The Shop’s Blog

A little treat for fans of the 1957 Chevy Belair

Last month Chris and Lindsie entered Boise’s July 4th Idaho Statesman Chalk Art Festival at Ann Morrison Park. Their topic of choice? A classic car, of course!

1957 Chevy Bel Air

The 1957 Chevy Bel Air in chalk completed!

The closeup of the ’57 Chevy Bel Air was a bit tricky (as was the muscle car in the reflection on the door side panel) but after a day’s worth of smudging and smearing and color combining, this was the result!

Of all of the people who passed their square, about 20 of them were able to guess the correct year, make and model. Many had a story to share about their own Bel Air they used to drive.

It was a lot of fun and a great way to spread the love of classic cars and meet other car fans!

You can see more photos from the festival here.

Veterans Fund Run Car Show at Idaho State Veterans Home

We have a good friend Bob who works across Main Street at NAPA Auto Parts where The Shop is a frequent visitor. We told us about an upcoming car show we hadn’t been to yet called the Veterans Fund Run on May 18. Although we didn’t have the Buick quite ready to enter, we stopped by the Idaho State Veterans Home to say hi to Bob (who was helping with his car club that ran the show) and take a look at the classics that showed up.

They had a great showing this year, with almost 200 cars in a variety of years and makes. And it was great to see the veterans at the peruse the cars to choose their favorites. The Best of Show award is chosen by the veterans.

Here are a few of the photos we took at the show. Excuse the many shots of the Buicks in attendance — we are a bit partial.

Shop Class: Month 2

May’s Shop Class was a great continuation of the important information you need to know about your car, in particular the sounds your car makes and what they mean.

Attendees at the May Shop Class

Thank you to all who attend our May Shop Class: From left, Lindsie Bergevin, Wendy Shentu, Amy Taylor, Jessica Swain, Misty DiPietro, Pamela Hallenberger with her daughters Leanora and Cordelia, and instructor Chris Bergevin. The other instructor, Travis Jenkins, was the photographer.

We learned about how to listen to your car — to pay attention to how your car normally sounds and how to notice when there is something out of the ordinary.

When discussing sounds with your mechanic, you should describe the pitch, longevity or frequency and the volume. That will help your mechanic narrow down where and what part of the car the sound is coming from, and can greatly help in determining the cause of the problem.

A couple of other tips taught during the May Shop Class:

  • A blaring radio is the most dangerous sound your car can make, as it will cover up other sounds that are important for you to pay attention to.
  • A vehicle has close to 34,000 moving parts and with all of that metal working together, grease and oil are important to keeping the parts moving smoothly and quietly. This is why it is important that you ask if your mechanic can check your car’s grease zerts when you get a tune up or oil change.
  • Dashboard lights are another way your car communicates with you. Read your car’s manual and become familiar with what each of them mean and what you may need to respond to.

A big thanks to all of the ladies that came to the May Shop Class! We hope to see you next month!

 

Shop Class: Month 1

Students at car basics class at The Shop

Travis, Chris, Angie, Misty and John at the first Shop Class

Our first Shop Class was a lot of fun! Chris, John and Travis were very knowledgable about cars and clearly explained the basic systems of a car — fuel, electricity, air — and how each of these are important to a car operating correctly.

the basics of car systems at The Shop's Shop Class

Chris and John’s breakdown of how the fuel, air and electric systems work together.

A few random things that students learned:

  • what gasoline’s octane means and what the difference does for your car
  • how ethanol fuels can affect certain types of cars and how you can combat those effects
  • how to deduce which system is having problems when your car won’t start
  • a closer look at how the inside of an engine works
A closer look at a car at The Shop

Travis, John and Chris explain how air, fuel and electricity flow into an engine with an up-close look at a mid-sized SUV.

The class was a great overview to of the basics, and future classes will targeted to specific systems and problems.

Next month’s class will be all about gauges/lights and noises your cars make. Come find out how to tell what sound means what, so you can be smarter about your car when something goes wrong.

We look forward to seeing you then — on May 18 at 10 a.m. at The Shop. Bring your friends!

Derelicts – Our kinds of classics!

Chris & Lindsie Bergevin's 1955 Buick Roadmaster

The classic stylings of 1955 as original as can be. Photo by Shawn Raecke.

We at The Shop are of a firm belief that there is a time and place for everything — a time to cherry-out restore and a time to leave it be; a time to upgrade and improve, and a time to restore the stock parts for another 50 years of life.

Every now and then we find a restoration we love and get ideas we can incorporate into our current projects. And then there are those cars we find and drool after and which totally change our lives…

This “Derelict” restomod by automotive expert Jonathan Ward of Los Angeles is one such project that we recently discovered and totally falls in line with what we (Chris and Lindsie) are looking at doing with our 1955 Buick. This clip is from Jay Leno’s Garage last summer. Ward married a 1952 DeSoto to a Chrysler Town & Country. Take a look:

Don’t you just love that patina? It’s just like our Buick. We’ve been thinking for a long time about just leaving it be — exterior, chrome, bumper, everything but upgrade everything you can’t see.

