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71 Chevelle SS 454, 63 Chevy II, 49 Chevy 3100 Pickup
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I grew up in Detroit and now live near Cleveland Ohio. I just bought my next project, a 71 Chevelle true SS HT. In 1971 I was 16 years old, had just started driving and felt that they had been waiting for me to drive before making the most beautiful car ever. Since then I have restored a few cars as a hobby but none have ever excited me as much as this one that I finally brought home two days ago. It's rust free and only has 21K original miles BUT it was badly abused, hacked up a little, and owned by someone that flat a$$ didn't know how to drive very well, meaning lots of minor dents, scratches, broken plastic, trashed interior, etc. I'm now 65 and newly retired and I could have bought a much nicer car that didn't "need" me like this one does, instead I have something to do and a few coins to buy what I need along the way. I'm hoping that someone reading this will reach out to me with tips advice etc. At this point my drive train is pretty much done, I have already rebuilt the 454 with all kinds of upgrades and had the Muncie 4 speed "done". I'm now putting my VERY LONG list of body and interior needs together and am looking for help/advice.... Example: which vendors are best, which brands can I trust, and which brands should I avoid. I am shooting for original "like new" appearance but not hung up on NOS and OEM if there is a new quality made piece available. I will very soon be buying a LOT of new stuff from bumper to bumper and want to avoid regrets later.

Sorry if I bored you but I'm hoping my little story will help me connect with anybody that can help with advice or can point me to where to look.

Thank You!!!
 

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Welcome to the forum. There are plenty of parts warehouses for your Chevelle(you can google them), but the three that I rely on the most are OPG(Original Parts Group) based in California, Ausley's Chevelle which is based in North Carolina, and NPD(National Parts Depot) based in Florida. All three are reliable and can supply you with anything you need to refurbish your Chevelle. Good luck.
 

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71 Chevelle SS 454, 63 Chevy II, 49 Chevy 3100 Pickup
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank You!
 

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71 Chevelle SS 454, 63 Chevy II, 49 Chevy 3100 Pickup
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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Aaron, welcome to this great group of Chevelle and el camino enthusiasts. I think you are going to enjoy restoring your newly acquired Chevelle. I have been slowly restoring my '68 el camino SS for quite a few years now, and it has been my experience with aftermarket parts that they just are not that great. Sure they look good when you buy them, but when it comes to a great fit or looking exactly like an OE part, forget it. Nothing is better than an OE part. They all advertise "exact reproduction" I say BS! I haven't seen one yet. Sure, you have to look close, but the detail dimensions are never the same as original. Which I guess is good, so people can't pass there car as being 100% original. Now there might be a few exceptions to what I have stated, but I haven't found a exact reproduction part yet. I am now at the point where I am searching for and buying nothing but OE parts whenever possible, nos, used or refurbished/rebuilt. I just thought I would give you a heads up. Have fun with the build. I know you will. Again, welcome.

Steve
 

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Welcome Aaron, to Team Chevelle.....:waving:
 
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Welcome. Don't be afraid to ask anything. I ask dumb questions all the time and the majority of people will support you.
 

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Hello Aaron,

You just connected very nicely and welcome aboard. Ask any question and somebody around here will have the answer.

My only advice is to try and do something . . . anything . . . to your car every day. Every! Day! Make the work in small, manageable, achievable chunks and try not to think much about the daunting huge challenges so much - sometimes was discouraging for me. Eat this elephant one bite at a time and you will be amazed at how quickly your car will come back to life.

Rick
 

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Welcome to the team. As far as suppliers I have had decent luck with AMD for sheet metal, Trim Parts for chrome trim and Ted William Enterprise for seat springs and other parts. Repro stuff is improving but there is still junk out there. Just don't be afraid to return a badly stamped panel or more often a dented shipped panel. Enjoy your project and retirement.
 

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71 Chevelle SS 454, 63 Chevy II, 49 Chevy 3100 Pickup
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Aaron, welcome to this great group of Chevelle and el camino enthusiasts. I think you are going to enjoy restoring your newly acquired Chevelle. I have been slowly restoring my '68 el camino SS for quite a few years now, and it has been my experience with aftermarket parts that they just are not that great. Sure they look good when you buy them, but when it comes to a great fit or looking exactly like an OE part, forget it. Nothing is better than an OE part. They all advertise "exact reproduction" I say BS! I haven't seen one yet. Sure, you have to look close, but the detail dimensions are never the same as original. Which I guess is good, so people can't pass there car as being 100% original. Now there might be a few exceptions to what I have stated, but I haven't found a exact reproduction part yet. I am now at the point where I am searching for and buying nothing but OE parts whenever possible, nos, used or refurbished/rebuilt. I just thought I would give you a heads up. Have fun with the build. I know you will. Again, welcome.

