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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I bought this car in 1983. The guy I bought it from said it was some kind of factory race car and pointed out a badge mounted on the drivers side engine compartment inner fender well. When I returned to buy it that was gone as well as the firewall trim plate. The VIN plate is still present and it's a 138 car built in Fremont. I bought the car with no engine or transmission. It came with a 12 bolt posi with 4:56 gears. I put in a L78 396 and a Muncie 4 speed. The frame has broken and been repaired a couple times previously. Broken on the passenger side behind the front wheel. Now it's really broken. It's been sitting for years. I want to make it safe driveable again, spending the least amount of money possible. I don't need a show car just an occasional driver.

I bought a donor frame and plan to move this car over to the new frame and upgrade/repair some stuff in the process. I'm an amateur, any tips or suggestions are welcomed.







I lived a few miles from the Pacific Ocean for about ten years and the car sat most of the time, in the fog. It really took it's toll under the vinyl top.










This is the front passenger side. If you look where the lower control arm attaches to the frame, the whole thing has broken out. Above that in the curve you can see where the frame has been repaired previously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I'm leaning towards the rat rod driver mostly because I don't have the money to do everything that needs to be done. Certainly not in a timely manner and I'm eager to drive it.

I at least want to change suspension bushings and the relatively inexpensive stuff since it's getting torn down so much.

Here's the frame I got for it.




The only problem I can see with it is, it looks like it took an impact to the horn on the front passenger side.


There's a bit of a krinkle there. How do I got about repairing this. Does it have to go to a Frame/body shop?
 

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Frame shop could fix that no problem. You should probably have it checked anyway, for any other "tweaks." When was the last time you drove the car? It looks really rough. Maybe patch the roof, and replace the vinyl top. Then rip out the headliner and drive it!

Also, where do you live?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When was the last time you drove the car? It looks really rough. Maybe patch the roof, and replace the vinyl top. Then rip out the headliner and drive it!
It's been probably 9 or 10 years since I drove it last. It was rarely driven the 10 years before that (I lived near Santa Cruz CA then. That's when the salt water air starting getting to it.). It's just been sitting and moving around with me my entire life. Ha!. If the frame wasn't broken, I'd happily be driving it around just how it looks right now.

Also, where do you live?
I live near Sonora California. A couple hours east of San Francisco/Bay area. Sierra Nevada foothills, Gold country.
 

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Now would be the time, if planning to replace the the fuel line running from back to front - much easier when the body is off.
 

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You could just cut the good horn off your bad frame and weld it on to the new one. They aren't stressed there. You just need to use the factory dimensions and be sure it is square.

That's going to be a big project replacing the roof and the area around the rear window.

I like the old sub pop sticker in the window, you should leave it.
 

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has the rear tail panel between the tail lights always been painted black?there are people that state that the rear tail panel should be paint the same as the rest of the car.i don't know if this was a plant by plant thing but all the 66 SS chevelles i saw in my youth had the tail panel painted black.so i would love to see more pictures of the rear of the car to help with this debate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
has the rear tail panel between the tail lights always been painted black?

The car was a very faded silver (grey) when I got it. When I started sanding it, it was Turquoise underneath. I had it painted around 1985 and had them paint the black between the tail lights.

What is the horse power rating on the air cleaner.

When I got that air cleaner there were no stickers on it. I added the 375hp sticker and the cross flags. It is a 375hp motor. It has the 4 bolt mains 11:1's big push rods, the whole deal. I believe it has the oval port heads on there now. The square port heads are long gone, but the factory aluminum square port intake is in the back seat.

Here's a photo of the car from around 1999/2000 around the last time I used to drive it.


 

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Wow.... thanks for posting the pictures. It gives me hope for mine. I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I have had my car going on 47 years. Unfortunately my car started off in Michigan and was already a little rusty when I bought it. I don't have the money to do the resto it truly deserves, so I'm just fixing the safety and reliability issues and I'm going to cruse it on the weekends as is. Hopefully I will get it inside in the next couple of months so I can start working on it. Good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Started taking out the interior and wire wheel grinding out rust. Suprisingly the floor boards may be the least rusty part of the car. Only "bad" holes look to be under passenger side rear seat. There are a couple minor ones at the heal of the gas pedal. and where the front seats bolt to the floor.
Brown Motor vehicle Wood Automotive tire Automotive exterior
706933
 

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has the rear tail panel between the tail lights always been painted black?there are people that state that the rear tail panel should be paint the same as the rest of the car.i don't know if this was a plant by plant thing but all the 66 SS chevelles i saw in my youth had the tail panel painted black.so i would love to see more pictures of the rear of the car to help with this debate.
That question has been kicked around a lot without an iron clad answer and I have been curious about mine that was purchased new in 66. I think it was a Kansas built car since it was purchased in TX but can't be certain.

I recently found an old pic that clarified the issue on my car at least.

It was NOT painted black.
 

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For the OP.

Man, that car sure deserves a full restoration but I understand budget limits. Wish you were closer since I have a full roof skin and OEM fenders etc.

Curious about the bucket seats in your car. I don't see mounting brackets along the tunnel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
"Curious about the bucket seats in your car. I don't see mounting brackets along the tunnel."

There were just four bolts for each seat that bolted the rails/brackets to the floor. Some were threaded, where it was just a bolt and some were bolts with nuts on the other side. I don't think there were any brackets along the tunnel. Not since I've had the car. The guy I got it from said it had always been a race car. That at least explains the caveman workmanship in the floor around the shifter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I patched a couple spots on the floor and made the hole around the shifter smaller. Did the prep for the POR 15. Did a couple coats of POR 15 then did a top coat. I did the top coat because the car is stored outside and the UV light would be getting to it and I didn't know how quickly the POR 15 would dissolve.
717869
717870
 

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Looks great so far. I'd add the correct bucket seat mounts while you are there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
"Looks great so far. I'd add the correct bucket seat mounts while you are there."

I will. I didn't even realize anything was missing. Did the bench seats just not have any brackets? I guess someone switched out the seats before I got the car and just bolted them to the floor board. It's interesting that they at least replaced the bench with correct 1966 Chevelle seats.

What do the brackets do? Level the seats I assume. Do they strengthen the connection to the floor for the seats?
 

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"Looks great so far. I'd add the correct bucket seat mounts while you are there."



What do the brackets do? Level the seats I assume. Do they strengthen the connection to the floor for the seats?
Yes & yes.
 
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