 

Chris & Lindsie's 1955 Buick Roadmaster

A shot from our 2010 Christmas card photo shoot featuring our 1955 Buick Roadmaster. Photo by Shawn Raecke.

I’m not sure how quickly this concept will be adopted by the car restoration industry. The rat-rod experts out there are doing their part to help, but it’ll take a few years to gain steam. We found this evident in the last couple car shows we entered our Buick in. Yes – we entered her even though we had done almost no work to her at all. That wasn’t the point — we feel that classics are a piece of history and need to be seen, not parked.

Chris & Lindsie's 1955 Buick Roadmaster

The Buick at it’s second ever car show — in disguise as Puff the Magic Dragon. Photo by Lindsie Bergevin.

The Buick gained acceptance at the annual Halloween Trunk or Treat at a local Boise drive in. The dry ice clouds pouring from the snout did a number on the small kids, but all the same, it was a load of fun. The condition of her exterior fit right in. We got lots of comments and laughs.

But a real-live car show? That was another story.

Chris & Lindsie's 1955 Buick Roadmaster

A young high school couple were the perfect models for a quick photo in the ’55 Buick. Photo by Chris Bergevin.

The 2012 Northwest Motorfest was the real deal — a juried show and we were one of few of the ’50s era Buicks that attended. None had the patina like ours, though. We got a lot of comments: some encouraging, some discouraging. Everything from “Oh, my mom had one of these and I remember riding in it as a kid….” to “you’ve got a lot of work head of you.” Some people couldn’t believe why we entered. Others were glad to see something not perfect. All in all, though, it was good to spread the message of the value of imperfect, classic, daily drivers.

Maybe one day it will be totally cherried out — most likely it’ll be rebuilt on the inside but will be a total surprise to everyone else. Either way, it’s going to get its time in the sun. That patina still has more aging to do!

Fluorescent Yellow Food Day 2013 at The Shop

Fluorescent Yellow Food Day at The Shop!

Every year on Feb. 20 Pamela, John, Chris and Lindsie and many of our friends celebrate the crazy holiday called Fluorescent Yellow Food Day. The point is to celebrate the yellow food in our lives and have an excuse to party. This year we decided to hold it at The Shop! It was a lot of fun and we had a great turnout.

Read more about the event at FluorescentYellowFoodDay.com.

Here are some photos from the party and the potluck tables. Please forgive my blurry photos — the “mood” lighting wasn’t very conducive to iPhone photography.

1946 Plymouth Special Deluxe has arrived!

Chris and John always have their eyes peeled for classic cars — a flash of chrome here, the curve of a fender there, peeking out from a deserted garage, stranded in a farmer’s field or hidden in Boise’s suburbia. Once such recent find was a 1946 Plymouth Special Deluxe. And what a find it was!

A true piece of history, this vehicle might well be a mob car from the ’40s with stories to tell. It has bonafied bullet holes on the driver-side door, a black shiny patina, and (once upon a time) plush interior seating. I can just imagine a bunch of mob bosses ruling the neighborhood from within the cushy confines of this luxury vehicle.

Or course, it not a luxury vehicle today. It’s showing its age, but mostly on the inside, where years of being in the sun is obvious in the condition of the upholstery.  But that is all fixable. The exterior does have some surface rust, but a lot of black paint is in good condition. If you like the look of an aged patina, like many resto-rods rat rods are exhibiting these days, this is a perfect start. The body is pretty straight, with only a few dents and scratches, and most of the chrome is still in tact. The details are pretty amazing — the hood ornament and trunk light ornament are nice art-deco touches of a renaissance ship, mast and all.

When Plymouth started making cars again after the war, this was its first model and the Special Deluxe was the top-of-the-line option. And, amazingly enough, the car even features a push-start ignition, something not widely embraced in cars for another decade. Today it’s considered a high-tech feature, but it’s been around for almost 70 years.

This car is prime for a restoration project. The engine and tranny are gone, making in a blank canvas for the setup you want.

See more photos at our listing at ClassicCars.com and call Chris at (208) 908-1366 if you want to take a look in person.

The Fairlane has a new home

We spent about an hour getting the Fairlane running again. We had plans to start in on a few parts of her when two guys from Sweden spotted her and fell in love. They were in town visiting family and shopping for classics to take back home with them. (Apparently classic cars are a rare breed there. Who knew?) We decided to part with her early and let them enjoy the restoration. Here are some pics from the loading up of her and the other 3 cars they took home with them.

The 1956 Ford Fairlane


The Shop is getting ready to start on our first project — a 1956 Ford Fairlane. It’s a 2-door hardtop coupe and will need work inside and out. It currently does not run, and the fun is bout to begin as Chris and John start to dig in to the engine bay. Once it is up and running, the exterior and interior will be up next.

Stay tuned for updates!

1948 Dodge truck

1948 Dodge truck for sale

Sale price: $1,950

This classic has a flat head straight 6 engine. It has strong bones and could make a great resto or rat rod. A great father and son project.
See more photos