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My 69, My dream...2001 age 10-Present

31814 Views 115 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  swandude805
So, I have seen many threads of ongoing builds and I think they are the BEST! I got this 69 malibu with stripped interior, no motor or trans, just exhausted rusted to manifolds and it had been wrecked. I paid somethin like 300-600 bucks with paper route money when i was about 10. Decided to be patient (or try) and do the full car rather than a quick runner.

The plan has taken much longer than expected and with slow money and not being close to the car the past 5 years i just hope i can finish and drive it before i have to give it down to my kids. Id like to put miles on it and then give it to my kids to rebuild so they can learn and appreciate it the same. I sit and day dream and draw all hours of the day about it. So i end up on this forum just drooling all over peoples threads. well im going to start mine and hope that i keep makin good progress to keep this thread updating. Lets see if i can figure out how to get these pics in here.

Enjoy and give me all feedback good or bad, im all ears!
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at age 12, i had thrown some weld racing wheels on it and got rid of the stock chevelle 5 spokes, had started comin home from school everyday and cleaning out the tore up interior. sprayed a lot with Oven Off to get grease off and tried to start idea what i was doin just had fun as a kid with tools and a car haha

soon parents split, had to store it at grandmas. 5 years later at age 17 i started tearin it down again, just tools a car. bought an engine stand, sandblaster, car dolleys etc to go to town on it, didnt keep track of much and just took things apart. not smart but fun...[/img/
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well im gettin the hang of this picture thing i guess, kind of a hassel. missed one....

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a couple more at age 17...pretty good body but some rust in the major place. firewall cowls!

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after this we moved so the next couple years i collected a kid i only knew of OPGI and had their magazine. i hated reading and open books but i could fall asleep with this one. made my wish lists, xmas lists, and bday list outta of this and always had the same response "what about other things you need and can use now or something cheaper" haha i needed it NOW!

Forgot to mention my older bro has a canary yellow 71 elco license plate 1HOTT71, i then drove around a 71 elco for a bit my dad threw together real quick with the 355 i WAS gonna use and threw a cheap cobalt paint job on it. it lasted a few years and got us all in trouble with the law. license plate was 1PHAT71. i was just barely able to drive when we had it. So we traded it for a lifted 76 semi restored FORD (i kno i kno) and a 454 which i was going to use.

so between age 17 and 19 i gathered parts.
-front and back door panels, and arm rest kits
-complete four corner drilled and slotted discs with red coated calipers and all stainless steel brake lines, came with a chrome brake booster and master cylinder
-scored a fiberglass 2'cowl hood for $95
-new replacement drivers fender, header panel and radiator support
-tubed upper rear control arms
-tubed a-arms
-some temporary stupid lookin 20 inch wheels just so i had wheels that would bolt up and not rub everything and bump the a-arms
-had the frame and many parts powder coated
-1 inch drop front springs and 2 or 3 inch in rear
-4 QA1 adjustable shocks
-all new rubber bushing and body mounts



some parts...i wont post all seperately...

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at age 19 i used some of my extra money from college funding (payin down about 50k in student loans now so money stays tight) and started assembling it while i was home. here is where i got that summer....

semi gloss powder coated frame:

blasted and painted the rear end, pulled the axles to get the backing plates off and mount the rotors. this rear came with the car. i believe it is a 12 bolt 2:56 gear posi:

started to mount it:

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more of what i got done:

at this time i didnt have wheels layin around big enough to mount with the rotors and not bump the a arms so i mounted spares backwards temporarily haha
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next i wanted to set the body back on the frame cus we had to clear space in the garage and my car had junk piled alllllll over it. hated that!

borrowed a friends set of wheels to roll the frame for the day:

and here is how she sat for another year:
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the car was all sorts of colors when i got it, then i let it sit at a family friends shop to get body work done but money never came around so it sat...and sat. i would go over and help take it to bare metal but then i just threw a quick primer coat on most of it when we had to take it back.

