THE 1955 CHEVY was a classic example of sleek automotive design. And it was fast, powered by Chevrolet's first V-8 engine.
Roland Price Sharpe Jr. worked hard on his '55, rebuilding it and freshening up the paint so that he could show it off to his pals in West Philadelphia who were working on their own cars.
They would take their prized vehicles to a street in South Philadelphia where they would display them, and also, not exactly legally, race when the cops weren't looking.
Roland was always good with his hands, a born tinkerer who made his own CB radio when that was the local craze.
"He was very creative," said his wife of 50 years, the former Patsy Bishop. "He was a handsome man, very outgoing."
Roland Sharpe died May 8 of natural causes at age 70. He was living in a nursing home, but lived most of his life in West Philly.
He was born in Philadelphia to Roland Price Sharpe Sr. and the former Bernice Warfield. He graduated from Bok Technical High School, where he studied sheet-metal work.
He worked in sheet metal with a local company briefly, and began working with cars for Penn Jersey Auto Parts Co. But he was probably best known for the newsstand he operated for a number of years at 57th and Vine streets.
As a kid growing up in West Philly, Roland was a proud Explorer Boy Scout out of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas. He was a member of the exclusive Order of the Arrow.
Besides his wife, he is survived by a son, Roland Sharpe III; three daughters, Beverly, Lynn and Lorie Sharpe; and five grandchildren.