“The Poor Man’s Belair”
It is always great to browse through social media and see what cars are out there. When we saw this bagged to the ground 1962 Chevy Biscayne pop up, it got us excited and then we heard that it used to belong to a famous rugby player and this piqued our interest even more. We meet the current owner, Pieter Thomas and his low riding Chevy.
The Chevy Biscayne was a full-size production car, manufactured between 1958 and 1972. It was named after a show car that was on display at the 1955 GM Motorama. The Biscayne was a cheaper version of the Bel-air and the Impala and it came with less trim on the inside and outside. This led to lower price tag.
Pieter Thomas grew up with the roaring sounds that can only come from V8 engines. So, when he came across this Biscayne, he knew it was the car he had to have. When he found out it used to belong to former Springbok Captain John Smith, well that just made it a bit more special.
Pieter said that the one of the most challenging parts with regards to purchasing this vehicle was convincing his wife to allow him to get the car as she prefers a more modern vehicle.
He said that the car was about 75% up to scratch re a full restoration. The first thing that he did was remove the million silencers on the exhaust system as that made it sound (or not sound at all) like a Toyota Prius. The 350cu V8 motor with a 350 auto box was in good condition but the engine bay needed some attention. He cleaned and changed the engine parts so that he had a proud feeling when opening the hood.
Pieter was not sure who actually did the original restoration and acknowledges that they did not do a bad job at all but, like any Rodder, he preferred to lay his own hands on his cars and that way they are always restored to his standards and this way, he can only blame himself if something goes wrong.
The Biscayne came with air ride and Jag front suspension already installed. He would have fitted this anyway as it gives the car a bad-ass look and creates a driving experience akin to a boat rolling on the ocean. Actually, it is not a low rider but more a high comfortable rider. It only gets dropped to the ground when it is parked or on show.
The mag wheels are original Corvette replacement wheels that were brought in from the USA and are running 255/50/16 on the front and back. The only thing that Pieter did was make his own centre caps to suit the detail design of the mags.
The hearse-black paint job works beautifully together with the lipstick red leather interior. The custom steering, B&M shifter and air ride control panel look like a match made in heaven.
All in all, this is one mean looking ride and is definitely a head turner.
OWNER: Pieter Thomas
LOCATION: Midvaal, Gauteng
MAKE: Chevy Biscayne
ENGINE: 350cu V8
TRANNY: 3 Speed Auto
WHEELS: Front and back rolling on 255/50/16
BRAKES: Front upgraded Jaguar ventilated disc and calipers, rear drums
INTERIOR: Red Leather
EXTERIOR: Hearse Black
ANY EXTRAS: Neatly hidden fitted surround sound system with 2 x 12″ subs between boot and rear seat