so the pics to this point go up to about age 19. poor college kid. all this work i have been doin in my back yard. i was so happy to finally mount parts. i was bummed when i had to grind out the lower a-arms to squeeze the fat qa1 shocks in, kinda scratched the a-arms. SAD DAY! well i came back to this car here and there but just this last year i have been able to purchase more parts and do a few things. i was gonna replace as much as i could but many people who have done this before keep telling me use as much original things as i can bc they are best quality no matter what so thats what i have started doing.

i decided to clean all the parts i stored out of it from the last few years from age 19, throw a coat of black primer to protect her a lil in the weather and started accumulating some more parts...
she has gotten a lil dirty and things may startin losing the NEW quality it once had if i dont hurry:

here u can see a dint in the quarter, someone guided my dad with our 26ft camping trailer into it, i was PISSED cus the body was so straight. has good metal and not as much rust in the common places:

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so needless to say this project is takin time and i have a really LOW budget. well i collected some random front buckets, and used the framing of the original rear and had an old man who is a family friend do some work, hes not the best but in my price range and i figured i can have them redone MUCH better down the road. i have begun to realize that i can get it going and keep the parts from going to waste if i make the fine adjustments a little later since my budget is tight. if i had money things would be top dollar and more custom.

front buckets. would have loved a colored seem with leather/suade material but got felt and less quality lol:

rear seat to match. i didnt really want the square pattern but thats what he did so thats what i got:

SOME of the other parts ive collected and some original:
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now were gettin down to the last few months. i have started to clean the undercarriage (oven off, scraping, grinding, pressure washing, and its quite ridiculous). i think i have now gathered all parts to completely fix all the bad body spots around the car that need metal work.

after some REALLY tough work i was only to this and some of the gunk wasnt budgin:

started the rear a little, used the plastic to catch the scraps and then vacuumed it water and all with a shop vac. this would destroy the look of your backyard if its not controlled:

a couple days work on the weekend came to an end and i was over it, had to go back up north to work where i live while the car is at my parents. i decided ill pay the shop to finish this part.
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because i dont have the time or experience and my little bro is currently still in college taking bodyshop and mechanic classes i figured id let a local shop that was started by some high school buddies take my car in for the metal work. its called Hot Rod Ranch, Lompoc, Ca. they have featured in magazines and had Chip Foose around. They have pulled a lot of projects out of many areas so i trust there work.

heres some of the parts i collected for them to mount up...
floor pan behind drivers seat:

cowl replacements for both sides:

all new floor and trunk pan plugs:

rear window replacement panel:

front passenger fender patch:
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here are some photos of the spots that will get work done when it goes in the shop hopefully should go in THIS WEEEK!!! excited to say the least....

rear window rust:

the trunk, surprisingly the trunk metal is still solid, around the front of the dash and also all the gutters over the doors are even good. a lot of good metal still on her:

firewall, anyone know how to keep this from happening again once i have it all replaced??????

bought a new wiring harness for it:


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so coming down to the last of the pics i have to date, this is last weekend, while im waiting for her to go into the shop. started reforming bent pieces, grinding a lot down and repainting, and even started to repaint the engine. which i forgot to throw in there. so ill have to get the specs i have written down but i bought a rebuilt 396 69 chevelle engine, bore out to a 402 i believe. it has less than 100 miles or somewhere in there. i will be changing the look of it since it was painted and put together to match his 71 chevy s10. i will beef it up a little but heres all the latest pics. i was bummed to see the body bushings i had bought 2 years prior had already worn and cracked when i took the body back off.

also, i was inspired by a buddys dads project in high school to try and make all my bolts match as much as possible so i have been ordering all matching bolts from Totally Stainless. hope they hold up. anyone have issues with them?

got the fuel line mounted:

put the body back on the frame again to be picked up by Hot Rod Ranch:

cleaned up some of the motor, a little repainting:

cleaned up and remounted the steering box, all totally stainless bolts:

refurbished the kick panels:

refurbished some other pieces i pulled off the radiator support. the car had been hit in the drivers front corner so the hood, header panel, and many other parts mounted in that area are bent up...but heres the steering column cleaned up:
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very cool. Love the copper detail on the engine. Looking forward to seeing more.
Great job you're doing! Keep up the great work and keep us posted.
Way to stick to it, the best things take time. Looking nice.
wow nice budget build.

bet it drove you nuts when it was just sitting there
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