My '72 was "originally" purchased for my wife. At the time I had a 69 SS, and this was going to be her car. My buddy donated a fresh 350 that I was going to drop in and I was going to try to paint it all myself and have an inexpensive fun toy for the bride. Before that took place I got a 454 for it and the car suddenly became "mine"!
I got tired of the fathom green of the 69 as it was pretty original and I couldn't really toy it up with good conscience, so I sold it and concentrated on "my" 72 SS Clone. It was bought locally from a lady who had purchased it from her girlfriends grandmother and used it to commute to college. It was pretty economical with the 6 cylinder and powerglide. (That was all about to change!) I had talked the seller into selling it to me instead of a guy who was going to buy it for his 16 year old kid. I had to promise to take good care of "Sarah".
I drove it home and immediately began to tear it apart. I put power disc brakes in place of the old manual drums, then rebuilt all of the suspension using ploygraphite. I had most of the suspension powdercoated while it was off. Then I found a M-21 complete setup and installed that. I removed the 10 bolt 3:08 and put in a 12 bolt posi that we completely rebuilt with 4:10 gears. This was donated by Scott, who had earlier donated the 350. (Thanks Scott!) Once the drivetrain and suspension were done, I got it on the road and got everthing all straightened out and had the car inspected. I then got a set of buckets for it and recovered them with new upholstery.
I added the SS dash which I restored and also added a console after I restored it. Then it was off to Scott's buddies' body shop for an idea of where to go with the body. After looking the car over, Frank suggested full quarters for it instead of the skins I had already bought for it, and THATS' where the money started adding up! I got NOS full 1/4s for it. Then I figured only NOS fenders would do, so I got a set of them. I got a deal on a used original SS hood, and basically started looking for anything NOS I could find for the car. These included grille, grille trim, headlight and turnsignal bezels, roof drip moldings, front bumper, console door, interior dome light to name a few. I also got all new glass for the car.
After talking to Frank, I explained that I was interested in learning to do bodywork, and had a little experience. He told me to bring up my fenders and he would let me prep them there under his supervision. Then came the doors and decklid. Both had some rust which Frank showed me how to repair. I spent several days fabricating patches for the driver's door shell from a Monte Carlo door. After I had all the pieces hammered and cut into shape, Frank said, "Ok, go weld them on!" (Only problem was I had never welded.) With a little supervision I was off and welding! After all the body parts were done, I brought the rest of the car to the shop. (I had already removed the rear 1/4's.) Frank helped me fit them on and I welded them in. Then the car was primed and I block sanded it for months it seems! After I got it all finished all the pieces were jammed in, installed and then the car was painted. (The color is 99 Dodge Viper Silver Pearl metallic in Dupont Chroma base/clear) Then I laid out the stripes and they were painted on, then cleared over. Next I wetsanded the car with 1000 then 1500 and Frank buffed it to a glass-like finish. (He made me promise not to tell anyone who painted it because although he loves restoring old cars, his collision work doesn't allow him much time for it.) EVERYONE who sees the car asks who did the paint! I had brought the fenders to the shop in January of 2001 and got the car home in September . I had spent EVERY free minute at the body shop. (Thanks Jen for being SOOOO understanding!) Once painted, I flatbedded it home and began to reassemble it.
After getting the car all together and complete, I took it to my buddies to show it off. (THE day it was done) I left his house and heard a noise coming from the motor. I called Scott and 2 days later we pulled the motor and found the main bearings were all failing as well as some rod bearings. The motor was completely disassembled, heads sent out, and ported etc...and the motor was built by Bob Frattone. I highly reccomend him to anyone in the area! It now sports a Comp 294 S, forged Speed Pro pistons, and forged Scat rods, a used GM forged crank etc... and is in the 500 HP range. It's a blast to drive! This spring I entered it in shows and hopefully will do some track runs with it. In the mean time, I have aquired another car for my wife, a 69 Malibu convertible and am about to start that. Here we go again!
Thanks so much to everyone I mentioned and the guys at TC for all their help! I couldn't have done it without you all!
A complete photo history of the car is available on my website NoNecksChevelle.com
Team Chevelle would love to feature your Car on one of our future monthly articles.
If selected as a feature, we will send you a high quality Team Chevelle license plate!
To take part, send a few quality pictures to us and as much information as you can (we LOVE reading about Chevelles!)Al McKenzie, Box 68, Porthill Idaho, 83853
Note: preference is given to submitted photos, unless you have access to high quality scanning equipment, we would prefer to do the image work and touch-ups.
or: Al McKenzie, Box 231, Creston, B.C. Canada, V0B-1G0
All features copyright, Team Chevelle