Archives for derelicts

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!