Hagerty's very own Kelse Berndt brings us her grandparents’ tale of a cross-country road trip, Americana style, in their beautifully restored 1955 Chevy pickup:
It winds from Chicago to L.A., More than two thousand miles all the way. Get your kicks on Route 66! Now you go through Saint Looey, Joplin, Missouri, and Oklahoma City is mighty pretty. You see Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico, Flagstaff, Arizona. Don't forget Winona, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino. Get your kicks on Route 66!
That was the song stuck in my grandparents’ heads all the way to California in their completely restored, long sought after 1955 Chevrolet pickup on Route 66 in the fall of 2012. While visiting the Grand Canyon with their old truck, it gained attention, and lots of it. My grandma recalls a foreign tourist couple who ran up to them, and just thought it would be the coolest thing ever to be able to take pictures with the cool red truck. Forget that they were visiting one of the 7 Wonders of the World, they wanted pictures with the truck! And boy is my grandpa proud. He bought the Chevy on April 1, 2006 and had it on the road by August 2009. It wasn’t the prettiest at the start, but it was his; the same one he’d been searching for, for years. He even painted it to match his ’55 Bel Air: Gypsy Red and Ivory White. They found the pickup in the paper and, to tell the truth, they were disheartened about calling because the phone number was from out of state. My grandma called anyway, without holding out much hope of a nearby transaction. After telling the gentleman she’d like to see it, he replied, “I’m in Honor, MI. Do you know where that is?” My grandma couldn’t hold in her excitement, “Do I know where that is?!?! I’m four miles down the road!” What’s that saying again? Oh yes, “Love at first sight.” Grandpa recalls his first trip home from the shop, “Didn’t even have the bed on it, basically it was a cab on four wheels! Didn’t have a seat either, so I sat on a crate. Still makes me laugh!”
Born and raised in Northern Michigan, I couldn’t ever imagine calling anywhere else home. A little about me- I married my best friend almost two years ago, we bought a house just outside of Traverse City three years ago, and we have the three best doggies anyone could ever ask for! It has always been my dream to work AND play in downtown Traverse City, and that came true just over a month ago when I joined the Hagerty family, and I already feel the warmth and love between everyone that you only feel in a family. I am looking forward to many more years here with Hagerty!