December 5, 2020

The Car History of Alex Beloff III

I AM ONE OF THOSE LIFETIME CAR ENTHUSIASTS THAT HAVE STUDIED VIRTUALLY EVERY VEHICLE OF THE POPULAR 1950 AND 1960 ERA.  I CAN LOOK AT PHOTOS OF TAIL LIGHTS AND IDENTIFY WHAT CAR IT IS.  I CAN DO THE SAME WITH FRONT FENDER AND ORNAMENTS.  IN FACT, A 1957 CADILLAC ELDORADO WAS DEVOID OF THE TRADITIONAL STANDUP DEVILLE TWIN ORNAMENTS AND WAS REDUCED IN SIZE AND MOUNTED ON THE TOP OF THE FRONT FENDERS.  WHOEVER INSTALLED THEM HAD THEM BACKWARDS AS THEY ARE DESIGNED TO ACCOMMODATE THE SCULPTURING OF THE RIGHT AND LEFT FENDER.

HOPE YOU CAN APPRECIATE WHILE I WAS CRUISING JUST PAST ED SCHMIDT PONTIAC IN PERRYSBURG, I NOTICED A HUGE LUMP OF SNOW COVERING WHAT APPEARED TO BE A METALLIC RED 1960 BONNEVILLE CONVERTIBLE.  IT WAS TUCKED IN TIGHTLY BEHIND SOME INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS AS TO NOT ALIENATE NEIGHBORS AS AN ABANDONED VEHICLE.  I MADE AN INQUIRY OF THE OWNER WHO WAS SHOCKED THAT I HAD AN INTEREST IN THAT OLD PONTIAC.  HE SAID, THEY HAVE BEEN ON ME FOR YEARS TO GET RID OF THAT CAR.  YOU CAN HAVE IT FOR FREE IF YOU CAN TOW IT OUT OF HERE.  I HAVE TO CHARGE YOU $200 TO JUSTIFY IT AS A COMPANY CAR.  IT IS IN VERY BAD SHAPE AND HASN’T RUN IN YEARS.  HAS FOUR FLAT TIRES AND I AM SURPRISED THE CONVERTIBLE TOP HASN’T GIVEN WAY TO THE WEIGHT OF THE SNOW ON TOP OF IT. 

WHEN I FIRST APPROACHED THIS RARE 1960 BONNEVILLE CONVERTIBLE, I MADE A HOLE WITH MY GLOVE TO REMOVE THE SNOW AND ICE.  I SAW A PONTIAC MAN’S DREAM COME TRUE.  IT HAD TWO VERY NICE ORIGINAL FACTORY BUCKET SEATS.  THE DEEP DYED METALIC TRI-TONE LEATHER SEATS WERE SPECTACULAR.  THE BACK SEAT WITH MATCHING DOOR PANELS AND EVEN PADDED DASH WERE FREE OF CRACKS AND NO STAIN OR DETERIORATION.  THE WHOLE INTERIOR WAS BREATH TAKING.  CARPETS WERE SHOT.

I NOTICED A HUGE MISTAKE IN ORDERING THIS PONTIAC.  IT HAD POWER WING VENTS AND NO POWER WINDOWS.  LATE AT NIGHT, SOME TIRED SALES MANAGER FORGOT TO CHECK THE BOX FOR POWER WINDOWS.

NOW LET ME TAKE YOU BACK TO 1960  –  I WAS HOME OF LEAVE FROM THE US AIR FORCE RIGEROUS 12 WEEKS OF BASIC TRAINING AT LACKLAND AFB IN SAN ANTONIO TEXAS.  I HAD GRADUATED IN 1959 FROM ROSSFORD HIGH SCHOOL.  I TOOK MY GIRLFRIEND TO 1960 ROSSFORD HOMECOMING FOOTBALL GAME.  ON THE FIELD AT HALF TIME STYLED IN A NEW GORGEOUS 1960 BONNEVILLE CONVERTIBLE WITH BUCKET SEATS AND POWER WING VENTS ONLY ANNUALLY SUPPLIED BY MR. ED SCHMIDT, OWNER OF FRONT PONTIAC PERRYSBURG OHIO.

RESEARCH REVEALED THIS RUSTED HULK WAS THE SAME CAR!  ALL THIS INTERIOR FROM THE BUCKET SEAT BONNEVILLE WAS IN MY BASEMENT ON THE RIVER ROAD.  THE CAR RECEIVED THE BELOFF TOUCH.  I HAD TO BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE WHITE TOP AS IT WAS EXTREMELY THIN WITH AGE.  I PHOTOGRAPHED THE IMPRESSIVE INTERIOR AND ADVERTISED THE CAR NATIONALLY FOR SALE.  A MAN IMMEDIATELY RESPONDED FROM WISCONSIN.  HE SAID, I AM SENDING YOU A CHECK FOR THE $1800.  YOU DESCRIBED IT PERFECTLY AND I WILL BE DOWN WITH A FLATBED TO RETRIEVE THE CAR IN A WEEK OR TEN DAYS.  THIS GENTLEMAN WAS A PROFESSIONAL AUTOMOTIVE BODY AND PAINT MAN.  IN HIS SPARE TIME IN HIS CONVERTED HEATED GARAGE DURING THE WINTER, HE WOULD REPLACE ALL RUSTED PANELS AND FLOORS AND RESTORE IT TO PERFECTION.

I CALLED HIM TO MAKE SURE HE GOT HOME ALRIGHT.  HE SAID, HE HAD ALERTED HIS WIFE AS HE WAS CLOSE TO HOME AND SHE WAS WATCHING FOR HIM.  AS HE APPROACHED ON THE BUSY RURAL HIGHWAY, THE CONVERTIBLE TOP RIPPED LOOSE AND LAID ALL THE WAY BACK ON THE DECK LID.  HIS WIFE JUST SHOOK HER HEAD AND WELCOMED HIM HOME BECAUSE HE WAS AN ARTIST WITH CARS.  SHE SAID THAT RIPPED TOP LAYING ON THE TRUNK LOOKED LIKE A BIG TONGUE.  A YEAR LATER HE CALLED ME AND SAID, I SOLD IT WHEN I NEVER INTENDED TO.  I WAS OFFERED $45,000 AND IT HAD A NEW HOME.  WE REMAINED GOOD FRIENDS FOR MANY YEARS.    TODAY PETE KRELL OF PETE’S CLASSIC CARS TELLS ME THAT NICE PERIOD BUCKET SEATS CAN BRING $10,000.

RETURN

 

 

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