George Vera, of Montebello, CA., is no stranger to the world of the unique automobile. Privileged enough to be around them for most of his life, this aficionado’s car blood runs deep. As a child, George’s remembers riding with his brothers to their baseball games in his father’s 1937 Ford Deluxe. The ‘37 had suicide doors, a split windshield and was low to the ground, so you can imagine that George and his brothers were the coolest little leaguers in their city!
Riding in that car was special to him, and as George got older, he asked his father for the Ford, but his father had already promised it to George’s older brother. While sibling succession had gotten the best of him, George was just thankful that the car was staying in the family and he vowed to approach his brother about buying it as soon as he had a job and money put aside. George talked to his brother and explained that he wanted to make the Ford a family restoration project. His older brother agreed, but unfortunately, as time passed, George’s brother became ill and would pass away. The restoration of the car never happened, and the ‘37 got so weather beat and rotted out that there was simply no use in trying to restore it.
Though reeling from the loss of his brother, George still wanted to build a car like the one he rode in as a child and as luck would have it, one literally appear right in front of him. An electrician by trade, George was hired to do a job at an upholstery shop near his home. When he arrived to the work site, he walked in to find a 1939 right-hand drive Chevy from Australia sitting on the property. He couldn’t believe it! The car was for sale and it was exactly what George had always hoped to build. The work hours of the day couldn’t go by fast enough, and an excited George finished the electrical work and went home to tell his wife all about it. She saw his enthusiasm and agreed to go take a look at the car with him. In no time, they agreed to buy the rare Chevrolet.
Because of the rarity of the car, George decided to respect its uniqueness and restore it to factory condition. It’s certainly not every day you have a chance to build a car like this, and George’s decision to go for a stock restoration was an easy one. With the help of J&R Upholstery and Rodriguez Fine Finishes, he restored the car to its original standard of late ‘30s excellence. Nothing on this right-hand drive was untouched; the Chevy was color sanded, its wood grain was restored, and the 216 engine was rebuilt and painted with the original colors from the factory and accessorized. George also added several period and model correct accessories, including an original Canadian radio from Australia, a Red Head Flashlight, compass, GM Tissue Box, oil light, fire extinguisher under hood, reverse light, glove box, Red Head Antenna Ball, Banjo Steering Wheel, and even a three digit license plate! These completed an incredible restoration job on this rare Chevy, and it literally looks like it just rolled off the assembly line in 1939. For George, the one final accessory to add to the car was the Old Memories Car Club plaque in the back window.
While it is not the exact family car that George had initially planned on restoring, this right-hand drive has etched a place into George’s heart, and he is certainly glad he found this one. Although in many respects, I suppose the car found him! Either way, the Chevy has definitely secured its long term place in George’s garage. With a car like this one, you’d think George would be finished, but there are already talks of him adding another classic bomb to his garage. After looking at this one, we cannot wait to see how that one turns out! n
Tech Specs “On The Right Side”
Owner: George V. Vera
Vehicle: 1939 Chevy four Door Sedan
Club: Old Memories CC ~ Los Angeles Chapter
City/State: Montebello, CA
Paint: JR & Yo Ya from J&R Upholstery in Montebello, CA., used a special German type of paint to spray the ‘39 in deep Black.
Interior: JR from J&R Upholstery in Montebello, CA., covered the interior in contrasting leather materials and a beige carpet kit. Hugo Rodriguez of Rodriguez Fine Finishes in Santa Fe Springs, CA., restored all of the wood grain in the interior. The Kenwood audio system was installed with a set of amplifiers and an eight-speaker system hidden to keep the interior looking period correct.
Suspension: Stock GM suspension powder-coated and freshened up.
Wheels: 16-inch Artilleries.
Tires: Denman 16-inch white walls
Accessories: Original Canadian radio from Australia, Red Head Flashlight, Compass, GM Tissue Box, Oil Light, Fire Extinguisher under hood, reverse light, glove box, Red Head Antenna Ball, Banjo Steering Wheel and a three digit license plate.