Larry Pointer 1937 Chevy Brule

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    Rik Hoving

    I’m posting this on behalf of Larry Pointer.


    All words and images by Larry Pointer.

    Here is “Brule”. French for “Burnt”. This build started out four years ago as a burnt out hulk, from a shop fire back in 2009. I envisioned a “GM concept car of 1936 (her actual birth date)”, with styling cues taken from the “streamline moderne” coachbuilders of Europe before WWII. I’ve always thought the stock 1937 Chevrolet fenders had a less than full figured, “mushroom” look. The running boards, extending forward under the front fenders, detracted from the flow of the streamline from the hood sides into the door panels. The louvered bubble on the hood sides, with a thin chrome strip also was distracting. The drip rail seemed chopped off, as it trailed behind the quarter window. And those tail lights on insect antenna stalks had to go.

    So, here she is: Brule. In subsequent posts, I will start…always the storyteller…from the start. My start, and this car’s start in life. But for now, I’ll leave you guessing (isn’t that how they did it in the Saturday matinee “cliffhangers”?)


    Enjoy the beauty of Customizing


    This is going to be good. !!!!



    Has that had a frame swap?

    Larry Pointer

    No, it has the stock 1937 Chevy frame, Tony.

    Larry Pointer

    In 1965 I built a 38 Chevy coupe.  It literally had become a farm chicken coop.  Running gear came from a wrecked Chevy pickup.  My friend George Bassett mixed up a red-brown paint for it.  To pay for the birth of my daughter that year I sold it to our jr. college basketball center, Dale Phillips of Michigan City, Indiana.  He drove it home from Wyoming, 25 mpg!

    01-Stork02-Chevy-Color Stork3


    In 2016, nostalgia hit.  I located Dale, a retired pilot, and he led me to that 38 coupe, still in Michigan City.  Owner Greg Prosser had stalled in a street rod build.  It was for sale, but…the body was badly rusted.  Though the price was right, in Montana common sense grabbed me, and I passed.  The car then moved on to a street rod life, likely.

    03 Dale Phillips 3 Basketball


    It always will be the Stork that delivered my daughter home.

    04-Stork 21

    05-stork 715

    But when the bug hits, I became driven to hear the “twice pipes” one more time in my life!


    Larry Pointer

    What you can find, if only you look.  In a garage a stone’s throw away when I was growing up, sat a 1937 Chevy coupe.  I never knew.  Only frequented the Gabriels’ rhubarb patch alongside, of a summer eve.  It sat half a century, until found by my friend Blaine Murphy.

    “Not for sale,” the lady said.  “It’s a lady’s car.”

    Blaine’s wife Cassie bought the coupe.

    03-Blaine Murphy-Cassie Sundberg and LeLoie Gabriel Brewer

    (Blaine Murphy, Cassie Sundberg and LeLoie Gabriel Brewer (original car title is on table)


    Turns out, LeLoie Gabriel Brewer, herself today 98, then told them…she still had all the papers…it was bought new in Sedalia, MO in late 1936 by her recently widowed aunt Lelia Allison Robinson.

    01-Lelia Allison Robinson

    Lelia Allison Robinson, 1918, Pettis County, Missouri (she would marry Robison in 1925)


    Coo Coo Ca Choo, Mrs. Robinson and her coupe headed “west of Laramie” as the ad would say, to Sheridan, Wyoming and an active social life of rodeos, country dances, and Polish weddings.  Then when she passed on, the coupe was parked.  Until Cassie became her next lady.

    02-Thompson Motors, Sedalia, MO 1936 ad

    1936 ad in Sedalia MO Democrat, Thompson Motor Co.


    Tragedy struck with a shop fire in 2009.  The coupe suffered badly, and went on to a “wheeler dealer”.  I tracked her down and in 2016, like Phoenix from her ashes, new life began.



    2016, ’37 Chevy left rear view



    2016, ’37 Chevy coupe, 3/4 right front view



    2016, burnt out interior of the ’37 coupe


    She would be Brule, French for “burnt”.


    Great story so far, Larry.

    Keep it coming.


    Tom Nielsen


    An interesting story and I am looking forward to more information on your cool build.  I have always liked ’37-8 Chev coupes.  My best friend in high school was building one with a Buick straight-eight in it.  Keep on with the details of construction for us CCC fans.

    Mild Mitch

    Yes, loving this story and history too. Thanks for sharing this.



    Better then Watching to old movie serial, “The Perils of Pauline.”

    Next episode please.


    Larry Pointer

    Once safely home, my son Jade and I began salvage.  Damage was extensive.  But I assured myself it would be OK.  The agreement with the “wheeler dealer” included “all the parts needed” to put the coupe right again.  Five other coupe bodies were in play, including a T-boned one with a perfect roof.  Mrs. Robinson’s 37 was an intact, running 30,000 mile lady’s car, wasn’t it?  Well, not quite.  The engine was seized.  The roof had lost its temper.  Heavy boxes had fallen on the car in that 2009 fire.  And, once the lead had melted, past damage and repairs were revealed.  Turns out Mrs. Robinson had tipped the car on its right side, back in Missouri.



