December 5, 2020

The Car History of Alex Beloff III

JAY NORSTROM ALERTED ME THAT RICHARD RAWLINGS FROM GAS MONKEY GARAGE HAD JUST PURCHASED FOUR OR FIVE VEHICLES.  ONE OF THEM WHICH HE CARED NOTHING ABOUT WAS A RED 1957 CADILLAC CONVERTIBLE.  I THINK SOMETIMES IN ORDER TO GET SOME OF HIS POTENTIAL RAT RODS AND CARS OF DISTINCTION HE MUST BUY A COLLECTION.  HE APPRECIATED THE 1957 BUT IT WAS NOT TO HIS PURPOSE AND I LOVED IT.

CONNIE DROVE IT FROM GAS MONKEY TO HER OFFICE.  FIRST SHE HAD TO GET FUEL AND HAD TO CALL TO FIND OUT WHERE TO FIND THE GAS TANK  – IT WAS IN THE TAIL LIGHT!  SHANNON GUIDED THE CAR INTO THE NTL WAREHOUSE THAT NIGHT.  ALEX DROVE “THE RED LADY” HOME TO GRAPEVINE THE NEXT DAY.

 

 

 

 

LATER RICHARD CALLED ME WITH A 1949 CADILLAC COUPE AND HE COULD NOT FIND A VEHICLE ID NUMBER ANYWHERE ON THE CAR.  AFTER PERSONALLY SEEING THE CAR, I COULD UNDERSTAND WHY.  IT LOOKED LIKE IT HAD BEEN IN A FIRE OR LEFT IN A TEXAS FIELD FOR 60 YEARS.  EVEN THE SEAT SPRINGS HAD NO UPHOLSTERY.  HE WAS DESPERATE FOR A VI NUMBER BECAUSE HE HAD IT SOLD TO A FOREIGN COLLECTION AND NEEDED A TITLE.  I TOLD RICHARD I KNOW WHERE ALL THE FEDERAL ID NUMBERS ARE FOR A 1957 CADILLAC.  NOT SURE ABOUT THIS ONE.  GAVE HIM THE NAME AND PHONE NUMBER IN THE CLC DIRECTORY OF THE PERSON WHO WAS AN EXPERT FOR THAT YEAR.  IT WORKED, AND RICHARD WAS MIGHTY HAPPY.

THE PRIOR OWNER OF THIS 1957 CADILLAC CONVERTIBLE HAD TO HAVE INVESTED MORE THAN DOUBLE THE PRICE RICHARD NEEDED FOR THE CAR.  A VERY COMPLETE AND CORRECT RESTORATION WAS PERFORMED INSIDE AND OUT INCLUDING THE ENTIRE DRIVE TRAIN PROFESSIONALLY AND CORRECTLY REBUILT TO FACTORY SPECKS.  FOR AN ADDED TOUCH, EVEN THE TRUNK WAS COMPLETELY CARPETED TO MATCH THE INTERIOR.  ALL BUMPERS AND POT METAL WERE SHOW QUALITY PLATED INCLUDING THOSE GORGEOUS REAR FUNCTIONAL EXHAUSTS.

I COULD NOT BELIEVE MY EYES.  HAD I ORDERED THE CAR, I WOULD HAVE ALSO PUT THOSE EXTREMELY RARE CADILLAC ORIGINAL CHROME SABER SPOKE WHEELS ON THE CAR.  THE ENTIRE CAR NEEDED A LIGHT BELOFF TOUCH.  I PAINTED THE ENTIRE ENGINE COMPARTMENT INCLUDING MOTOR BY HAND WITH A SMALL BRUSH FOR ADDED APPEAL.   THAT IS REAL RED AND WHITE LEATHER ON THE SEATS.  I PUT FOUR NEW RADIAL CORRECT WIDTH WHITE WALL COKER TIRES ON THE CADILLAC.

ONE DAY AT GRAPEVINE ROTARY FOR GOOD NEWS DOLLARS, I WAS TELLING EVERYONE ABOUT THE GORGEOUS “RED LADY” THAT CONNIE AND I NOW HAVE.  VICKIE TRUIT WHO WAS OUR FEATURED SPEAKER, SAID, COULD I RIDE IN IT FOR THE  2009 GRAPEVINE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS CHRISTMAS PARADE THE THIRD OF DECEMBER.  CONNIE AND I WERE AT THE CHAMBER WHERE THE RED LADY WAS ONE OF THE LEAD VEHICLES WITH VICKIE TRUIT STATE REPRESENTATIVE FOR 19 YEARS.

I TOLD CONNIE, IT’S 24 DEGREES OUTSIDE.  DON’T THINK ANYONE WILL SHOW UP FOR THIS PARADE.  THE ENTIRE ROUTE WAS PACKED WITH FOLDING CHAIRS, WARM BEVERAGES, POUCHES, KIDS AND ADULTS OF ALL AGES.  WHAT AN EVENT!  GRAPEVINE DEFINITELY IS THE PLACE TO BE DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON.

I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THIS $100,000 PLUS VEHICLE WOULD BE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO REPLACE.  I WASN’T CONCERNED ABOUT THE DOLLAR AMOUNT.  I WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THE AVAILABILITY OF IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND PARTS AND THE ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF TIME REQUIRED TO DO IT RIGHT.  IT HAD BECOME IN MY JUDGMENT TOO PRICELESS AND RARE AS A DAILY DRIVER.  I NEVER PUT THE TOP UP.  I HAVE DRIVEN CONVERTIBLES WITH THE TOP DOWN EVEN WHEN IT IS SNOWING.

I ADVERTISED THE CAR NATIONALLY FOR SALE.  A FINE POLISHED GENTLEMAN WHO IS ALSO AN ATTORNEY BY TRADE FROM MINNEAPOLIS RESPONDED IMMEDIATELY AND WANTED THE CAR. HE AND HIS FAMILY WERE MOST ANXIOUS TO STYLE AROUND DURING A VERY SHORT SUMMER.  HE HADN’T MADE AN OFFICIAL COMMITMENT.  I CALLED PETE KRELL WHO CAME OUT, EXAMINED IT IN OUR GARAGE CHECKING DATA PLATES, AND VI NUMBERS AND CAME UP WITH A VERY ATTRACTIVE FIGURE.  SOLD.

MEANTIME THE ATTORNEY CALLED ME AGAIN AND OFFICIALLY WANTED TO FLY IN AND BUY THE CAR.  PETE ALREADY HAD THE VEHICLE IN HIS WAREHOUSE IN RICHARDSON.  I MADE ARRANGEMENTS FOR MY BUYER TO GO WITH ME TO PETE’S FACILITY TO SEE THE CAR AND ALLOW ME TO SELL IT TO HIM.  PETE AGREED EVEN THOUGH PETE PURCHASED IT WITH THE PURPOSE OF SELLING IT AND MAKING A FEW BUCKS.  NOT ONLY WAS IT A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION FOR ALL CONCERNED, BUT PETE PUT IT ON HIS FLATBED AND PERSONALLY DELIVERED IT TO THE GENTLEMAN.

I UNDERSTAND FROM MY CADILLAC SOURCES THAT HE WAS OFFERED AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY BY SOMEONE WHO ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT A RED 1957 RED CADILLAC CONVERTIBLE WITH RED AND WHITE LEATHER.  I CAN UNDERSTAND HIS FEELINGS.

 

 

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