The Driver’s Seat (Part 3)

Some Guys, Some Girls, and Their Chevelle
The story of a certain Lemans Blue 1969 Chevelle Super Sport

The SS has fallen into the WRONG hands in it’s second owner. It’s now trashed and about to become a back-yard ornament. .

Tom handed Tony’s father $250 for the wrecked Chevelle, hooked it on the back of a rented tow truck, and towed it back to his shop. Back there, Tom was building a ‘36 Chevy Street Rod and was looking for a Chevy big block and a Muncie 4-speed transmission to put in it. And every mile he towed the Chevelle, the grin on his face grew bigger as he found what he wanted CHEAP! It was his lucky day. .

As soon as he returned to his shop, Tom pulled the engine and trans out of the Chevelle and gently laid it on a dolly inside so he could “freshen” it up. He slammed the crumpled hood of the Chevelle and pushed it out back. Parking on the grass behind the building, Tom threw a cover over it and left it there until he had a reason to sell it. He knew he may need a favor in the future and could use the Chevelle as payment. .

Three years later, after putting the finishing touches on his ‘36 Chevy, Tom offered his helper the Chevelle for free. He took David around back, pulled the cover off the Chevelle, and offered it as “partial payment” for helping him with the body and paint work on his ‘36. David walked around the Chevelle to size up the potential. The front clip was smashed, one of the frame rails was bent, and the original laquer paint was severely cracking. There was also lots of surface rust. But the body was otherwise solid, so he agreed and hauled it to his house. There he could work on it on his driveway in his spare time.

David had very limited financial resources, so he decided to replace the sheet metal and drive train with used parts. He scoured junk yards and local classified ads for affordable replacement parts. Eventually a low mileage 350 engine and transmission from a wrecked 1979 Z28 was found and purchased at an affordable price. Neither needed any work, so David installed them in the Chevelle as they were. A rough but usable front clip was found in a classified ad. David drove the Chevelle to a friend’s body shop where they straightened the frame, installed the “rust patched” front clip, sanded the entire body down and covered it with a fresh coat of red paint. David LOVED the results, and figured someone else would also. He drove the Chevelle around town with a for sale sign in the window in an attempt to make some “big money” off his car. The asking price was $3000. Many came to look at it, but no one brought David $3000 to buy it. He ended up selling the Chevelle to his brother-in-law for $2000 in the fall of 1980.

Gary was in need of good basic transportation to and from college and was impressed with the shiny red Chevelle and the fact that it only had 72,000 miles on the odometer. Seeing room for improvement, he installed an aftermarket stereo system, covered the ripped seats with seat covers, and laid some left-over carpet from his mother’s living room in it. In addition, new headers and dual exhausts were installed along with some new tires and Outlaw II wheels. Gary’s Chevelle was looking good once again. .

Four years later, and 45,000 miles later, Gary graduated from Penn-State University and enrolled in Rensallear University in Albany, NY. The Chevelle transported him trouble-free for four years, but was now going into a hostile climate featuring heavily salted roads during the snowy winter. The drive train performed flawlessly, but the sheet metal did not fare so well. Gary graduated from Rensallear in May, 1987 and drove back to Baltimore in his trusty rusty Chevelle. The love for his Chevelle was undying until his parents presented him a brand new 1987 Honda Accord as a graduation present. At first, Gary was hesitant to leave his Chevelle behind, but rationalized that the Accord would be better. After all, it wouldn’t look good pulling onto the parking lot of his new employer, Century Engineering, in a rusty old Chevelle. It was parked in the back yard where, again, it was relegated to yard-ornament status. Gary finally gave his parents permission to call a junk yard and have the 165,000 mile hulk towed away.

Click Here for part 4.