Donald Etters is a believer of, “if cars could talk.” His 1955 Chevy 210 has a lot to say…
“My Life began in Flint, Michigan in 1955. I was originally blue and white, everything was fine for seven years then for some reason my owner put me in the junk yard even though my body was fine, and I had not been hit by another car. I stayed in the salvage yard in Jonesville, S.C until August 25, 1962 when two young men (Don and John Etters) came looking for a ’55 Chevy to make a gas drag racer. They purchased me for $100 less my motor. I was excited about getting out of the salvage yard because I knew what was ahead of me there.
Life was good but Don & John put me through the ringer, taking things off my body to reduce my weight (they put me on a diet program for sure) taking off about 400lbs. Don and John had someone paint me Red but it peeled off before I got back to the garage, finally wound-up primed grey. I was finally ready for the drag strip and we went several places I had never been before but everything was good I had owners that cared about me. John was drafted by Uncle Sam in 1963 and Don had a family and could not continue to race, so I was put in the garage for about four years. By the time John came out of service, Don had moved on from drag racing to other hobbies. John decided to put me back to road worthiness, so he rewired me, put a new engine in me, gave me a new blue and silver paint coat and drove me sparely from 1970 through 1989 which was the last year I got my own tag.
From 1989 until 2016 I sat in the garage at John’s. In October 2016 Don decided to restore me to show quality which began another season in my life. To begin with John, Don along with Don’s two son’s and friend Charles Bell began to take me apart piece by piece. When they got down just to my body, they put me on some contraption called a Rotisserie so they turn me over and over. Next John and Danny Sinclair sandblasted me down to my bare metal. What the Sandblasting did was reveal that I had a bad case of cancer(rust) from sitting for 27 years in the garage, much of my body had to be cut off and discarded and what was not discarded John did surgery on and cut out the cancer (rust) and weld it back up. I almost died from the cancer (rust) but John, Ricky and Dean went to work on me.
I was completely remade into what you see now over five years. Some of my new parts are, a complete new floor pan, both my rocker panels, toe boards, trunk tail piece, both quarter panels, both door skins, head light area on both my fenders had to be replaced, both rear tail lights had to be replaced. While I was off the frame it was cleaned and painted, new front end, new ball joints, disk brakes on all wheels, power steering, power brakes, new exhaust system was fabricated by Ricky and Dean, four link coil overs on the rear with a sway bar and a sway bar on the front also. I was completely rewired, all new glass was put in me, my floor was covered with heat and sound deadener. I got all new upholstery, new cluster for all my instruments. I have a vintage heat/air and Raingear wiper system. I got a 350 cid crate engine with Holley Sniper EFI with new headers and a 700r transmission. Finally, I got a new paint job of Pomegranate Red.
This is my story, this my Song.”
If you like stories like these and other classic car features, check out Old Cars magazine. CLICK HERE to subscribe.
Want a taste of Old Cars magazine first? Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and get a FREE complimentary digital issue download of our print magazine.