I own a landscaping and irrigation company as well as work full time at the University of Calgary as the turf grass manager. One day during our noon hour an older lady approached us and was wondering if a retired employee still worked there. She wanted some landscaping and irrigation work done and was turned my direction. As I talked to her, I was thinking “what a nut case”, but, money is money, so I went to see her after work. I completed the work and she wanted me to get some stuff out of her garage. When I opened the door I saw a Nassau Blue 1964 Plymouth Belvedere sitting there all covered with dust. I am a huge Mopar fan so I could appreciate the car to a degree.

She bought and sold many cars over the years but never sold her first new car. She had offers from people over the years but any talk of bigger motor or anything turned her right off any potential sale. By the spring 2014 she was terminal with cancer and I had taken over her place as her part time landscape/ maintenance man. She asked me to take her old car out and wash and wax it. I agreed but was still not too impressed as it was a too many door. After washing it and seeing the reaction of older people in the neighborhood I was changing my idea in the concept of what a cool car actually was.

She related that in 1962 she was working in a school in New York as a history teacher and the nuns at the school were appalled in the condition the car was in that she used to get to work. She said it leaked all over the parking lot and smoked the whole time she was driving. Needless to say after much nagging by the nuns, she bought a new car. A 1964 Plymouth Belvedere. She moved to Calgary in 1966 to teach history at the University of Calgary.

The car was hit in the passenger door in 1975 and was painted then. Since I have received it, I have polished the paint, installed new rear springs, new rear axle seals, new dual exhaust, rebuilt the water pump, new wheels and tires, and installed a four barrel intake manifold and new carb. A continually leaky 727 transmission still frustrates me but eventually I’ll get it worked out. Some missing body trim pieces were tracked down and installed. This winter promises more upgrades such as front disc brakes, sway bar and upholstery work. It currently has 50,086 miles, the original windshield, a push button 727 transmission, and is a really fun car to drive. 

She asked me in late May if I was interested in buying her car. I told her I was, but had no idea what a ’64 four door was worth. I had looked online and was not interested in spending too much as there was work to be done as well. The car sat weird, had studded winter tires that didn’t match, leaky exhaust, leaky transmission, leaky water pump, some rust, bias ply spare and needed a major tune-up on the 318 Polysphere. After a week or so she offered to sell me the car at what she paid new.

So we agreed on the price of $2800.00 and she passed away quite quickly after that, so after waiting for the lawyer for 6 months and $1400.00 changing hands (her estate owed me the remainder) the car was mine. Since I have received it I can’t believe the attention it gets at car shows or on the street. I can’t go anywhere without someone commenting on how they, their grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, etc. had one with the push button automatic transmission, and almost everyone has very positive comments on the stock colour. 

1964 Plymouth Belvedere

Greg Coxson