Featured Chevelle

Mom’s Chevelle

In 1968 I bought a ’68 Chevelle SS396 as a family car. My Dad liked the 112” wheelbase for ease of parking. He had never owned a new car before and said he would like to buy one in the spring. Unfortunately he passed away in January, 1971. He was going to buy a new Chevelle.

Mom decided to go through with the purchase in April of ’71. She said “I want a blue car with a vinyl top.” At that time, I worked at a Chevy dealer and pulled two blue Chevelles out of stock for her to decide on. She picked the one with the cloth interior. The car was billed out to me as an employee, for a $100 over cost discount.

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The Cars of Cuba

 had the opportunity to see the cars of Cuba in February of last year on a “people to people” or “humanitarian” visa. We flew directly from Miami into Havana– it was a real step back in time. I found the Cubans to be very interested in talking to Americans– especially about their cars.

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1969 Chevelle SS396: Almost a Custom!

This incredible ’69 Chevelle SS396 almost became a chopped up custom!

My 1969 Chevelle SS396 was purchased through good old eBay. It was represented as an “unfinished custom car with newer Corvette running gear”. It had been equipped with air bags, front and rear. To look at the car in the ad, it looked great – until I arrived to pick it up. After a brief argument over missing parts and sloppy workmanship (which lead to a subsequent price reduction), I loaded this project onto my truck and headed back to San Diego. After a couple of weeks, I uncovered the car and began to put together an itemized list of what it would take to complete this project as a custom build. Because of all of the missing parts and re-doing the sloppy work, you can only imagine the final tally.

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1970 Chevelle Convertible: Out of Time

A ’70 Chevelle so advanced, it must have come from the future.

1970 Chevelle Convertible: Out of Time. I grew up with Chevys. I have been involved with them my entire life, and I’m blessed to have a fully supportive wife who loves cars. After spending 35 years building hotrods, I’ve learned that not all cars are created equal. Some of the builds were just builds and others were nightmares – but this 1970 Chevelle took the cake. We spent over 2000 man hours building this masterpiece.

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An American Original: 1970 Chevelle Malibu Convertible

When this 1970 Chevelle Malibu Convertible joined us, we had a license plate we weren’t using that was in our daughter Sandra Ellen’s name. Because of that, “Ellen” somehow became the car’s name, too.

The car came to us from Cleveland, Ohio. No doubt, that’s a good place to live. It’s in a great state (Go Buckeyes!), the people are nice, they have the Cleveland Clinic and LeBron, and of course, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But, it can be tough on cars. The liberal (and necessary) use of road salt definitely takes its toll on steel during winter. For example, restoration of this car’s body required one new door, some floor repair, a full trunk pan, both lower fender patch panels, and full quarters on both sides.

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Do It Yourself?

Last summer, at a car show in Cleveland, Ohio, I sat around with a few older gents discussing ’50s cars in general. One of the guys was itching to buy late ’50’s Chevy or Ford, didn’t matter. He just loved that era. He’d seen a few advertised for sale that had stirred his interest, and they had been relative bargains, but, they all required complete restorations. He’d said he’d come to the conclusion that he simply didn’t have the energy any more to embark on a lengthy project, and had decided to buy a finished, completely restored car. Totally understandable, considering how long it can take to build a car– be it a back-to-showroom stock restoration or a full-on custom build. This particular gentleman had the financial means to pull out his checkbook and seal the deal, good for him.

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Racing Cops

Let’s talk about doing really, really stupid things. Like racing cops – ever done that? By accident I mean, of course. I’m not talking about squaring-off against a marked cruiser at a set of lights– that would just be suicide. I did however, put on an “exhibition of speed”, right in front of an unmarked Chevy Tahoe police unit.

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Future Classics

Are there true future classics being manufactured today? I mean other than Corvettes and Camaros? Sure, the Blue Oval has their Mustang and the on-again-off-again Ford GT, and Dodge has their Challenger (and to a lesser extent, the Charger). But since we’re a Chevy crowd, let’s concentrate on our brand.

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Stranger In A Strange Land

Stranger In A Strange Land - Putting our recent International issue of Chevy Classics Magazine together got me thinking about classic cars in unusual places. Seeing a ’61 Impala in Australia or a ’55 Chevy in Sweden is not all that unusual- after all, both of those countries are well known for housing plenty of classic American iron. Seeing a Roman Red 1960 Corvette cruising the streets of downtown London, England is certainly unusual though– especially one with California plates

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Burger Quest. Are You Up For It?

Burger Quest. Are You Up For It? I was sitting in my car today at lunchtime, munching on a burger, thinking about another place and time long ago. I was living in Portland, Oregon back in the mid ’90s, and had been doing some freelance writing and photography for Tom Shaw at Muscle Car Review magazine. Seems like back then, ol’ Tom was always wanting some unique stories for his magazine– real human interest stuff. So, my idea ended up turning into a six-page feature in MCR entitled “Burger Quest”. Needless to say, it was a blast putting the story together.

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