LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– When Bill Henry first got his 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air, it wasn’t much to look at. In fact, it wasn’t even what his wife wanted. She had her eye on an old Mercury.
“So I bought this car and brought it home on Mother’s Day in 1998, and she still doesn’t let me live that down sometimes,” he told CBS4.
But over time, piece by piece, the old car named “Lost Soul” started to come back to life. Over eight years, Bill would change one small thing that led to another. With no plan, each custom detail awaited his daughter’s feedback for final approval. This car was Bill’s first big fabrication project, so he didn’t know what he “could or couldn’t do.”
“The first four years I’d try and go to the shop every night after work, and every Saturday and Sunday. I just had fun cutting and chopping and welding and making what came out of it,” said Henry.
Lost Soul got its name from a very special person, Bill’s daughter Stacey. She died on March 29, 2011 from diabetes complications. But before she passed away, she gave her father a teddy bear and walking stick, which are now permanent fixtures in his car.
“Those are the two pieces of my daughter that ride with me all the time,” he told CBS4.
His next adventure will be in Las Vegas, where Lost Soul will compete against 17 other cars for one very special prize. The winner will have their life-size custom vehicle immortalized as an iconic Hot Wheels die-cast toy car. Earlier this year Bill won over judges at the Hot Wheels Legends Tour event in Longmont, CO, earning him a spot in the national SEMA showdown.
“I don’t think I could have every comprehended that I would have a car that would even be considered a Hot Wheels car.”
The competition is scheduled for Nov. 5 in Las Vegas.