Real Wheels: ‘55 Bel Air no Humpty Dumpty car

ELIDA – Kenny Poling has wanted a blue 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air since he was 11 years old.

“That’s when I got a slot car track for Christmas,” the 53-year-old Elida resident explained. “My car was always the Bel Air.”

Three years ago, Christmas came early for him. He got his wish.

Poling was able to purchase the real thing, a 1955 Bel Air.

Only one problem, though.

The car was a pile of junk, to put it kindly, he said.

But that was OK, Poling reasoned, because he had a friend in Rick Triplett – his “mechanic,” as Poling likes to call him – who was willing to help Poling put the Humpty Dumpty car back together again.

“It needed a lot of work … I mean a lot of work,” Poling said.

Plenty of checks were written. The carburetor was a mess. The engine was replaced with 383 Chevy stroker motor with a four-speed transmission. Positive traction, power brakes and power steering were added.

And the color?

“It needed repainted to match the blue one that came with my slot car track,” Poling said.

If someone saw the car that Kenny started with and the one he’s driving today, the person wouldn’t believe it, said Joanne Poling, Kenny’s wife.

“It’s proof that, yes, miracles do happen,” Kenny added.


The Lima News publishes photographs of vintage cars, 20 years or older, free of charge in Real Wheels. It is easy to get your car featured:

Mail: Real Wheels, Newsroom, The Lima News; 205 W. Market St., Suite #100A; Lima, OH 45801.

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Include: Photograph of your car; year of car, make and model; how many years you have owned the vehicle; car’s history; best memory of car; your name, address and telephone number (the phone number will not be published).

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