This 1953 Chevy is definitely the oldest and cleanest City Survivor Urban Gear Works has featured to date. I was so surprised to see a car of this vintage parked in the middle of the Loop (at this time of year, no less!) that I got off the bus and suspended my commute home for a closer look. As I drew nearer, I realized that the Chevy was quietly idling, and the owner, who identified himself as Jeremiah, was sitting inside. The chance to interview the owner of a feature doesn't happen very often, so I was glad for the opportunity to learn a little more about this example. As I suspected from the distinctive, but subdued, exhaust note, this Chevy still retains the original "stovebolt" inline six-cylinder engine. The two-tone brown exterior is fresh, and likely better than it would have been in 1953. During our conversation, the owner pointed out the interior, which he is still in the process of restoring. I have to give a lot of respect to Jeremiah for his restoration - I didn't want to pry to much into a stranger's life, but if I had to guess, there's a good chance his parents weren't even born yet when this car rolled off the assembly line. The choice to do a factory-style restoration of this 1953 sedan (versus the much more frequently seen '55-'57 Bel-Air) demonstrates a commitment to the craft and the hobby.
This car doesn't sport the flamboyant chrome seen on later 50's models, and the color scheme is much more subtle than the iconic fire-engine red often chosen, but sheer anachronism of this car streetside was enough to stop pedestrians in their tracks on a Friday evening. For readers who haven't experienced it, it takes quite a lot to get the attention of anyone who commutes in an out of the Loop daily. Stimuli of every sense are so prevalent that a sort of voluntary numbness is almost required. Just in the time that I was talking to the owner, however, at least three other people stopped to take pictures. There was something unique about seeing this car parked downtown. Unfortunately, my picture only shows a backdrop of nondescript offices, but behind me stood a line of century-old brick three-stories. This new-looking 60-year-old car made the whole street look like it was from another time - it was easy to picture the entire sight being part of an old detective movie, complete with three-piece suits, fedoras, and guys named "Lefty". Urban Gear Works wishes the owner all the best in his continued restoration efforts!
City Survivors are photographed in public places. Every attempt is made to respect the privacy of the owner. License plates, faces and other identifying information are intentionally obscured. If the owner does not want their car displayed, Urban Gear Works can be reached through the contact form. Alternately, Urban Gear Works welcomes any owner who wishes to share more about their vehicle.