We have all heard the stories about incredible "barn
finds". Those stories we hear second, third, fourth-hand about the
friend of a friend who found a pristine [insert favorite make/mode/year
of car here] moldering away in the back of some forgotten barn or garage
and acquired it for a pittance. You might call this the modern day version
of the proverbial "barn find."
One day in May of 2008 Mel Chamberlain was surfing the internet
and decided to jump onto e-Bay to see what they had in the way of old cars.
He found this little beauty--an all original 1928 Chevrolet sedan. The car
had spent the previous 51 years sitting in a garage where it had been parked
and covered back in 1957. The guy selling it had picked it up off an El
Cahon used car lot in 1953 for $75.00!!!
Appraised prior to sale at $9,500.00, Mel picked it up for
a mere $6,500.00!
The original corduroy interior is in bad shape but still intact.
Amazingly, the body was nearly rust free and required no metal repair. The
original paint was still doing its job 81 years later.
After 51 years of sitting the engine was frozen. That was
the starting place for this partial restoration project. Since Mel and the
seller are both local San Diegans, the car was towed to our shop after the
sale so we could get it running again.
According to Mel, he had a special reason for choosing our
shop beyond its convenient location...
"Back in '57 I belonged to the 'Tappets of La Jolla'
car club. I've always loved old cars but never had a chance to restore a
real classic like this one. A couple years ago I visited your shop to take
a look around. I was surprised at how courteously I was treated by everyone--lots
of shops don't even want to talk to you if you just stop by to look around.
Not only was everyone happy to answer all my questions, I was even given
a tour of the shop! I decided then and there that if I ever had a chance
to do a project like this I'd bring it to Randy at Hot Rods & Custom
Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, 2324 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA.,
Hot Rods & Custom Stuff - builds, restores, paints, services and sells
parts for classic autos, cars, trucks and street rods.