March 2, 2020, Waiheke Island, New Zealand
You don’t always need to go to Havana to see a car like this. I saw this beauty in the Thomas Batch winery parking lot on Waiheke Island, New Zealand. It’s a ’57 Chevy Bel Aire. Sometimes a cruise can take you places you never expected, places buried in a 10-year old’s memory and brought out 63 years later in a winery parking lot. Memories of that car, two toned with shiny chrome and fins that made you feel like you could fly it to the moon with Sinatra on the radio. A style that made you want to “See the USA in your…” as Dinah Shore sang. Swept back dual radio antennae made you believe you could listen to the Wolfman as you went crusin’, even if he were broadcasting from Pluto.
When Suzi and I were first married we had a 1928 Model A Ford. We had it for 12 years. We sold it in 1980 when we moved to Alaska. (A cop once pulled me over for speeding. He asked if it was the original engine, I told him it was. He wanted to see it. I showed him. He said he wouldn’t give me a ticket because no judge would believe I could be going 65 in a 1928 Model A Ford but “PLEASE SLOW DOWN. You wouldn’t want to hurt a car like that.”) She was 52 years old when we sold her (this car definitely had gender) and she seemed really old. This Chevy is 63 years old and seems new. I bet she could speed way past 65.
(When the owners came out of the winery, they seemed pleased that I was photographing their car.)