Video: Christine Danchuk Sits Down With John Cook And His ’55 Chevy

Cars can have such a lasting impact on individuals who take pride in what they own. Although he is not the first owner, John Cook and his 1955 Bel Air is a wonderful story that deserves to be heard.

Posted on YouTube, Christine Danchuk of Danchuk USA, spoke with John about his beloved Bel Air and everything it has brought for him through his years of ownership. Growing up around Chevys with his father, John instantly fell in love with them.

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John Cook’s Bel Air circa 1955.

“It just took me about 40 years to really have one,” John said. “It was worth the wait and the interesting part about the car is that I’m only the second owner. The first owner bought the car brand new in July of 1955. Everyone in Illinois knows about this car, even down to who had it.”

John said the original owner had the Bel Air restored in 1980, only to bring it out for shows and never on a cloudy day. “He was very particular with when to bring out the Bel Air,” John said.

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The car is just as immaculate as it was 61 years ago.

The only things John had to do to the immaculate Bel Air was restoring the stainless steel sides and replacing some chrome pieces on the dash. “It’s the only car I have and everything works,” John said. “From the radio and the heater, it’s just a marvelous car.”

Seeing himself as more of a caretaker for his Chevy, we’d have to say he is doing a fine job up keeping this beauty. Being even more particular, John wrapped the seats inside in plastic to prevent any of his seven grandchildren from spilling anything onto the fabric.

A cool story about this car is that it was used as a backdrop for a friend and his friend’s significant other on their wedding day, 25th, and 50th anniversary. Reluctantly, John agreed to bring the car to the couple to take photographs for their 60th anniversary.

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“There were tears in his eyes when he saw the car,” John said. “He said his wife was slow, but when she saw the car, she wasn’t so slow getting down the stairs. It really put a tear in my eye personally as I could help those people. Their whole married life was woven around this car and it was wonderful to see.”

Not only is this car a piece of American history, but also a sentimental presence in the hearts of a loving couple. It goes to show the power of the automobile and that it isn’t simply just something to lug you around town or get you from place to place. It is a blessing in disguise for John to own such a beautiful vehicle that has a touching story behind it.

A car is what you make of it, a nuisance or not. Cars sure have evolved today but it shouldn’t discourage us from the potential lasting relationships a car can have on a given individual. Whether it is gifted, hard earned, or built from the ground up, one man’s car can become another man’s treasure as they say.

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About the author

nicaguon

Nic Aguon is a graduate from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and mass communications and holds a passion for sleek and unique automobiles. Serving as a Staff Writer for multiple publications at Power Automedia, Nic pledges to bring readers clean and concise storytelling that hits the nail right on the head. A jack of all trades, his interests range from imports to American muscle, hot rods, and Kustoms.
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