Brent Erickson’s Pristine 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air
Growing up in the farm community of Thamesville, Ontario, Canada, may at first sound like a rather remote experience; however, the town is only about an hour and a half east of Detroit. For Brent Erickson, that was close enough to be keyed in on what was happening in the world of hot rods and drag racing, especially in the early ’60s.
Actually, Brent was on the verge of becoming a teenager when the game-changing 409c.i. Chevy engine debuted in 1961 and by the following year a couple older kids in town were lucky enough to have the high output W-engine under the hood of their ’62s. The Chevy’s terrorized the local streets and tore up the competition on the strips in nearby St. Thomas, as well as across the border in Detroit.
To Brent’s impressionable young mind, these were the first official muscle cars – and he swore that he’d own a 409 bubble top in his lifetime. It took several decades, as well as many other hot rods and muscle cars, but Brent finally got his hands on the one car that started him down his lifetime affliction with hot rods and factory muscle.
It’s fitting that Brent owns this specific 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air, as it started life in Vancouver, British Columbia, where it was driven sparely before being stored for many years. Eventually, the car ended up in Ohio where it underwent a complete nut-and-bolt restoration back in 2005. The Bel Air only showed only 8,900 miles (which are documented) and was very complete and solid for being a Northern vehicle. Anything that needed replacing during the resto was done with NOS components.
Once the red-on-red Bel Air was finished, the car was placed in a Washington state museum, which explains how it still looks absolutely new. (In fact, it only has a handful of miles since the restoration.) A few years ago, the museum sold off some of its collection and Brent was all over it – especially since it has the original 409/409 dual-quad power plant, four-speed, and the lack of a radio or heater. It was ordered for the strip, just like the cars he read and heard about when he was a wee-lad farm boy.
Brent’s 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air is in good company with Brent and the other cars in his collection, which now includes a ’62 Impala hardtop and droptop. Wonder if a Biscayne is on the search list to round out the model year?