The knight of Bel Air: Rosemount couple cruise in almost any weather
This collectible shimmers like a white knight in shining armor.
Bob and Ruth Pryor parked their Chevy two hours before the 2018 Farmington Dew Days Car Cruise on Saturday, June 16, then fired it up for the drive despite sunny, sweltering temperatures.
The next day the Pryors drove their Chevy Bel Air to the annual Father's Day car show in Red Wing. The drive their car as often as they can and said like to take part in summer car cruises like the two upcoming car shows sponsored by the Farmington Business Association.
Pryor jokes how the 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air, four-door hardtop does not have a nickname but it could be referred to as the money pit.
"56 is the first year they came out with a four-door hardtop because otherwise it was a two-door hardtop, and it catered to be the family vehicle, but it also had a sporty look," Pryor said.
The love affair with this Chevy model began four years ago when he saw it on the internet. The couple decided to trade in their classic Chevy for an older classic collectible Chevrolet.
The car resembles a white knight in shining armor because of the paint color called Chrysler stone white paint. It beams in the sunlight and the chrome bumpers shimmer.
"I do the mechanical but I don't do the body work. I grew up in the farm atmosphere where you are always working on old cars under the shade tree like a shade tree mechanic," Pryor said, laughing.
Making a home in Rosemount today, Pryor was raised in Castle Rock and his wife grew up in Eagan.
The Pryors have some of the backstory on their Chevy Bel Air.
"They took it down off the frame and completely redid everything from the ground up pert near, and they completely rebuilt it and they had documentation and pictures," he said.
The car has a modern 350 motor with an upgraded transmission and suspension, disc brakes, and power rack and pinion steering.
"They shaved off a lot of the chrome pieces and it looks like it should have been made that way, but they took everything off the trunk and they took off the license plate and the license plate is now mounted in the bumper now," he said.
The car's re-fabricators decided this car would shine with a chrome station wagon bumper.
The car's door handles have been taken off to look extra sleek and the car has an ultra-sheik factor since it has been modernized with a tech feature — key fob entry.
"It rides a little on the stiff side but it handles better than those old cars used to because you used to go around the corner and the cars would lean," Pryor explained.
"He is not afraid to take it out in the rain," Ruth Pryor said.
"Some people if they see a cloud, they won't drive it," he said.
For years he traded cars. Those days are over.
"I have told my wife this will be the last one," Pryor said.
Perhaps once you have a knight in shining armor, there is no need to upgrade.