Check Out This Christmas-Themed ’57 Chevy
Christmas fanatics often get pretty creative with their holiday light displays, so we’re sure you’ve seen some innovative ideas over the years. However, have you ever seen someone feature a classic 1957 Chevy as part of their lighting show?
One couple in Colorado came up with the idea, taking advantage of their stored Chevy Bel Air. As Kieran Nicholson of the Denver Post writes, the annual tradition has become an iconic hit in that part of the state. While you won’t by seeing this used car for sale in Albany, New York, you can still appreciate the owner’s resiliency to return the nameplate to prominence…
Dave Bandimere has always been infatuated with vehicles, which is understandable considering his family connection to the Bandmire Speedway. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when he and his wife Barbara decided to deck out their classic 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air in red and white Christmas lights, a tradition they’ve continued for the past decade. While Bandimere was initially skeptical about investing the time and effort into the project, he soon learned that it was being warmly received by his neighbors.
“At first, I thought it was silly,” Bandimere said. “It’s been the craziest thing. People come by and tell me: ‘It just isn’t Christmas unless you do this.’ ”
The vehicle was first purchased back in 1986, when Dave bought the used vehicle for his teenage son David (who also goes by “Skip”). Father and son worked on the engine over the years, refurbishing it enough for the Bel Air to make appearances at a local speedway. However, Skip later went off to college, and the unpainted Chevy was placed into storage.
Years later, Skip was hoping to adopt a child from China, and he planned on selling the car to help raise money. Yet, his father was unable to part with the classic vehicle.
“He was going to sell the car in order to raise money,” Dave said. “”I bit the bullet; I bought the car for a second time.”
The vehicle still didn’t serve much use, however, sitting in Bandimere’s storage for a few more years. That’s when he came across an old pickup truck in front of a store that was decorated with Christmas lights. That inspired Dave to pull his Bel Air out of storage, adorn it with net lighting (usually found on bushes), and put it in front of his house for all to see.
“Red lights on red paint, white lights on white,” he described. “The fun thing is — the net lights are so cool the way they spread out, it looks like it’s painted in light.”
Unfortunately, the Bel Air’s lone purpose right now is as a display during Christmas. When the season has concluded, the Chevy is placed back into storage, waiting there until it’s next annual appearance.
“I just put it away, take care of it, start it once in a while,” Bandimere said. “Someday, we’ll figure out what we’ll do with it…In my heart, it’s still Skip’s car.”