OTTAWA — Larry Reinhart owns this 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air. He has owned it since 1979.
Chevy advertised its 1956 Bel Air with a slogan, “The Future Right Now.” Reinhart was 23 years old and looking for the perfect 1957 Chevy to restore.
“But fate had me buying a 1956, which coincidentally was my birth year. The brown Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe featuring flames became mine for $2,000,” said Reinhart.
Reinhart drove his car during the summer of ‘79 making plans on where to start before tearing it down for a complete restoration. Life threw him a curveball when he took a regional truck driving job which limited his time working on the Bel Air.
“Its future was put on pause as it went into storage until early 1987, when I finally erected a building for restoring the car,” said Reinhart.
In 2016, a new marriage, a new home and a new city happened for Reinhart and his ‘56 Chevy. However, this time he found the time to work on the restoration of his car.
He and his brother-in-law Rocky Row painted the car.
“It’s a base coat of 1995 Corvette Cyclamen accented with GM White Diamond Pearl coat, and many coats of clear,” said Reinhart. “The Bel Air was taken to Maumee Upholstery and Trim in Defiance, Ohio to have the beautiful white and black interior stitched and installed.”
Reinhart has won numerous awards for his 1956 Chevy Bel Air, and has just been chosen to be featured in a calendar through the Huggins Auto Value store in Ottawa. The store ran a contest with the public voting on which cars to include in the calendar. Reinhart’s car was chosen to be included.
And even though it took more time than Reinhart anticipated to restore his car, it hasn’t deterred him. He has purchased a 1973 Chevy El Camino to fix up.