The first photo above was taken with my uncle Cesar (left), friends (middle), and my uncle Enrique (right) in 1969. The car behind them is a 1950 Chevy that’s been in the family for decades.
I’m one of the youngest cousins at 30, but my older cousins have a surplus of stories about the car’s history. Hell, people are still arguing about whose it really is, but by arguing I mean the kind of talk that inspires people to tell more, and better, stories about the car.
I’d only known it to be a rusty thing in my uncle’s garage, always covered in dust, and taking up too much playing space. Talk about restoration in my tio Pancho’s house was like Los Angeles smog: murky with details but always present.
The photos below are the same vehicle, about 75% restored, taken this Labor Day weekend after a birthday celebration for my dad. My tio Pancho — the man leading the restoration charge — is in the driver’s seat, my tio Jose Luis in the passenger’s seat, my tio Cesar (backseat far left), my tio Enrique (backseat middle) and my dad (backseat right). The entire family came out to snap photos of the five driving around in their old friend. You think our kids will be snapping photos of us in our Volkswagon Jettas?
They just don’t make them like they used to.