It's a labor of love.
A classic car isn't just a piece of machinery; it’s a rolling embodiment of stories, memories, and love. Such is the case with two meticulously restored Chevrolet classics—a 1949 Chevrolet 3100 and a 1953 Bel Air—once nurtured by Mike Wissinger and the late Paul Magee.
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Magee, who passed away in 2022 at 87, was a passionate car aficionado who spent his final years restoring these beauties alongside Wissinger. Now, Wissinger and Magee’s family are putting these cars up for sale as a tribute to the man who put his heart and soul into them.
The cars made a sentimental appearance at The Hot Dog Stand in Grand Blanc during the inaugural Back to the Bricks rolling cruise of 2023. There, Magee’s family and Wissinger gathered, reliving cherished memories as they watched other classic cars cruise by.
Arita Magee, Paul’s wife of 61 years, expressed the family's desire to find a new caretaker for these mechanical marvels. "We want someone to love and enjoy these cars just as Paul did," Arita said. An avid car show attendee, Paul and his wife never missed the annual rolling cruises, making this sale all the more poignant.
Grand Blanc's own Wissinger reminisced about how a casual conversation between him and Magee evolved into a full-blown restoration venture. "Paul came to me with a set of wheels to powder coat, and one thing led to another," Wissinger recalled. The restoration work eventually found a home in Magee's garage, where Wissinger ended up spending countless hours, fostering not just cars but a lifelong friendship.
Both Chevrolets are a testament to artisan craftsmanship and personal dedication. The Bel Air boasts a red stainless-steel exterior and hand-stitched interiors, while the 3100 shines in a coat of stainless-steel green. "These cars were not merely built; they were sculpted, with original parts that Paul had been collecting for years," Wissinger emphasized.
Wissinger, a product of a family deeply embedded in the automotive world, commended Magee’s unwavering commitment. "Many classic car projects remain dreams on wheels, but Paul was different. Once he committed, he was unyielding until the job was complete."
As these treasured Chevrolets await a new home, they carry with them the indelible spirit of Paul Magee—a man who not only loved cars but also translated that love into timeless masterpieces. Now, in an act of fitting legacy, these classic cars are set to find new driveways but will forever remain parked in the hearts of the Magee family and Mike Wissinger.