Steve
Thanks Steve. That's good info. I just finished restoring a 49 Chevy pickup and there aren't too many NOS or used parts around for it so I guess I learned to compromise however, tolerances in 49 were a lot more forgiving and there were very few tight gaps. I will take your advice and look for OE before settling for re-pops.
 

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71 Chevelle SS 454, 63 Chevy II, 49 Chevy 3100 Pickup
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Welcome to the team. As far as suppliers I have had decent luck with AMD for sheet metal, Trim Parts for chrome trim and Ted William Enterprise for seat springs and other parts. Repro stuff is improving but there is still junk out there. Just don't be afraid to return a badly stamped panel or more often a dented shipped panel. Enjoy your project and retirement.
Thanks Bill. I'm going to do a total redo of the interior and considering a kit and save a few bucks. So far I know of three different brands and was assuming they are all slightly different and not all made by the same company and then rebranded. However, I was told by a salesman (via chat) that the reason one brand was priced higher than the other was because they did more thorough documented inspections, which makes me think maybe they are all made in the same place.
 

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Thanks Bill. I'm going to do a total redo of the interior and considering a kit and save a few bucks. So far I know of three different brands and was assuming they are all slightly different and not all made by the same company and then rebranded. However, I was told by a salesman (via chat) that the reason one brand was priced higher than the other was because they did more thorough documented inspections, which makes me think maybe they are all made in the same place.
Not true, first interior, Legendary is the best but you will not save money. They aren't cheap but they are the best as are their complete assembled door panels. Foam is ACI and I like their carpets and kick panels. Ted W E is American made. AMD has their own tooling but the X500 series stuff isn't theirs and comes from different places and is questionable. Trim Parts is nicer then original in most cases. However even China made stuff has come a long way.
 

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Welcome to Team Chevelle Aaron, TMI in Cali has very nice interior parts and made in U.S.A. and NPD has ACC carpet also made in U.S.A. and very nice quality, I've been real happy with purchases from NPD and I think they have other warehouses than just than Fl., I have been not satisfied with a lot of ext. molding for my 68 but I understand there isn't much good for 68 in repop molding anyway
 

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71 Chevelle SS 454, 63 Chevy II, 49 Chevy 3100 Pickup
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Not true, first interior, Legendary is the best but you will not save money. They aren't cheap but they are the best as are their complete assembled door panels. Foam is ACI and I like their carpets and kick panels. Ted W E is American made. AMD has their own tooling but the X500 series stuff isn't theirs and comes from different places and is questionable. Trim Parts is nicer then original in most cases. However even China made stuff has come a long way.
Thanks Bill!

Great info and the timing couldn't be better because I have to order soon. I have done several recovers myself but I'm turning this over to a friend that is a pro who suddenly has lots of time.
 

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Welcome to Team Chevelle Aaron, TMI in Cali has very nice interior parts and made in U.S.A. and NPD has ACC carpet also made in U.S.A. and very nice quality, I've been real happy with purchases from NPD and I think they have other warehouses than just than Fl., I have been not satisfied with a lot of ext. molding for my 68 but I understand there isn't much good for 68 in repop molding anyway
Yes Rick, with us both being 68 people we certainly have a lot of knowledge what fits and doesn't fit. However my interior parts from Legendary are as good as or probably better then original. Sheet metal from AMD can be a challenge for sure and most AMD stuff is X500 products for 68 (ugh) and I have certainly haven't been happy with that line but at least the metal is thick and is workable. I love my 68, I personally think she is a beautiful car and I love that L79. With that said my next car will not be a 68 GM anything. I like a challenge but I didn't have any extra hair to pull out but it's all gone now:smile2:
 

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Not true, first interior, Legendary is the best but you will not save money. They aren't cheap but they are the best as are their complete assembled door panels. Foam is ACI and I like their carpets and kick panels. Ted W E is American made. AMD has their own tooling but the X500 series stuff isn't theirs and comes from different places and is questionable. Trim Parts is nicer then original in most cases. However even China made stuff has come a long way.
Thanks Bill!

Great info and the timing couldn't be better because I have to order soon. I have done several recovers myself but I'm turning this over to a friend that is a pro who suddenly has lots of time.
Aaron, you may have already noticed, but I wanted to give you a heads up. I just ordered my seat upholstery from Legendary Auto Interiors and they are having a good sale right now, so you will be able to save some good money. They make it to order right there in their facility located in New York. They told me it would take 5 to 6 weeks before I would see it. I went to their website and read up on their company by clicking on the "about us" link, pretty impressive.

Steve
 
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