This story appeared in IN Autos and RVS magazine, a publication I write for regularly. It’s fun to write about old cars and their owners!
Jerry & Sue Fell
Jerry Fell from Fort Wayne had always wanted to own a 1957 Chevy convertible. He had already owned other classic cars that he had restored over the years. In high school, he had fixed up a 1930 Model A, then a 1940 Ford Coupe and a 1949 Chevy club coupe.
In 2002, Fell, a retiree from Slater Steel in Fort Wayne, finally purchased a turquoise 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible from a local owner. He thought his dreams had come true! Except the car with faded red paint didn’t look or run well. “It needed a new interior and new top,” he said. Fell had the engine rebuilt and added power brakes and power steering. The car was without rust, so Fell added chrome bumpers. The car’s convertible top usually stays down but not always. “It gets too wrinkled if it’s left down,” he said.
As for paint, the Chevy had a red, albeit now orange, exterior. He chose to paint it turquoise for two reasons. One day, while looking down inside the car’s back window, Jerry’s wife, Sue, discovered what she thought was the vehicle’s original factory color: turquoise. “We restored it to its original color,” said Jerry Fell.
The second reason the Fells chose turquoise was sentimental. “When we were married, we had a 1955 turquoise sedan,” said Jerry Fell. “We always liked that color and wanted another car like it.”
The 1957 Chevy is the only classic car the Fells currently own. Jerry Fell likes that particular car’s style. “I’ve liked Chevys since they came out,” he said. “The Chevys made between 1955 and 1957 were all different, but popular.”
Over the years the Fells have exhibited their 1957 Chevy in various car shows around the tri-state area. In eight years they have won 67 trophies, including Mayor’s Choice, Best Convertible, and Best of Show. The Fells and the Chevy have been featured in a local newspaper photo as part of the Waynedale Parade during a Memorial Day celebration.
The furthest the Fells have driven the car is to Marshall, Michigan, to attend a car show. That was a couple of years ago. Now, the Fells drive their turquoise ’57 Chevy mostly around their neighborhood and to local cruise-in’s.
They store it in the winter and drive their other, modern vehicles during cold weather.
The Fells hear comments from people at car shows who recall ’57 Chevys from their past. “They share their memories and it is fun to hear,” he said. The Fells have added an attraction that must surely prompt those remembrances — two soda glasses that appear to be filled with frothy liquid and a cherry on top. The glasses are balanced on a tray attached to the driver’s window. Who wouldn’t want to stop by and chat with that car’s owner?