Car Collector's Corner: Hatfields and McCoys 2012 - A Chevy Guy Brings a 1956 Chevrolet Into a Mopar Family

J Sutherland
by J Sutherland
car collector s corner hatfields and mccoys 2012 a chevy guy brings a 1956

Years ago, Tim Sinclair married Sherry Swainson, and they lived happily ever after except for one issue. The Swainsons are a hardcore Mopar family.

So hardcore that their Chrysler allegiance extends over several generations. Also, Sherry’s family has owned and operated a Chrysler dealership since 1971.

Tim is a hardcore Chevy guy. His first car was a 77 Camaro, so this transition from single Chevy guy to mixed marriage GM-Chrysler couple had bumpy ride written all over it.

It got worse when Tim ventured into the old car world.

Tim’s brother in law is Peter Swainson. Peter is a well-known name in the classic late 60s early 70s era of Mopar muscle, and his first inclination was to steer Tim toward a 340 Cuda, or a mint Super Bee.

Tim’s response was always the same, “I can’t afford a Mopar, only guys with money can swing that.” Mopar guys may take exception to that statement, but it did keep peace at Swainson family gatherings.

Sinclair followed a 56 Chevy for two years, but the price was higher than Tim’s budget allowed for an entry into the old car world. In 2011, the car came up for sale at a more attractive price because “the guy wanted the room in his garage.” Tim became the proud owner of an iconic car from the Tri-five Chevy family.

Tim had originally seen the 56 Chevy in a magazine and he knew that this was a car that he wanted enough to swim upstream against a Mopar family current. The car was on a regular car show circuit in the Las Vegas area and it needed a bigger trunk for the trophies it won at various meets, including a major show at Lake Havasu. The car had been well looked after because the paint is still the same coat that won all the hardware for nearly two decades.

Tim picked up the car immediately, and he was proud of the fact that he “used a Mopar guy’s trailer to haul it back.”

The 56 Chevy is a mild resto-mod and it definitely attracted attention at the first local show. Tim conceded that the car “isn’t a race car, it’s got a pretty mild cam in it, but it goes pretty good”. The car has a great finish to it because of the diligent care over the years and Tim can only see one modification in the future. Air conditioning.

Tim and Sherry want to take the old tri-five to several shows over the next few years and Tim admits, “I’m an older guy so I like to be comfortable and that air looks pretty good at 80 degrees. Other than that, the car is perfect.”

Perfect for a Chevy guy in a Mopar family.

For more of J Sutherland’s work go to

Join the conversation
2 of 7 comments
  • AoLetsGo AoLetsGo on Jun 05, 2012

    Yes mixed marriages can be interesting. My side has three generations of Ford workers, my wife's has multiple GM workers. Funny thing is that lately I have been driving the GM car or truck and she has been driving the Fords.

  • Skotastic Skotastic on Jun 06, 2012

    To each their own, but... I don't really get buying a modded car already finished, and then taking it to events where you park it. As I said, to each their own, but I dare say there is a lot more fun in building a classic your way, and then driving the darn thing, but what do I know... btw... Mopar > GM.

  • Danddd Chicago at night is crazy traveling in and out from the 'burbs. Taking the Ike back home around midnight and you'll see racers swerving by at 100mph plus. Dangerous enough we rarely go down there anymore. I plan my city trips between 9:30AM and back out by 1PM to miss the worst traffic.
  • SCE to AUX Good summary, Matt.I like EVs, but not bans, subsidies, or carbon credits. Let them find their own level.PM Sunak has done a good thing, but I'm surprised at how sensibly early he made the call. Hopefully they'll ban the ban altogether.
  • SCE to AUX "Having spoken to plenty of suppliers over the years, many have told me they tried to adapt to EV production only to be confronted with inconsistent orders."Lofty sales predictions followed by reality.I once worked (very briefly) for a key supplier to Segway, back when "Ginger" was going to change the world. Many suppliers like us tooled up to support sales in the millions, only to sell thousands - and then went bankrupt.
  • SCE to AUX "all-electric vehicles, resulting in a scenario where automakers need fewer traditional suppliers"Is that really true? Fewer traditional suppliers, but they'll be replaced with other suppliers. You won't have the myriad of parts for an internal combustion engine and its accessories (exhaust, sensors), but you still have gear reducers (sometimes two or three), electric motors with lots of internal components, motor mounts, cooling systems, and switchgear.Battery packs aren't so simple, either, and the fire recalls show that quality control is paramount.The rest of the vehicle is pretty much the same - suspension, brakes, body, etc.
  • Theflyersfan As crazy as the NE/Mid-Atlantic I-95 corridor drivers can be, for the most part they pay attention and there aren't too many stupid games. I think at times it's just too crowded for that stuff. I've lived all over the US and the worst drivers are in parts of the Midwest. As I've mentioned before, Ohio drivers have ZERO lane discipline when it comes to cruising, merging, and exiting. And I've just seen it in this area (Louisville) where many drivers have literally no idea how to merge. I've never seen an area where drivers have no problems merging onto an interstate at 30 mph right in front of you. There are some gruesome wrecks at these merge points because it looks like drivers are just too timid to merge and speed up correctly. And the weaving and merging at cloverleaf exits (which in this day and age need to all go away) borders on comical in that no one has a bloody clue of let car merge in, you merge right to exit, and then someone repeats behind you. That way traffic moves. Not a chance here.And for all of the ragging LA drivers get, I found them just fine. It's actually kind of funny watching them rearrange themselves like after a NASCAR caution flag once traffic eases up and they line up, speed up to 80 mph for a few miles, only to come to a dead halt again. I think they are just so used to the mess of freeways and drivers that it's kind of a "we'll get there when we get there..." kind of attitude.