Short story of a '56 Chevy that was due to leave NY on 9/11 to it's new owner in Germany
|Welcome to our first international section. With the help of our members from all around the world, this will be a regular feature in Tire Tracks. It never ceases to amaze me how many of the TriFives have ended up scattered to the far reaches. Where man has traveled, he has taken his favorite classic Chevy with him. I don't know how many TriFives GM exported. The majority I have heard about
so far were purchased and shipped by owners wanting to share in the history and love that we have for this American classic. TriFive.com has new members joining all the time from outside of the US with beautiful stock and hotrod TriFives. Enjoy the world tour. If you have something you would like to add, please contact me. email@example.com
Stefan, a new member from Germany, has an interesting story of how and when he came about his '56 Chevy.
Stefan Kirking "ChevyStefan" is 46 years old and lives in the town of Duisburg, about 160 miles North of the Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt. He is married to his lovely wife, Regina, and has two children a - daughter, Amelie and a son, Sebastian. For twenty years he performed field installations of equipment for Müller Martini Company. This kept him on the road too much and he decided to find a job near his home so he could raise his family. This family, of course, included the beautiful '56 Chevy you see him sitting in above.
"I worked together with some US guys (1997 – 1998). It was a great time for me, we had a lot of fun and I could practice my “school English.” I learned a lot of technical English words. One of the guys was a former US Marine. I was very proud to work with him." I am guessing he probably learned a few not so technical words also.
He has kept excellent records on his '56 Chevy and has a web site dedicated to it.
Stefan is an electronic technician and works with a team of 15 people who maintain large motor driven equipment for the newspaper printing business, Bild – Zeitung "The First Build". The first edition was published in June 1952. This keeps him busy in both the mechanical and electronics part of the business. I suspect it is pretty good training to be able to do the great job restoring his '56. He lives in a big house with his entire family, including mother, father, his married brother and his family and, of course, his wife and two grown children.
Stephan's hobbies are, electronics, the internet, music of the fifties, working in the garden and, of course, restoring his '56 Chevy. Stephan seems to be a bigger fan of the US than most of us. He is a pleasure to get to know. If you see him in the chat late at night our time, drop in and introduce yourself.
Stefan loves Americana, his childhood heroes are Bill Haley, Elvis, John Wayne and all the astronauts from the Apollo missions. He is an avid collector of early American rock and roll from the '50s to early '60s. He said, "I would like to cruise with my Chevy with some other cars of the fifties." I want to drive to a car show, but only if it is within 60 miles and always with 5 gallons gas in the tank. That's ok for me, that’s the American feeling of cruising with the sound of the fifties blaring. His 18 year old daughter, Amelie also drives the car. I know she is proud every time she gets a chance to get behind the wheel.
I asked Stefan why he chose a '56 Chevy. "It was love from the first time I saw one. I like the looks of the front with the great bumper and the rear with the wonderful taillights." The car has a great styling and a nice interior and on the German roads she is a real head turner. He said, "Every time I stop for gas, people ask me about the year of the car and the story of the restoration. He did mention that if it was 10 centimeters longer he couldn't get the door closed on his garage. Something tells me a BMW would fit just fine.
This specific car is a tribute to 9/11. The car was due to ship out of New York on that fateful day. Stephan got a call that the shipment of the car was held up because of the tragedy in New York. When the car finally arrived in Bremerhaven, Germany, there was still dust on the car - dust from 9/11. When he realized that the dust came from the fallen towers, it became much more of an American icon.
It is a mixture of tragedy and pain and a tribute to all Americans and American history. The whole story of the history and restoration of this car can be found on Stephan's web site. I recommend you take a look and remember this restoration was done in Germany, not the warmest place most of the year, and in a garage so small I still have not figured out yet how he gets in his car.
Stefan we are glad you found us on Trifive, welcome to the family. Your dedication and hard work has paid off. Your your car looks great.
You won't want to miss Stefan's website. Visit him soon and often at www.chevy56.de