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1956 Grateful Dead Chevy Bel Air Looking for an Owner

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On: Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 2:46PM | By: Gary P Garry


1956 Grateful Dead Chevy Bel Air Looking for an Owner

Whether you love them, hate them, or couldn't care less about them, the Grateful Dead made an important impact on the world of rock and roll for a long time. In a very real sense, they helped shape the genre, because they started out when electric guitars were first starting to become the rage.

The Dead began their long strange trip as a band back in 1965, and if you do the math, that was 50 years ago. Jerry Garcia has always been identified as the spiritual leader of the band, and indeed, he is looked upon as one of the greatest guitarist of all time.

David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine rated him as the 13th best guitar player ever, and there are those who say he could well have been placed higher. Garcia passed away back in 1995, and the surviving members have played in various configurations on and off since then, but it has never really been the same.

Right now, the band is a trending topic, because the surviving members are going to be playing their final shows together along with guitarist Trey Anastasio from the band Phish and keyboardists Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti. The last three shows will be at Soldier Field in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend, and these shows sold out rapidly.

What does all this have to do with cars? Well, a number of Grateful Dead-related items were put up for auction recently, and one of them is still available. A 1956 Chevy Bel Air is a pretty cool car any way you slice it, but a vintage Bel Air that Jerry Garcia and other band members often rode in is on another level.

The car was owned by the Grateful Dead road crew, and a particular crew member purchased the car for himself in 1975; he subsequently gave it to his stepson. This '56 Chevy Bel Air was customized in the Bay Area years ago, but it needs a full restoration, according to the auction website.

If you are looking for a small slice of Grateful Dead automotive history during the band's 50th anniversary year, you may get another chance, because the car did not sell during the initial two-day Donley Auction. It's actually a sweet looking car, and if you ask me, the restoration would the a worthy project for a motor head who is also a Deadhead.




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