A 1956 Chevrolet Restoration Project

Picture of Betsy taken 21 June 2010

I've had this car since I was 14, helped my Dad with the initial restoration, maintained and drove her for 11 years, and can now celebrate a completed off-body restoration. Yes, she's "just a car", but we've been through so much in the past 25+ years: rain storms and snow storms, hail and blistering sun, pulling trailers over mountains and back again, growing pains and labor pains and even teething pains

When my husband and I started this off-body restro in April of 2000, we knew that we would put more money into the car than it would be worth on the sales floor, but to me, she is priceless. I've never added up the final cost. I simply enjoy driving her once more.

For her full story that was released Jan 2003 (at least her story up to Dec 2002 when I published it on the Club website), click here. Betsy's story was also published in the May 2003 issue of Classic Chevy World Magazine.

We started the off-body restoration in April 2000 and completed it officially in May 2006 with her first show. A restoration project like this is never truly complete. The pages below capture much of the work, sweat, blood, and sometimes tears that went into this multi-year off-body restoration.

icon for Dismantling section

Step 1 - Dismantling

  • Page 1 - original condition to start of off-body
  • Page 2 - and the car comes apart slowly
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Step 2 - Sheet Metal Replacement and Welding

  • Page 1 - initial floor pan replacement
  • Page 2 - (Nov 2002 - Nov 2003) Bottom sheet metal via rotisserie
  • Page 3 - We did extensive work to rebuild the rear door dog legs that had been totally consumed by rust.
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Step 3 - Chassis, Motor, Suspension, and Undercarriage

  • Page 1 - (Nov 2002 - Nov 2003) Frame restoration, engine rebuild, chassis, and undercarriage
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Step 4 - Body Work

  • Page 1 - (April - Aug 2004) Old paint removal, weld grinding, and metal prep
  • Page 2 - (Aug 2004) Initial stages from Epoxy primer to first layer of filler
  • Page 3 - (Aug - Oct 2004) Priming and and featherfill work
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Step 5 - Painting

  • Page 1 - (Oct 7 - 8 2004) First spraying of white base and clear coat
  • Page 2 - (Oct 8 - 10 2004) First spraying of green base and clear coat, then second white round
  • Page 3 - (Oct 11 - 12 2004) Small parts and taping off for final green
  • Page 4 - (Oct 12 - 13 2004) Final green and untaping
  • Page 5 (Oct 23 2004) Reassembled, minus her jewelry
  • Spray booth - some information on how we created a booth in our garage
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Step 6 - Reassembly

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Before and After

  • Page 1 - Air Cleaner, Generator, Fuel Bowl, Starter, Engine Bay, Rear Fenders
  • Page 2 - Interior
  • Page 3 - Complete car shots
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Drive, Show, and Enjoy

  • Page 1 - (Dec 2005 - Sept 2006) First event out, first car show, first chauffering, first trophy
  • Page 2 - (Oct 2006 - June 2007) 20th High School Reunion, more shows
  • Page 3 - (April 2008 - July 2010) Second chauffering, more shows
  • Page 4 - (May 2011 - June 2019) More events
  • Page 5 - Upgrades
  Trophy Count: (and before you ask, No, I really don't care; this is for those who are keeping "score")
1st Place: 0
2nd Place: 6
3rd Place: 1
Shows: 12 plus too many cruize-ins to count

(Note: the above icons will appear at the botton of the subpages for navigation ease, along with arrows that will cycle through the pages in chronological order.)


Cars are meant to be driven and enjoyed. If the car requires a trailer to get it to a show, where is the fun in that?

Back to index of Breon cars For those who know us, yes, we have multiple cars. Click the crest to the left or here to reach the index of all of our cars.