While growing up, all of us would go to bed at night, and probably the last thing we would see would be a poster on the wall of our dream car. We all had — or still have one classic — that is the perfect ride for us. Carrying your passion into your work-life makes the dream even better.
Such is the case with every person that works at Speedway Motors. The people there have the great opportunity to enjoy the cars they love and help thousands of enthusiasts get the parts they need to fulfill their own dreams. Kelsey Bugjo is one such team member at Speedway, and her dream car is her ’57 Chevy that she was finally able to acquire in 2001.
“As long as I can remember I’ve been interested in cars, even before I could drive,” says Kelsey. “When I was a teenager, I won a poster of a ’57 Chevy Bel Air while at a fair. There was something about that turquoise car that I just had to have. I set out to find my dream car, but a few things happened first.”
One of those “things” happened to be her 16th birthday. That’s when she found out about a ’55 Chevy step-side truck that was owned by a friend of the family. Kelsey was able to secure a loan and purchase the truck. It was a cool ride but not the ’57 Chevy Bel Air that filled her dreams.
Another concern was it didn’t quite fit the bill as a daily, so she decided to find something more suitable. “I saw an ad in Autotrader for a Chevelle and went to look at it,” Kelsey quips. “The one owner, numbers-matching Chevelle became my daily driver for the next five or six years as I finished high school and went on to college. I drove it every day, even in the winter, and we all know what a Nebraska winter can do to a car. Here we are, 20 years later, and I am now in the process of restoring it back to the way it looked when I bought it, but that’s another story.”
Even though the Chevelle dutifully served Kelsey’s needs for many years, once again, it was not her dream car. She never waned about finding the right car and kept scouring the classic car ads in the paper every weekend. Then it happened…
Finally, Kelsey found a ’57 Chevy Bel Air Sport Coupe listed for sale in Omaha. “My dad and I went to look at it, and the numbers matching engine had already been rebuilt but it was definitely a project car,” Kelsey states with a huge grin. That being the case, she says it was a project she was willing to tackle to get her dream car. That was June 29, 2001. “The car also came with boxes and boxes of past issues of Classic Chevy International, dating back to the time I was born,”
A complete off-frame restoration was started as she, and her dad disassembled the car and started bagging and tagging everything. As one would expect, the pair ran into a few surprises. The floor was rusted through, and the car needed a lot of bodywork. By July 2001 the car was off the frame and down to complete metal. The car received new quarter panels, door skins, front fenders, and a floor. The bodywork was finished in the family’s barn. The car was painted in 2005.
Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heroes? All you need to do is click here. I want to see those reader’s rides. If you would like to share yours, I want to hear about it. Since I’ve started this series, I have received more than a few candidates. However, I still want to see more — I can never get enough. If you want to see more cars built by you the readers, send a few pictures of your car. Make sure to show the engine, interior, and exterior, and send all of the pertinent information, and I’ll make you internet famous. You can send your submissions to [email protected].