December 2, 2020

The Car History of Alex Beloff III

I HAD AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE RICHMOND PALLADIUM NEWSPAPER ABOUT MY 1962 BONNEVILLE CONVERTIBLE 421 TRI-POWER WITH FACTORY BUCKET SEATS, GRAND PRIX CONSOLE AND 8 LUG WHEELS THAT WAS BELIEVED TO BE THE ONLY ONE LEFT LIKE IT.  SEE #36.

A RETIRED WIDOW FROM OUR CHURCH APPROACHED ME.  SHE HAD A 1961 PONTIAC STAR CHIEF FOUR DOOR WITH FACTORY AIR WITH 13,000 ACTUAL MILES STILL WEARING THE SAME FACTORY WHITE WALL TIRES THE CAR CAME WITH.  SHE WAS HOPING I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN PURCHASING IT.  SHE COULD NO LONGER DRIVE AND HER HUSBAND BOUGHT THAT CAR NEW FOR HER IN 1961.  SHE WANTED IT TO GO TO SOMEONE LIKE ME WHO APPRECIATED THE CAR AND THE TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF EMOTION AND AFFECTION THAT CAR REPRESENTED TO HER AND HER FAMILY.   SHE INDICATED THERE WERE MANY PEOPLE WHO WANTED THE CAR BUT SHE NEVER SAW ANY MONEY.  I GOT OUT MY CHECKBOOK AND FILLED IT OUT IN HER NAME AND I SAID, FILL IN THE AMOUNT FOR WHATEVER AMOUNT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FEEL YOU SHOULD HAVE.  I ASSURE YOU THE CHECK WILL BE GOOD.  WHEN IT CLEARS THE BANK, YOU CAN PRODUCE THE TITLE.  SHE HAD TEARS IN HER EYES.

WELL YOU HEAR THESE STORIES AND YOU THINK THEIR IDEA OF PERFECTION AND CARE DIFFER GREATLY FROM MINE.  IN THIS CASE, I WAS IN A STATE OF SHOCK.  IT WAS THE MOST PERFECT UNTOUCHED TIME CAPSULE I HAD EVER SEEN.  I THOUGHT THAT EDDIE EDMONDS MOTHER’S 1959 BONNEVILLE SPORT COUPE FROM JACKSONVILLE WAS PERFECTION (#8).  THIS 1961 PONTIAC EVEN SMELLED NEW WHEN YOU OPENED THE DOORS.  IT WAS NEVER DRIVEN ON WET STREETS OR DURING THE WINTER.  IT WAS ALWAYS GARAGED KEPT AND NEVER SMOKED IN.  THE SEATS FELT AS IF YOU WERE THE FIRST PERSON TO PARK YOUR HINNY IN THEM.  GIVING THIS STAR CHIEF THE BELOFF TOUCH WAS AN ABSOLUTE JOY LIKE I WAS BEING BESTOWED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PRESERVING THIS MAGNIFICENT CAR FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO APPRECIATE.  NOW, THE 1961 STAR CHIEF YOU MIGHT REMEMBER IS ON A BONNEVILLE FRAME AND HAS THE BONNEVILLE DRIVE TRAIN MEANING 389 4 BBL SUPER FOUR SPEED HYDROMATIC AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION.

A TOUCH OF THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL WOULD SPIN THE REAR TIRES EASILY.  THE AIR BLEW COLD AND THE ORIGINAL WHITE WALL TIRES HAD JUST ENOUGH TREAD LEFT TO PASS MOST STATE INSPECTION LAWS.  YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THAT ORIGINAL BEIGELACQUER PAINT.  IT LOOKED LIKE GLASS EVERYWHERE.  I KNOW IT’S GOT FOUR DOORS AND IT’S A POST PARASOL SEDAN, BUT SOMEHOW THAT LACK OF POPULARITY WITH TOO MANY DOORS WAS OVER SHADOWED BY ITS GREAT STYLE, PERFORMANCE, AND CONDITION.

THE STAR CHIEF WAS JUST WAITING FOR SOMEONE WHO VALUES THE EFFORT THAT MUST BE REQUIRED TO PRESERVE SUCH A MILESTONE IN ENGINEERING AND PONTIAC LEGACY.  A COUPLE OF TEACHERS – MAN AND WIFE – APPROACHED ME AT MY HOME IN PERRYSBURG ON THE FAMED RIVER ROAD AND SAID, WE ARE HERE TO BUY THE 1961 PONTIAC.  THEY PRODUCED THEIR CHECKBOOK AND STARTED TO WRITE.  I SAID, BEFORE YOU SIGN YOUR CHECK, LET’S GO FOR A RIDE.  WANT TO?  THEY WERE SO EXCITED.  WE HADN’T GOTTEN FAR WHEN THEY TURNED AROUND AND HEADED BACK AND SAID, WE LOVE.  WE WANT TO TAKE IT HOME.  I WISH I KNEW WHAT HAPPENED TO IT FROM THERE.  THEY HAD A LOVELY HOME AND A PERFECT PLACE IN THE GARAGE TO DOMICILE THEIR NEW FAMILY “STAR”.

WHEN I BECAME THE ASSISTANT NEW CAR MANAGER AT ED SCHMIDT PONTIAC, I WAS 60 MILES FROM DETROIT.  IT SEEMED A SHAME NOT TO ENTER #92 IN THE  PONTIAC OAKLAND GRAND NATIONAL JUDGING  AT GENERAL MOTORS TECH CENTER AT 12 MILE AND MOUND ROAD IN DETROIT.  THIS PONTIAC DID RECEIVE SECOND PLACE.  NOTE THE RIBBON ON THE DECK LID OF MY NEW PONTIAC GRAND PRIX DEMONSTRATOR.  THE ONLY REASON I DIDN’T GET FIRST PLACE IS BECAUSE FIRST PLACE WENT TO A GORGEOUS 1961 BONNEVILLE CONVERTIBLE WITH FACTORY BUCKET SEATS.  TOUGH TO BEAT.

 

 

 

 

RETURN

 

 

 

 

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