A few weeks ago, Mark Jarvis got the urge to get his red 1956 Chevy 210 out of the Your Classic Ride garage where he keeps it and take it around town. The partly cloudy day made the lighting perfect to take photos.
Jarvis spent most of the day driving his car to different iconic places in Kansas City, like Union Station, Kauffman Performing Arts Center and Liberty Memorial.
As he drove from place to place, having a good time pursuing his photography hobby, thoughts of his younger brother, J.C. Jarvis, were on his mind. Mark usually thinks of J.C. whenever he gets in the 1956 Chevy 210.
J.C. Jarvis passed away in 2011, and at the time, he was working on restoring the 1956 Chevy 210. J.C. bought it, in part, because of his memory growing up Salina, Kan., and eventually getting to drive a 1956 Chevy 210 that Mark bought in 1965 when he was in high school.
“Later on, the car passed down to my younger brother and he had it,” Mark said. “We really liked it and talked about it over the years.”
In 2007, J.C. bought a 1956 Chevy 210 and started to fix it up.
In the four years J.C. worked on the car, he completed much of the mechanical work. When Mark inherited the 1956 Chevy 210, it still needed plenty of work on the exterior and interior.
Mark took the car to Maaco in Overland Park in 2011 and was very pleased by the work done by Daniel Grimm.
Two years later, Mark had the interior redone by Terry Frazee at Mid-America Auto Interiors in Overland Park.
“I think the guy did an outstanding job,” Mark said.
Through the years, Mark kept the 1956 Chevy 210 in the garage at his Lenexa home during the spring, summer and fall and then found a garage to store it during the winter so his daily driver could occupy his home garage.
Last winter he found Your Classic Ride at 2711 Warwick in Kansas City. It was the perfect place to not only store and keep the car out of winter weather, but Mark could also work on the car, putting the finishing touches on it.
“Other guys work on their cars in here,” Mark said. “You get to talk to them a little bit and trade ideas and parts. That has been fun.
“This winter I got all of the underside really cleaned so it is ready to go. It looks great.”
As much as Mark, now 67, enjoyed his teenage car, he never had thoughts of owning another one just like it later in life.
But the loving way Mark completed his brother’s project is the type of story that tugs at the heart of anybody who enjoys a strong relationship with a sibling.
Today, whenever it is nice outside, Mark takes his car out and drives it around. It brings him so much joy on a number of levels.
“I can tell you what is great about this car,” Mark said. “One, is driving it. In a modern car, you are in climate control and you’ve got the steering wheel and an accelerator. You don’t have to think about driving.
“But this car, you think about it. There is no air so the windows are down. You are shifting gears, listening for sounds and you are feeling vibrations. You are using all your senses. These cars are harder to drive so it is more of a driving experience.”
Mark never expected the second reason that makes driving the car enjoyable. It’s the stories he hears whenever he stops at a store and somebody comes up to him to talk about the car.
“Two things happen,” he said. “They compliment the car and after that, they tell me a story about a car they had. That happens every single time. Everybody has a favorite car memory.”
Mark is definitely proof of it. He likes the fact that his 1956 Chevy 210 was completed on the 60th anniversary of the car. The one he currently owns has been returned to life because of his love for his younger brother.
“I probably would have never acquired the car, but once he bought it and he loved it and he passed on, it got to be real important,” Mark said. “When I drive it, I think about him. He would have loved how it turned out. I wish he could see it and ride in it.”