By Luke Kenton
This adoring grandson made sure his beloved grandfather’s 81st birthday was one to remember by fully restoring the car that the octogenarian had owned since the 1960’s.
28-year-old Cam Dedman spent much of his childhood listening to his grandfather’s repeated pledge to one day fix up the ‘57 Chevrolet Bel-Air, which was forced into retirement in 1976, after meeting an untimely demise.
But as the years passed, former maintenance man Fred Lamar’s aspiration was to remain a pipe-dream, as the required time and monetary resources continued to elude him.
That was until September 2016, when Cam, a landscaping business owner, asked Fred if he could try and get the engine running again – a question that just over a year later would prove to be a drastic understatement.
Stepping out of the car blindfolded during his 81st birthday celebrations, on January 13, 2018, the pensioner’s knees instantly buckle as he sees his dream cherry-red car standing before him, exactly as it would have looked back in the 50s.
A staggering 16 months and $30,000 later, Cam’s incredible gesture – completed with his bare hands – leaves his grandfather in a state of emotive disbelief, as Fred desperately swings his arms around the 28-year-old, crying profusely.
Admitting the grand reveal to be a truly special moment, Cam said: “The car had been sat just waiting to be restored for all those years.
“He always told me from a very young age that he wanted to fix it up – and I told myself that one day I was going to take it on.
“I took the car from his garage and said I was going to try and get it running again for him.
“What I didn’t tell him was that I was also going to do a full-frame restoration and also restore the paint, motor, suspension and custom interior, among other things.
“I grew up around hot rods, since my dad and granddad used to drag race.
“I build my first car when I was 11 and have done many since.
“It took me many long days and nights to finish the car – I had to keep telling him that I hadn’t had time to try to get it running, covering up the fact I was doing all of this work.
“He had no idea that I’d done this and certainly wasn’t expecting to see it when he took his blindfold off.
“I was getting emotional before I’d revealed the car, because he truly deserves this.
“He’s the greatest guy I know, he’s always helping others so I thought it was time to give back.
“I’ve never seen him so happy, he’s really excited to take it to the car shows now.
“He can’t wait to get back behind the wheel.”