Gerald Zielinski's 1955 Chevrolet

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Gerald's Chevrolet as it appeared when Robert Hegge photographed it for the Custom Rodder November 1962 cover story. Photo courtesy of Gerald Zielinski Jr.
Photo courtesy of Gerald Zielinski Jr.
It took Gerald four years of spare time to build the car. Once completed, it landed the cover of Custom Rodder November 1962. The story inside the magazine was titled "St. Louis Showboat", and according to the author Robert Hegge, Gerald drove the car to work in the weekdays and shows in the weekends when he did the story on the car.
Gerald's old Road Angels plaque. Photo courtesy of Gerald Zielinski Jr.

1955 Chevrolet hardtop owned and restyled by Gerald Zielinski of St. Louis, Missouri.


Family Car

Gerald, was a member of the Road Angels of St. Louis, and it was his mom and dad that originally bought the car in 1955. Gerald took ownership of the car sometime after that and started customizing it.[1]


Family Life

Gerald was married, and the father of two children, when he started working on the car, so he had to work hard and long hours in order to get it ready for the custom shows. Modifications included a three-inch dropped front and a two-inch dropped rear. Excess chrome was removed before Gerald installed 1954 Oldsmobile 88 trim and small lake pipes. Door handles were removed, hood and rear deck were shaved, and corners rounded. Scoops, made from sheet metal, were added to the rear section of the roof. The bumpers were scrapped in favor of rolled pans, and the rear of the car was dressed up with nerf bars and a license plate mount. The front fenders were modified to accept stacked dual headlights from a 1959 Chevrolet. Gerald did also install a grille made from chrome mesh and bullets. The rear quarter panels were modified to accept a pair of frenched in 1956 Packard taillights. Once the bodywork was done, the car was painted blue. The trunk and interior were upholstered in matching blue and white rolls and pleats. It was dressed up with chromed and reversed wheel that ran spiders, and dual dummy spotlights.[2]


St. Louis Showboat

It took Gerald four years of spare time to build the car. Once completed, it landed the cover of Custom Rodder November 1962. The story inside the magazine was titled "St. Louis Showboat", and according to the author Robert Hegge, Gerald drove the car to work in the weekdays and shows in the weekends when he did the story on the car.[2]


Where is it Now?

According to Gerald's son, Gerald Zielinski Jr., his dad sold the car in 1962 to buy a brand new 1963 Chevrolet Corvette split window. The '55 was last seen in St. Louis, Missouri in the 1960s. At the time it was at a speed shop on St. Charles road. It had a mech lean on it because the owner at the time couldn't pay for work done to it. Nobody knows what happened to it after that. Gerald Zielinski Jr. is currently trying to trace his dad's old custom. If you have any info about its whereabout or what happened to it after Gerald sold it, please get in touch with Kustomrama at mail@kustomrama.com.


Magazine Features and Appearances

Custom Rodder November 1962


References



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