SELL IT, SELL IT DADDY, I MADE A HUGE PROFIT BECAUSE OF THE INTERIOR FROM THE DONOR CAR OF YEARS AGO.

RETURN

 

 

 

 

 

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