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

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 mystarcollectorcar.com

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  • 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.

  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.
  • Mongo312 Had an 89SE, 92SE and an 03SE all with stick. The 03 took almost 3 months to find because there were so few produced with a manual transmission and dealers didn't want to give them up. Ended up buying one from a dealership in San Antonio and having it shipped here to St Louis.
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