December 3, 2020

The Car History of Alex Beloff III

I PURCHASED MY FIRST NEW CHEVROLET IMPALA SUPER SPORT FROM HOOD CHEVROLET, FORT WALTON BEACH, FLORIDA.  AFTER SELLING MY NEW 1964 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX BECAUSE IT WAS KEY SCRATCHED AND REPAINTED, I REALLY HAD THE HOTS FOR A NEW 1965 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX.  I GOT A CALL LATE ONE NIGHT FROM THE SALES MANAGER AT GARY LEE PONTIAC OLDS IN FORT WALTON BEACH TO COME OVER AND SEE SOMETHING. HE WAS THE GUY WHO GUIDED ME TO MY JOB AT BROWN MOTORS CHRYSLER PLYMOUTH AFTER EVERY DEALER IN TOWN TURNED ME DOWN FOR A SALESMAN JOB.

WHEN I WENT TO GARY FOR A SELLING JOB, HE SAID TO GO ACROSS THE STREET TO BROWN MOTORS, THEY’LL HIRE ANYBODY.  I THOUGHT IT WAS A COMPLEMENT.  ANYWAY I SHOWED UP AFTER CLOSING.  HE TOOK ME TO THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT AND HE SAID, SLIDE BEHIND THE WHEEL.  PLASTIC WAS STILL ON THE SEATS AND CARPET.  IT WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I HAD EVER SEEN.  FIRST OF ALL, HE KNEW HOW I HATED THAT SORRY ROTO HYDROMATIC IN MY 1964 GRAND PRIX.

HE SAID, THE 1965 IS STANDARD WITH A TURBO HYDROMATIC.  NOW, THE TURBO HYDROMATIC INTRODUCED BY GM IN 1965 WAS THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IN ENGINEERING HISTORY EQUIVALENT TO THE TORQUE FLIGHT AND WOULD NEVER GET HOTTER THAN 300 DEGREES.  GARY SAID, NOW ALEX, I KNOW HOW DISAPPOINTED YOU WERE WHEN YOUR 1964 GRAND PRIX WITH FACTORY AIR ELIMINATED THE GORGEOUS CHROME THREE GAUGE CLUSTER FOR THE A/C OUTLET.   YOU WEREN’T THE ONLY ONE DISAPPOINTEDPONTIAC GOT SMART.  LOOK WHAT THEY DID FOR 1965.  THEY RETAINED THE NEWLY RESTYLED CHROME CLUSTER AND THE FACTORY AIR OUTLET IS NOW ABOVE THE DASH.  WE HAVE A NEW IMPRESSIVE CONSOLE, SHIFT LEVER, VACUUM GAUGE AND FACTORY TACH BESSEL.  ALSO, AS YOU HAVE MENTIONED, AND MY RESEARCH CONFIRMS IT, THIS WILL BE THE LAST YEAR FOR THE IMPRESSIVE CHROME MOLDINGS ON THE TOPS OF THE SEATS OF MOST GM BUCKET SEAT CARS.  HE SAID, LET ME SHOW YOU WHAT THE TURBO HYDROMATIC IS CAPABLE OF IN THIS 1965 YELLOW CATALINA COUPE WITH A 2-BBL 389 V-8.  

AT THE LIGHT I JUST TOUCHED THE ACCELERATOR AND IT SPUN THE REAR WHEELS.  SOMETHING MY 1964 GRAND PRIX WOULD BARELY DO WITH A 303 HP 389 V-8.  HE SAID, NOW, THE BAD NEWS.  WE ARE ALREADY SOLD OUT FOR MOST OF THE MODEL YEAR.  I SAID, WHAT?  HE SAID, DON’T THINK OF GOING TO THE BIG PONTIAC EXCLUSIVE DEALERS IN LARGE METRO CITIES.  THEY ARE SOLD OUT TOO.  

WELL I RECEIVED ORDERS ASSIGNING ME TO SPECIAL OPERATIONS AT THE B-58 NUCLEAR SAC WING IN PERU INDIANA.  ONE OF ONLY TWO B-58 WINGS IN THE WORLD – US AND LITTLE ROCK ARKANSAS, HOME OF THE RAZORBACKS.  OUR B-52H NUCLEAR SAC WING AT EGLIN WAS BEING DISBANDED.

I NEEDED A NEW CAR.  I WENT TO HOOD CHEVROLET.  WHY?  THE NEW 1965 IMPALA SS HAD A SPECTACULAR ROOF DESIGN.  BUCKET SEATS WITH CHROME IDENTICAL TO THE GRAND PRIX AND A HO-HUM CONSOLE AUTOMATIC SHIFT WITH GAUGES.  IT DID HAVE AN IMPRESSIVE LIGHT TURQUOISE EXTERIOR, WHITE INTERIOR WITH TURQUOISE CARPETS, DASH AND SEAT BELTS  REMINISCENT OF CADILLAC.  IT WAS A 327 WITH FACTORY AIR. OF COURSE, I COULDN’T LEAVE IT ALONE.  I CHROMED THE VALVE COVERS AND INSTALLED THE GOOD-LOOKING PONTIAC 421 FLAT CHROME AIR BREATHER THAT FIT PERFECTLY.  A RARE SET OF 1959 BONNEVILLE THREE BLADED SPINNER WHEEL COVERS SET IT OFF.

IT WAS A CAR IN WHICH I WOULD LOAD MY WIFE, VISITING SISTER-IN-LAW AND MY DOG, BEBO.  I WAS TOWING A RESTORED PICKUP BED FROM A STEP SIDE FORD CONVERTED TO A TRAILER.   IT DID NOT HAVE AN EXTRA COST TURBO HYDROMATIC. HOWEVER, IT DID HAVE A SUITABLE POWER GLIDE KNOWING FULL WELL THAT I WOULD SELL IT WHEN I GOT TO INDIANA.  GOOD LOOKING CAR.  NOTE THE IRISH MIST 1965 GRAND PRIX IN THE PHOTO WITH SHERM JENKINS.  YOU CAN NOW APPRECIATE THE VALUE OF THAT AUCTION CAR EVEN WITH 6,000 MILES.

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