Step into the world of classic cars and timeless elegance as we sit down for an exclusive interview with Nick Beard, a passionate vintage automobile enthusiast, and his cherished 1957 Bel Air. With its iconic design and nostalgic charm, the ’57 Bel Air is a testament to automotive history and has captured the hearts of car aficionados worldwide. In this captivating conversation, Nick shares the story behind his infatuation with this timeless beauty, detailing the meticulous restoration process that brought the car back to its former glory. Join us as we delve into the unique journey of owning and preserving a piece of automotive heritage with Nick and his cherished 1957 Bel Air.
Nick, tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Nick Beard I’m 39 years old and from Southwest Missouri. I have always had a passion for cars since I was young like most it started with Hot Wheels and model cars. My father has always been in the cars built cars for customers when I was a kid and as far as I can remember I have had project cars and I’ve been in love with cars. I built my first custom car when I was 18 it was a 51 Pontiac coupe with a supercharged big block pro Street. I currently own my own business outcast Fab and Custom and love my job.
Can you tell me about your Bel Air?
Presenting an exquisite masterpiece, the 54 Bel Air hardtop Chevrolet stands as a testament to automotive ingenuity. This striking beauty has undergone extensive modifications, including custom tail lights, a chop top, extended skirts, and shaved handles, all complemented by an air ride system. Its power comes from a robust 5.7 LS motor paired with a 4L60E transmission, while a custom-built suspension with airlift airbags ensures a smooth and controlled ride. The car’s interior boasts the finest craftsmanship, with Vintage Air heating and Air, along with Dakota digital gauges. Meticulously curated in-house, the upholstery stands out in resplendent red leather and red velvet, a true work of art courtesy of the skilled hands of Karen Dufo. This 54 Bel Air is the epitome of automotive excellence, combining performance, style, and comfort in perfect harmony.
What made you want to rebuild her?
The car caught my eye at a swap meet in Springfield, Missouri, where it stood as a robust and well-preserved beauty with a decent interior. Instantly, I was enamored by its allure, especially since I’ve always had a soft spot for hardtops. My initial plan was to lower it significantly, swap the motor, and enjoy the ride. However, fate had other plans, and before I knew it, I was knee-deep in a full frame off build. The project took about six months to complete, involving cutting off the top and meticulously lowering it to perfection. The process was both challenging and rewarding, turning this once solid car into an exceptional automotive masterpiece.
Where there any defining moments durig the rebuild?
Tragically, the pivotal moment in crafting this car occurred when my 16-year-old daughter, Hallie, passed away unexpectedly due to a seizure. In the midst of this heartbreaking loss, a profound decision emerged within me – to name the car in her memory and dedicate its entire construction to honor her precious life. This project became a heartfelt tribute, a way to keep her spirit alive and cherished in every aspect of the car’s existence. With each step of the build, Hallie’s presence became a guiding light, instilling deeper meaning and purpose into the creation of this remarkable automobile.
Tell me 5 fun facts!!
Discover five fascinating facts about this model:
- It marks the final year before GM introduced V8 engines into their cars, making it a unique and significant transition in automotive history.
- While rare, this car offered the option of power windows, adding a touch of luxury and convenience to its classic charm.
- The 54 hardtop’s distinctive design is often left untouched in custom modifications because of its naturally sleek and chopped appearance.
- 4. Its vintage allure and timeless lines continue to captivate enthusiasts and collectors alike, preserving its status as an enduring classic.
- 5. Although further fun facts elude us, the car’s rich history and iconic features speak volumes about its lasting impact on the automotive world.
Nick, your interview provided a unique and enlightening perspective into the world of classic cars, leaving a lasting impact on our audience. Your stories and anecdotes added depth and authenticity to the article, making it all the more engaging. We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to feature your interview in our publication, and we look forward to sharing more inspiring stories with our readers.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TRAVEL BAG FOR YOUR TRIP
- Rolling Luggage: Wheels are nice. There’s no need to carry all your gear on your back or via a duffle bag if you know you’re going to be traveling in a city where there are paved roads and sidewalks. You may also want to consider a bag with off-road wheels, making them extra durable for trips even when there isn’t a smooth path.
- 4-Wheels: As you fill up your wheeled luggage, weight can become a bit restrictive—especially if you have to walk long distances. Consider 4-wheels to keep the weight off your wrist and effortlessly roll your bag by your side.
- Duffel Bag: These are simple, lightweight, and Eagle Creek’s duffel bags are crazy durable. Sling it over your shoulder, or put some wheels on it and get on your way. These are the most versatile travel solutions you can get, with everything from classic duffels to convertible backpacks, wheels, and more.
- Wheeled Backpack: If you’ll be going through different types of terrain, or switching from airports to cobblestones, having a bag with the option to roll it or carry it like a backpack or duffel is really handy.
- Travel Backpack: If you know you don’t want the extra weight of wheels, traveling with a classic travel pack is going to mean hands-free mobility and ultimate versatility.
- Carry-On: Whenever possible, travel with carry on luggage. It means you can save time at the airport, save on check-in fees, guarantee the airlines won’t lose your bag, have everything you need with you at all times, ensure you don’t have to wait at baggage claim…the list goes on and on.
ORGANIZE YOUR TRAVEL
f you plan to do lots of different types of activities on your vacation, you’ll have a fair amount of gear you need to pack into your suitcase. Keeping everything organized can be a challenge. One of the best things you can do when you’re packing for any trip—especially one that requires packing lots of layers—is to use packing organizers.
BASIC CLOTHING PACKING LIST:
- Phone charger / portable phone charger
- EU adapters
- Flip flops (for the hostel bathrooms)
- Water bottle
- Sun cream
- Medicines / painkillers
- Any paperwork you may need
GET MORE PACKING ADVICE!
Want to learn more about how to pack for a specific type of trip? We’ve got more packing advice from travel experts here