The Good Stuff – Bonding Over A Bel Air

A lot of people have a special place in their heart for cars. Maybe it’s your first car, maybe it’s the best car you’ve ever driven, or maybe it’s a car with some kind of special personality like my 1978 VW Rabbit named El Conquistador that had been run over by a combine and just didn’t care…

For Fred Dedmen from Kentucky, it’s a project car. He’s had the 1957 Chevy Bel-air since 1976, which was also the last time anyone drove it. He started working on it, but then life and family took over, and it sat, rusty and disassembled in his garage for nearly 40 years.

In that time, he had kids, and they had kids, and ol’ Fred bonded with his grandson Cam over cars. While he was growing up, Cam and his grandfather spent a lot of time talking cars, going to races, dreaming about plans for that old BelAir in the barn. Sometimes that’s the thing with project cars; a lot of time goes into the planning, but for one reason or another, the project remains a project.

But, about a year ago, Cam decided to something special for his granddad. He took the car and started working on it. Nights, weekends, learning to weld, paint, and assemble… and when he was finished, Cam and built a world-class custom car out of that old Chevy, and presented it back to his grandad as a way of saying thanks….

81-year-old Fried was pretty teary too… and says that now that the car is done and on the road, he plans to take his grandson and anyone else who wants to go to as many classic car shows as he can.

Family bonding over a piece of automotive history is pretty cool, and that’s the good stuff for today.