So she went to a local dealer in search of a new car. She stopped by the King Braeger Chevy dealer, simply because they happened to have the same name that she has. Braeger looked around until something caught her eye.
In 1975, Braeger joined a club for classic cars, the 1955-56-57 Chevy Club. Her reason for joining wasn't so she could show off the car, but because she figured they could help her find parts for it if she ever needed them. But finding parts was never all that difficult.
Over the years, the car has been at risk from time to time. In 1967, she thinks some parking valets abused the car, which led to a failed transmission. And in the '70s, she had to scare off a would-be car thief on Christmas Eve.
Then in 1987, she finally had the car completely restored. “The doors were taken off, the insides were removed, so the floorboards could be replaced,” she said. “And the dash was taken apart so it could be repainted, and so forth.”
As of 2010, the car only had 116,000 miles total. She drives it infrequently and has only taken a couple of road trips. The longest may have been her 1960 trip to Edmonton, Canada, which was just about 4,000 miles.
But when she does drive the car, she loves the attention it gets. She said that people often smile and give her a thumbs-up when they see the car on the road. “It’s like having my own car show on the street!” she said.
“I was raised during the Depression, and we learned to take care of things,” Braeger said. “People don't know how to take care of cars. Many, many people have told me, 'I had a '57 Chevy, and I wish I had kept it.'”