1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


The Marrying Car: The Johnson 1957 Chevrolet Convertible
Ward Parker 08

Some of you may remember the white 1957 Chevrolet convertible bought new by Bill Joe and John Johnson's mother. Top of the line white Bel Air convertible with every option except a Wonder-Bar radio. It had a 283 V8 "Power Pack", 4bbl carb, dual exhausts, dual antennas, dual mirrors, spinners, skirts, Chinese red with silver interior and a power top. I don't know where or to whom she sold the car, but in 1963 it ended up on the showroom floor of a used car dealer in Union, actually sitting in what is now the NAPA store in Union. At that time I had a little Harley-Davidson and was out riding when I spotted the car, made a u-turn into the parking area and found they were asking $1895 for the Chevy. I made a $900 offer (the amount of my bank balance), and of course they laughed me out of the place. To shorten this story, 3 months later the salesman brought the car to Greenbrier Milling Co, where I was working and offered it to me for $1200. I told him my original offer still stood, and kept working. He left 3 times before returning and accepting my $900, and I was the extremely proud owner of my dream car! I loved that car, and kept it until it was rear-ended by a drunk when traffic was stopped at the entrance to the Greenbrier in White Sulphur. (remember when the Greenbrier Security would stop traffic on Rt.60 to allow cars from the Greenbrier to enter?) I even took my Virginia driver's test with the top down in a drizzle. The trooper testing me asked me if it wasn't about time to put the top up, and I told him it had not been up for two weeks, and it would be a couple more before it went up. He passed me anyway, even though water was dripping from his hat.

Now to the unusual circumstances pertaining to ownership of that Chevy;

The car was traded to that dealer by a Parker, who had just gotten married. (I have long forgotten his first name).

I was married before I owned the car 3 months.

When I traded the car in Covington Va., it was bought by a Ronnie Parker, and he too was married within a few months of owning the car, and he traded it for a more family friendly car.

Sadly, I lost track of it, and we will never know how many other marriages may have taken place!