Member’s Feature
Royden & Cathy Stewart, Member #141
1955 Chevrolet
L’Etang, New Brunswick

Story by Gary Porter, photos by Gary Porter & Royden Stewart
One of the best parts of writing these stories is finding out the history of the car. Royden’s first encounter with a Classic Chevy was as a teenager when he had a ‘57 convertible complete with cruiser skirts. It was also in those early years that he saw a car wearing a shadow gray and coral paint job around his home. He was struck by that combination.
In the early 1980's Royden decided to purchase a ‘55 Chev. A two-door sedan was what he wanted. Back then Classic Chevys suitable for restoration were more plentiful than today. Royden headed to Limestone, Maine, where Calvin West owned a salvage yard full of old cars from the 50's. A worthy ‘55 210 two door sedan was spotted. However, it was without motor, transmission, windows, steering box, etc. Calvin’s price tag of $1,500.00 was more than the old Chevy was worth (remember, this was more than 25 years ago) and he wasn’t willing to take less. So , Royden left without a ‘55. Later that fall, Royden was deer hunting. Although I am not a hunter, I know deer hunting involves a lot of sitting still and just waiting, which was exactly what Royden was doing that day back in October 1982. He couldn’t stop thinking about that ‘55 back in Limestone.
He was so deep in thought, in fact, that a big buck walked up behind him without him noticing. Suddenly, thinking the noise he is hearing behind him is a bit too loud for
birds, he turns and . . . . well, hunting season was over for Royden and the deer. Having now bagged his deer for the season, Royden could now give his full attention to getting a ‘55 Chev. So off again to Limestone. Calvin, like many salvage yard owners, was a bit eccentric. He didn’t always remember faces. Oblivious to Royden’s visit six months earlier, Calvin advised that the ‘55 could be had for $1,555.00. After a bit of dickering,

Calvin dropped the price to $1,444.00, then $1,333.00 and so on. After he got down to $333.00, Calvin, quite cranky by this time, asked Royden what he would pay for the ‘55. Royden offered $300.00. Just so Royden would not get the car for his price, as Calvin was not getting his price either, Calvin exclaimed “you can have it for $305.00". Royden now had his dream ‘55.

It took some work to actually get the ‘55 on the trailer, but soon it was safely back in New Brunswick where it underwent a five-year restoration. Parts from some 22 other cars went into the project and in July 1987 the 210, now turned Bel Air, sporting the shadow gray and coral paint scheme that he remembered from his youth, was completed and ready for shows and cruising.

Although it was powered by a 265 for a time, the block has been swapped for a 350, but it still wears the 265 power pack external components, making it appear stock. Behind the engine is an original three speed overdrive transmission and a 3.55 rear end. This combination will give the Chevy more than 20 miles to the gallon on the highway. Handling has been improved with the addition of anti sway bars, front and rear. Front disc brakes with a power booster and dual master cylinder were added this past winter. Fifteen inch Monte Carlo wheels and radial tires complete the project.
In the interior you will find all the Bel Air trimmings in matching coral vinyl and shadow gray cloth. A modern USA radio/cassette player now occupies the dash.
Royden and Cathy have put more than 27,000 miles on the ‘55 in the past 21 years traveling around the Maritimes and Maine including attending several of our Classic Chevy weekends. They also own a 1967 Dodge Coronet sport coupe and a 1933 Dodge pickup street rod. Royden and Cathy have been members of the Classic Chevy Club of Nova Scotia for almost 20 years having joined in May 1989. That makes them our second longest continuous New Brunswick members.