Mark put the word out at the Chevy Dealership he was general manager of that he was “seriously” searching for a 1969 Chevelle SS 396. He was not concerned with any particular condition, color, or anything else but was looking for the “right” car. Each Chevelle was going to be evaluated and decided if it was worth his time and money. Over the years, he had accumulated many NOS parts and had “leftover” parts from his previous Chevelle. So Mark was ready to rebuild the Chevelle of his youth.
The plan was to restore a Chevelle so Mark and his wife could cruise as they did many years ago and attend some local shows. They had heard of the Maryland Chevelle Club and were looking forward to joining and participating in the activities. Their two children were grown and working in their successful careers, now it was time Mark to enjoy his success. .
Reviewing the Sunday classifieds, Mark was very disappointed that, once again, there were no ‘69’s advertised in the “Antique Cars” section. He folded up the paper and threw it down on the table. Later that day, his wife was clearing the table for dinner when she noticed an advertisement for an auction on the back page. Listed was a body shop business, its contents and equipment, and an unfinished 1969 Chevelle SS 396 and various parts to be auctioned later that week. Mark was happy that, at the very least, this was a good start.
On that fateful day, Mark laid eyes on the super-straight Chevelle. It had a stunning Lemans blue paint job, all new sheet metal, correct glass, and a pile of interior parts and accessories to go with it. Best of all, it was the EXACT color combination of his first car, except there were no side stripes. A copy of the Chevelle’s build sheet was available to review, and it was equipped EXACTLY as his was when he bought one in 1969. He was definitely interested.
Having done research, Mark knew what the Chevelle was worth as is. He also had an educated idea what it would cost to assemble the Chevelle “concours-correct”, which was his intention. With the body work perfectly completed, he felt this could be the start of the perfect project car. He HAD to HAVE it!
What Mark didn’t count on was becoming entangled in a bidding war with another buyer and ended up paying MORE than what the car was worth. He was now $6800 poorer, but had the ‘69 Chevelle SS 396 he wanted. Little did he know that this Chevelle was “coming home” again. .
Now in his spacious garage, Mark took inventory of the parts that came with the car. His wife was very happy that Mark had a new hobby, which she also took interest in herself. Both recanted the good times they had cruising around and winning races in “their” ‘69 SS. As the assembly began, the family grew closer as they all pitched in to help. .
When it came time to install the L78 engine Mark had saved for many years, it received a rebuild to factory specs and all the correct factory details. As they were picking up the engine with the cherry-picker, he compared VIN stamps. After doing a double-take, Mark was utterly AMAZED that the VIN’s MATCHED! He announced his miraculous discovery to his wife and family that he re-purchased HIS original Chevelle! They were not counting on a numbers-matching Chevelle, but that’s what they got! .
One year later, the assembly of the Lemans Blue ‘69 SS 396 was completed. Everything was perfect, including the sound of the original Chambered Exhaust System. While the assembly was going on, Mark’s son performed a title search on the car, contacted the previous owners, and was able to compile this story that we share with you today. It is displayed, along with the original paper-work and many old pictures of the Chevelle, at the car shows they participate in. And for their efforts, the Chevelle has won many awards including “Best of Show” awards, enough to fill a room. It is now recognized as one of the most “original” Chevelles in the country.
Receiving many big-buck offers, Mark has repelled ALL of them. He is quoted as saying,“ I learn from MY mistakes. I will NOT make the same mistake again!”
Click Here for the beginning.