1956 Chevrolet 210 Sport Sedan

Owner: Mark Wadzinski, Bellevue, WA 

My love affair with 56 Chevy’s started at a very young age, some would have to say the seeds were planted before I was born. There were 5 Brand new 56 Chevs in my extended family. My brother bought one of these, my Grandpa’s 210 Sherwood Green 2 door sedan 6 cylinder, three on the tree, color keyed interior, with less than 50 K on the odometer back in 1969 when I was 7. Being exposed to a 56 daily made me want one all the more. When I was 14 and away at school, my brother called to tell me about his latest purchase, a fully loaded 1956 Bel Air four door hardtop. A four door hardtop, that was my dream car, and 28 years later I was finally able to purchase my version, a 56 210 four door hardtop fully loaded which I immediately named Ole Girl.

The car was built in Janesville Wisconsin, in the later part of January, 1956. The car was purchased off the show room floor of Burgess Chevrolet in Velva North Dakota in April of 1956 by Neena Severson, because she thought it looked pretty and spring like. Neena was a school teacher and lived on a dirt road outside of town; this fact probably saved the car from rust. Neena owned the car for about 35 years, having it repainted original colors in the early 80’s. At one point Neena sold it to her cousin who died a couple of months later and the car ended up back with Neena for a couple of more years.

Neena then sold it to a former student of hers about 11 years ago. The new owner showed the car in a couple of shows then promptly parked it in his storage shed with all the windows open, and there it sat for 9 years. Enter into the picture George.

George is an old car fan with an eye for 55, 56, 57 Chevy’s. On his way to and from work he would catch a glimpse of Ole Girl when the shed door was open. For 9 years he saw the car and for 7 of those he pestered the owner to sell it to him. Finally in February of 2004 George became the 4th owner of Ole Girl.

He promptly did a lot of mechanical work to her including rebuilding the carb, replacing almost the entire brake system, replacing the generator, replacing all hoses and belts, a good tune up, some transmission fixes, new shocks, and putting on radial tires. After owning it for a couple of months he had to come to the decision of either doing a full restoration or parting with her. Sine he had restored several tri-fives, and he already had 6 cars in his stable, he decided she neede to go to a new owner, so he listed her on E-Bay. Up until this point the car lived its entire life within 70 miles of where it was bought.

When I saw it on E-Bay my heart skipped a beat, a 210 four door hardtop with a continental kit. I contacted George and we were in daily communication. He would send me pictures and narratives on the car constantly. It took me a while to make my decision, well actually to make the logistics of my decision work. My decision to purchase to the car was made the minute I saw its picture. In the mean time, it had expired on E-Bay and George’s wife and convinced him to restore it… however since I had talked to him about the car I was grandfather claused in, and a deal was struck.

I sent him a deposit and arranged a flight to Minot ND. When I got there I gave the car a 30 minute go over, handed George’s Wife the Cashiers Check for the balance, (George had to work), and I started on my 838 mile trek to my family’s home in Wisconsin. It was a relatively cold summer’s day, cloudy and windy, but of course being a four door hardtop I had to drive it with al the windows down, thank God the heater worked. Also I had to call all my friends on my cell phone and had to have them listen to country music on the AM Radio…My AM Radio in My 56. Only one minor mishap on the way and that was the electric wiper motor started acting up.

I made it back to Wisconsin in time for the IOLA Old Car Show, a show I had been attending since I was 14, this time I was able to show my own car. In giving the car a good cleaning before the show, my brother and I must have removed about 10 pounds of dust and dirt from inside the frame and one petrified mouse. Just before leaving for the show while walking up to the garage with our suitcases, we smelled the sickly sweet odor of anti-freeze and discovered that my radiator went belly up. My brother, who has been acquiring 56 parts since his High School Years, had one in storage and 45 minutes later we were on the road to the show. My brother in the 56 210 four door sedan the he and rebuilt back in 1980 and me in Ole Girl.

I had the car shipped back to the Seattle Area in time for the NWCCC 2004 Tri Five Car Show. Since I have owned the car I have done some minor work on it, mostly cosmetic and cleaning. Near future plans call for a rebuilding of the Front Suspension, New Rear Springs, Cleaning of the Engine Compartment, and a rebuilding of the original AM Radio. Distant plans call for a complete Frame-Off Restoration, but at this time she is way too much fun to drive. And drive it I do you. You can find me in it most any day that it is not raining here in Seattle.

The original options are as follows:
o Powerpack Engine with 4 Barrel Carb. and Dual Exhaust
o Continental Kit
o Powerglide Transmission
o Wire Wheel Covers
o Door Handle Shields
o Fender Birds
o E-Z-Eye Glass
o AM Pushbutton Radio
o Rear Speaker with Switch
o Rear Mounted Antenna
o Special Two Tone Paint, Crocus Yellow and Laurel Green or commonly called Custard and Mustard
o Back Up Lamps
o Electric Clock
o Door Edge Guards
o Electric Wiper Motor
o Front Bumper and Grill Guard
o Rear Bumper Guard
o Locking Gas Cap
o Day/Night Mirror
o Outside Rear View Mirrors, Two of them mounted on the Front Fenders
o Vanity Mirror
o Gas Pedal Cover

Being a 210 4 Door hardtop she is rare, but having all these accessories especially on a 210 makes her really rare.

One last thing, Neena Died in September of 2004, and since George had been in contact with her since he owned the car, they had become good friends. She told him a couple of days before she died that on the day she picked up the 56 at the dealership she hid a brand new $5 bill some where in the car for good luck. As far as we know no one has found it. It sure has brought the car, and now me good luck. If I ever do find the $5 bill, I think I will let it be; maybe it will bring 50 more years of good luck.

-Mark