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Car Crash: Fran’s ’57 Bel Air Wagon

A feature here at the Daily Driver is the Car Crash.  Breathe easy – no actual cars were harmed in the making of this crash.  That would be a crime, and a cryin’ shame.  Our Car Crash is much more fun – in a “crash a party” kind of a way.  If you’ve ever seen a vintage car and wanted to see the interior or wondered about its restoration process, then the Car Crash is just the post for you.  Join us as we explore the details of a gorgeous vehicle…

It’s not often that you’re able to get a real glimpse into a car’s past, but at the recent Hot Rod Homecoming, one owner gave us an opportunity to do just that.


Meet Tom Spangler.  He’s the littlest one in the photo, posing alongside his mom, dad and brother, for a family portrait that was taken to celebrate the newest family purchase…


 … which was this 1957 Chevy Bel Air.




Tom’s dad had a long love affair with this ’57, which he loved dearly.  So much so, in fact, that when it came time for a new car ten years later, he kept his beloved ’57 and bought a new 1967 Pontiac Le Mans.



Years later, and still in love with his ’57, Tom’s dad traded that ’67 Le Mans for a new Grand Prix.  Yet no matter how many cars came and went, the ’57 stayed, and is still part of the family today, with Tom as its owner.


Here’s Tom and his brother with the family ’57 today.  I love how the newest photo is a perfect hommage to the original.  Notice that the car is parked in the exact same spot (tracking the concrete walkway near the house makes it easier to see) as it was in October of 1957, in front of the same family home.


If only all of our streets and driveways were graced with vintage beauties like this Bel Air, we’d be in automotive bliss. For one lucky neighborhood and family, that bliss is reality. Special thanks to Tom and his family, who have loved this ’57 and helped it to shine, long after it became a part of their family.

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