View Full Version : Custom 1957 Chevy to help families of fallen

05-01-07, 07:22 PM
Custom 1957 Chevy to help families of fallen
By Seamus O’Connor - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday May 1, 2007 17:39:55 EDT

Calling all military motorheads: You can take part in a project that could bring a shiny new ’57 Chevy to your base, while helping the families of your injured and fallen comrades.

Super Chevy magazine has teamed up with the Roadster Shop of Elgin, Ill., and CARS Inc., a classic Chevy parts manufacturer, to create Project American Heroes. The companies have brought together donated parts and labor from several firms to build a new 1957 model Chevy, the final design of which will be determined by online voting. They plan to take their hot rod on the road and gather donations to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation.

“All together, there’s probably $150- $250,000 worth of parts and labor being donated for the car,” said Jason Plummer, a spokesman for CARS Inc.

The idea came from Super Chevy’s editor as a way to celebrate the ’57 Chevy’s 50th anniversary this year, Plummer said. Also, both Super Chevy and CARS Inc. have many military customers, he said.

“We all realized that our customers and their readers are the same people who are [deployed] overseas,” he said. “So it’s just a way of kind of paying back for the guys who have supported our businesses so much, and also to pay tribute to the stuff that they’ve been willing to go through, the families especially.”

PAH especially wants military members to vote on the final design of the car, which they can do at www.projectamericanheroes.org .

They vehicle should be finished by August, Plummer said. But the project partners have already started showing the car’s body off at auto shows, starting with the Detroit AutoRama show in January. They plan to bring the car to auto shows nationwide and also military bases and hospitals — basically, “wherever we can be invited,” Plummer said.

The Air Force has played a large part in the project already, teaming up the project’s display with Air Force recruiting efforts, Plummer said.

“We talked to some of the other branches ... there’s been interest from all of them, but the Air Force has been the most proactive,” he said. “It doesn’t cost them anything, but they can support it ... so it’s a good tie in between the two.”

The last stop will be at the Barrett-Jackson auto auction in either January or April, Plummer said. The auction is a massive, televised car lover’s dream, where prize bombers can sell for millions of dollars.

“Currently, a car that’ll be similar to this would go for about $150,000 to $200,000, depending on the quality,” Plummer said. “Since this one will have also a big story appeal to it, and it’ll be for a charitable [cause], it could go over $250,000.”

Combining the auction winnings with donations from road shows, the project aspires to donate over one million dollars to AFF, Plummer said.

“It’s such a cool opportunity” for the partners, Plummer said, adding that they want to help those who aren’t often recognized.

“It’s a big, unsung part of the story, that somebody who gets wounded or fallen in battle, their families have to go through a lot.”