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february2004.jpg - 39235 Bytes

1971 Chevelle SS 454

Mike Keegan

Bossier City, LA

TC member #1855
This car started out as just a teenage dream in my head during high school. My Dad passed this through blood I think, because back in his day, he did what I am doing now. He never even made me like cars, it's gotta be in blood. From seeing his '67 malibu to his '76 Vette. It was something I wanted to do.

february2004_before_.jpg - 7566 Bytes As I progressed through high school I acquired a 1979 Camaro Z/28. I wanted something with and old carbureted V8. This was my introduction to hot rods. My dream then began of the Chevelle. I had dead end jobs and decided to join the Air Force. It may sound bad to someone, but it sounded like an honest way to reach my goal. They offered me a sign on bonus. Thats how I acquired my Chevelle. As soon as I arrived at my first duty station at Barksdale AFB in Bossier City, LA, I saw her sitting in a parking lot, being neglected. The car wasn't even for sale, but I managed to cut a deal with the owner, who happened to be in the same career field. I purchased it from him, and had huge intentions for the car. It was with full cooperation with my wife Justina-Jo, that this all happened. Bless her heart. We basically spent both of our paychecks on making this car a true classic, the way it should be represented. It's OUR car. So then it began.... Through Team Chevelle, I met Bob Krahn, who had the same thoughts in mind february2004_bodyshop_.jpg - 10304 Bytes that I did. I wanted to cruise with other Chevelle owners. So we met up and formed a club. All of the folks of the Ark-La-Tex Chevelle Club offered there knowledge, time, opinions, and more to me. This is my first real hot rod. I didn't know much. Dissassembling this car and putting it all back together, with the help of them, I have acquired a great understanding of how it all works. Thanks for showing me the right way.

Even the war on terrorism didn't stop me. I had to deploy. My ideas were flowing and so was my money......into the Chevelle. From 12,000 miles away from home, I managed to make my plan, and buy parts, and talk to all my Chevelle folks. Once I returned from my six month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the project was in full force. The second day after I got home, the engine was pulled for a full rebuild. Then shortly after, it went in for a full frame off restoration. After lots of hard earned money, time, and friends and comrades helping, this project is now done. I want to put out a thanks to all the folks that helped. I couldn't have done it without you.... They helped me explore options I never thought were possible, and it all started with my $19.95 invested in Team Chevelle membership. What a great bunch of folks.

Thanks to:
Rick & Ron of Vintage Iron
The folks of the Ark-La-Tex Chevelle Club: Bob, Rick, Darryl, Charlie & Charles, Danny and Dave, Team Chevelle, Summit Racing Equipment & National Parts Depot, and of course, My Dad (Jeff)

february2004_engine_after_.jpg - 12045 Bytes february2004_engine_before_.jpg - 12081 Bytes The Specs:

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See Mike's website for the entire restoration picture gallery.

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