    Me in the “ignorance is bliss” mode.”



    “Damage across the roof.  the hard and soft portions of the heated metal, not so apparant.”


    Blind intersection ahead! A dangerous corner lurks where your yellow brick road meets Shanker Lane.  How many times has the Golden Rule gotten “shanked” at that intersection!  The sound horn of wise advice can really help your sight distance.  But not if it is only viewed in the rear view mirror.  And triage after the wreck offers some bitter pills to swallow.  There’s “Get it in writing,

    “Get it home first.  All of it.”  And more, too painful to spell out, even in medical terms.  Bugger!

    I built a wooden jig, and with wheeled trailer lifts at each corner, raised and separated the body from the frame.  “Mr. Gadget”  Dotti called the thing.  Sandblasting came next.  Then acid primer.  And POR15 brushed underneath, inside, and on Larry.


    mr gadget 12

    “Our Mr. Gadget.  Houston, we have lift-off.”


    sandblast 2

    ” Sandblasting in the driveway was entertaining.”


    acid primer 2

    “Acid primer, to protect the bare metal.”


    Then tragedy struck. My son Jade died.  Prescription drug overdose.  Brule was to take a new reckoning::  The flight of this Phoenix would be lifting me from the ashes of my despair.

    Larry Pointer

    Follow your passions, I kept thinking.  And, no better medicine than a project.  That became Truth for me.  As I sorted, cleaned, and repaired the damage, I mused:  What would a Mrs. Robinson, here in Time, wish of her lady’s car?  To carry her quickly, and in style.  The Chevrolet of the 1930s certainly couldn’t keep up, or adequately squire her about.

    Yet, images of elegant ladies beside concourse d’elegance rolling art piqued my imagination.  What if, in 1936 when this coupe actually was born, GM had created a concept coupe, with styling cues from those streamline moderne coachbuilders?


    vichy 2
    Vichy concours d’elegance. The Delahaye created to match the lady’s couture from the seamstresses of Paris. (Photo credit LBI)


    As I went along I came across a finding by two young men, in a long Island parking garage.  Mouldering in a patina of neglect was one of those very cars of legend.  A 1948 Delahaye with a one-off body by Vesters & Neirinck of Brussels.  Even in the dim light of that basement, the elegant form of that car called out.  Its deteriorated condition was not unlike that of my bedraggled find.



    Vesters & Neirinck Delahaye 2

    The Vesters & Neirinck Delahaye found in a Long Island parking garage, 2018. (Photo credit LBI)


    Vesters & Neirinck Delahaye-5

    Vesters & Neirinck Delahaye-6


    Those boys saved that car, found its pedigreed past, and passed it forward to redemption.


    Brussels 2
    The Vesters & Neirinck Delahaye, Brussels Motor Show, 1948. (Photo credit LBI)


    delahaye 1

    Vesters & Neirinck Delahaye

    The Vesters & Neirinck Delahaye, restored. (Photo credit Andre, flickr)


    The fire was lit!  Brule would be that never was GM concept car of 1936.

    Quentin Hall

    I am so sorry to read of your son’s untimely passing.

    Every parent’s worst fear. It can be taken either way. To fall inward into griefstricken despair or as an opportunity to excel outwardly beyond your self . I watched helplessly as a good friend self destructed in grief over the loss of her young son and she herself lost her will to live. A tragic double loss.

    The Delahaye is right up my alley. I look forward to your next post.

    My mate has several Delahayes ( as you do) including one very similar 1948 convertible to the one you showed. All of the elements in their construction have been stored away in my subconscious and when I’m making something it’s almost like my brain and hands switch off , perhaps like,  an improvising jazz musician and it just flows.



    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Quentin Hall.
    Larry Pointer

    Thank you so much for your encouragement, Quentin.  It means a lot.  Redemption can come to a person who is down from so many, and surprising, ways.  Inspiration from the coachbuilders’ artwork!  Then the musings of “what if”.  Leading to “why not”.  And at this point, the CCC and you, Quentin, striking out in “call and response” of…yes…jazz improvization.  Rik Hoving, Memo, Torchie, Rob Radcliffe…so many of you in support and encouragement these 4 years.  Thank you all.



    Well spoken Quentin.

    My mother made me promise that I wouldn’t go before her. (Like  that was up to me.) I did manage to fulfill  that promise.

    When I see your work, Quentin, as well as others on here. I see craftsman’s whose tools are just a extension of their self. I see the same when I watch musicians(NO matter what the genre) go outside themselves when playing. Yes it is usually a improvising Jazz artist but you can see it in world class athletes and others.


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