Bob Burrell and his 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air may be
“the classiest pair on Quinte’s roadways.”
Born in Stirling Ont. Bob spent his youth growing up on his parents 130 acre dairy farm and went to school in the town. In 1957 Bob got his drivers licence. The local Ford dealership, McIntosh and Wells, was the government approved licence office, and Shell McIntosh had Bob drive out to Oak Lake Rd. and back. On arrival back at the dealership, Bob was issued a slip to go over to the Five and Dime to pick-up his licence.
Bob’s first car was a 1951 Meteor 4-door with rotten floorboards, the dealership repaired them with an old sign. On graduation from Stirling High School, Bob went to work for The Stirling News Argus, doing paper deliveries and type-setting. On June 22nd, 1968 Bob married the love of his life, Barbara-Jane Parm from Cannifton Rd., Belleville Ont. They drove away from their wedding in a 1964 Chevrolet Malibu Convertible, black with a red interior.
In 2002, with fellow Bel Air owners, Mike, Doug, and Bill Brant from Deseronto Ont. went to Oshawa Ont. to assist Bob with his purchase of his 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air. All the Brant brothers are Bel Air owners. The car has had the addition of a rear-view mirror (an available option at the time), a six volt electric fuel pump, and the vinyl seat-covers replaced with much cooler cloth.
In 1950 Chevrolet would set a pattern with a revolutionary style that would last until 1981. In 1953 Chevrolet introduced the Bel Air name as their premium model range. The 1953 Chevrolet was advertised as “Entirely new through and through,” due to the restyled body. These Chevrolets shared similar frame and mechanicals with the 1949-52 cars. This was to be the first post war modern Chevrolet passenger car.
“Bob Burrell is one of the nicest people I have ever met,” said Fred Knight, vice-president Napanee Valley Cruisers. “He is always cheerful and helpful.”
Bob has been going to Napanee for cruise nights for ten years and joined the Napanee Valley Cruisers three years ago, but has been winning awards car with his since 2005. The most recent win for Bob and his Bel Air was at Lakeside Antique and Classic Car Show, Cobourg Ont for best 50’s closed car.
The Cruisers were formed in 1996 and run two cruise nights, Monday and Wednesday nights as well as their annual Canada Day Car Show.