Kannapolis Pre-Schooler Shows His ’57 Chevy along with His Father and Grandfather

Concord, N.C. (Sept. 4, 2007) – While most kids his age are playing with Hot Wheels or Transformers, 4-year-old Steven Banks Jr. will be getting his 1957 Chevrolet ready to display at Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s Sept. 13-16 Food Lion AutoFair.

The youngster’s red-and-white Bel Air will be featured in a special display celebrating the 50th birthday of America’s most popular classic car.
Banks, who goes by J.R., was fast enough to call dibs on the 50-year-old classic as soon as his grandfather, William Talford, pulled into the family’s Kannapolis, N.C., driveway—beating his older sisters Tyra, 9, and Jada, 7.

Talford told the family the two-door hardtop belonged to his grandson on the condition J.R. would help take care of it until he is old enough to drive it.
J.R. was born 46 years after the last 1957 Chevy rolled off the assembly line, so he does not yet appreciate the car’s 283-cubic-inch V-8 engine, pillar-less coupe styling or top-of-the-line Bel Air trim. It also has not sunk in that his car could be worth five or 10 times more than its current value in 2019 when he is old enough to obtain a North Carolina driver’s license.

“He just knows that it’s red and goes fast,” said his father, Steven Banks Sr. “Oh, and he likes the way it sounds.”

J.R.’s grandfather, who works and lives in Rock Hill, S.C., is well aware of the classic Chevy’s appeal. He has always loved the “bow-tie” brand and his car collection includes ’62 and ’64 Chevrolet cars and a ’57 pickup truck.

“My deal with J.R. benefits both of us,” Talford explained. “He’ll be old enough to drive the car when I’m getting too old to drive it. Part of the deal is that he has to give me a ride in it every now and then.”

Soon after it was replaced by a new model in 1958, the ’57 Chevrolet, with its distinctive happy-face grille and jet aircraft tail fins, became the most sought-after used car in history.
Teenagers, who had gone with their parents to see the ’57s when new, had grown attached and could afford to buy and modify them for very little money. The standout styling certainly didn’t hurt its appeal, either.

Today, the ’57 Chevy is one of the most recognizable collector cars ever produced and the special Food Lion AutoFair display will include several versions of the American icon.
Other attractions scheduled for the Sept. 13-16 Food Lion AutoFair include a trio of cars from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s personal collection; TV host John Walsh’s unique amphibious vehicle; Bumblebee and Ironhide from the hit movie “Transformers;” Dale Earnhardt’s No. 3 “pass in the grass” Chevrolet from 1987; and two awesome Audis—the R8 supercar and the R10 diesel race car.

Food Lion AutoFair is the world’s largest automotive extravaganza. The four-day event includes a car show featuring various makes and models from more than 50 clubs; more than 7,000 vendor spaces that offer a plethora of automotive parts and memorabilia and a car corral that features nearly 1,500 vehicles available for sale or trade.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking for the event is $5. For information, contact the speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.