Team Chevelle banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,322 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Having just looked over the responses to Cam Sweet's post on hometowns, (this one struck a chord!) I was wondering in what parts of the country have Chevelles enjoyed the best life?
I grew up in N.Y.C. and just accept the fact that after about 10 years or so, these cars start to develope rust in all the usual places. Here in Maryland things don't seem any different, so I was amazed to find my latest car, a '69 convertible, with a complete, original floor pan (a generous coating of oil from various places has even preserved the factoty black paint in the areas under the seats). The car was built in Baltimore, but recently was brought up from the Georgia, South Carolina area. I'm not sure if that area is kinder to cars, or if this car was not driven in bad weather, but it would be interesting to find out where Chevelles have had the easiest lives.
Any comments?
Rich
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,745 Posts
It almost seems like a cliché, but how many times have you seen ads for "Rust-free Arizona Cars"? Living in Arizona, I can say that they do rust, just nowhere near as much or as fast as they do up north or on the coasts. Even at that, the heat and dryness causes other problems. It's hard on paint, rubber, plastic and vinyl. That stuff doesn't take a torch to replace though.
I would think that anywhere that it is dry and no salt (in the air or on the roads) would help preserve the car. I was in China Lake, which is in the Mojave Desert in California, and cars there were just as rust-free as Arizona cars.

[This message has been edited by Gene McGill (edited 12-12-98).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
Talked to an old Ohio guy now living in Texas and he has a 70 SS as a daily driver. Pretty neat. Last about 3 months around here.
Also, I remember when I first got out of the Army in 70, I went to Calif. to seek my fortune, well actually to party, and I drove my 57 Chevy. Pretty trick car at the time. Needed a rear brake drum and a buddy took me to a junk yard somewhere around San Fran. I about fell over at the 55, 6, and 57 Chevys in that place. The under carriages were not rusted at all, still had factory paint. Rear bumper ends, a rarity around here, were like new. Guy was real surprised when I told him those were all gone from rust around So. Ohio. I've always wanted to travel around down south or west and bring home a classic to restore. Hope you guys that live in these areas appreciate that aspect of your location. Only good thing about So. Ohio is, hum, well I'm sure there is something. tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Ah yes, how sweet it is to be able to drive your baby every day of the year. Down here in Georgia, there are LOTS of clean old cars on the road. The humidity is almost unbearable in the summer, but the cars seem to do much better down here than up north. Being born and raised just outside of Pittsburgh, I know very well the affects of snow, salt, potholes, etc. The roads are much better here also. I bought my 68 SS396 Elky down here and it was in remarkable condition. No frame rust at all, and very minor rust on the floorboards and rear wheelwells. So yes, it seems Chevelles have it pretty good in the south.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
My Chevelle (and I) lived the majority of its life in Ridgecrest / China Lake CA, the town in the mojave desert mentioned by Gene McGill. I now live in North Carolina. There is a world of difference in the "rustiness" of the two areas. We're talking about 2" of rain a year compared to close to 30". The humidity causes condensation and makes things take forever to dry out. Plus you get a lot more leaves and pine needles. I think the only remaining airworthy B-29 was one that was found after being left lying around the China Lake navy base for a few decades. I don't think you can beat the desert for rust. In spight of favorable geography, mine still developed rust in the rear window channel... Carl

[This message has been edited by Carl Brune (edited 12-12-98).]
 

·
Boldly procrastrinating
66 El Camino 57 Chevy pickup 2004 Tahoe
Joined
·
29,120 Posts
Hi, All

My 70 has lived it's entire life in Phoenix, Az. I thought it had rust in rear window corners, but it turned out it was leaking between the tar strip and the glass. This is the most rust-free 28-year old car I've ever seen. Even the battery tray is original and solid.

Wouldn't care to make any statements about the weatherstrip on the car, though. Also, the dash pad finally cracked about two years ago even though it was always covered. Just dried completely out. I think it actually shrank and split.

Got 220K out of the original 307.... A roller 406 is going together right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,030 Posts
Hello, Here in South West Florida the cars seem to get pits from the salt water breeze, they actually rust from the roof down, but nowhere near as bad as up north, Pretty much ditto to wat Gene was saying xcept here we have the humidity and the salt breeze,I try to by most of my shells out of calif.,ariz, New Mexico, and Navada, Good Luck , L89SEDAN
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,337 Posts
Hey guys, my travel in the Marine Corps has taken me around this country and this is what I've found:
Yuma, Az & 29 palms, Ca (Mojave desert) no rust but rubber dries and cracks, windsheilds get pitted by sand and paint fades under the sun and heat. But all of that also makes for good clean metal. My 72, which I picked up in Yuma has a couple of small spots of rust (I found leaves in there and cleaned them out).
South Carolina: wet, but no where near as bad as up north.
Hawaii: Salt air can be bad on the rust but it was mostly on the surface. Wash it well and it helps!
RI and the rest of New England: Lots of rust if your car sees the winter. Between the salt/sand on the roads and freezes, it really kills the metal. If I had a choice I would by buy a car from out west since rubber is easier and cheaper to replace than metal. Just my $00.02.
kevin d
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
In regards to that original question of "where do Chevelles prefer to live", just look at the ads that appeared in magazines (1965'ish)!!

Chevelles want to live at the beach. They want to be owned by two blond girls that always have on two piece bathing suits (pre bikini?) (and that's two pieces of bathing suit per girl!)

Heck, they even named some of them Malibu!!

What I want to know is how they get that 12 foot balsawood surf board in the car!

Wes. (the board fits in the wagon) Vann
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
From the cars viewpoint;
1 - no salt from the ocean or spread on the roads.
2 - Generally dry and/or stable climate eg; snow stays in wheelwells for days or weeks, condensation from temp changes gets everywhere and can be repeated daily, but rain ends and dries in a reasonable climate.
3 - no chemicals - industrial areas can be killers.
I guess Arizona and the like, but good ole North Carolina isn't bad !

------------------
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Living in South Carolina has been much nicer on my '69 SS396 but I also don't drive it everyday. It's not always the snow and salt on the streets that causes rust. My experience has been with moisture under chrome and trapped under vinyl tops.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Mine live in my driveway or on the street year 'round. I recently bought a '66 bigblock Camino from the second owner. Original paint, a little rust around the bottom of the front fenders (the car sat in a field for about ten years). Otherwise pretty solid. Nonoriginal engine, but it started up & runs pretty good-it'll do until I get the time to trick it out. I've kinda gotten spoiled living in SoCal-many of my neighbors & friends drive 50s & 60s cars daily. Personally, I don't own anything newer than 66, & they aren't beaters. I've spent a bit of time around Salt Lake City-yuck. The salt on the roads will eat a car up in a few years. California preserves them better, but at $1.45 a gallon for fuel, plenty of other areas look pretty good too. When I lived in SLC I just put my old stuff away during the winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Arizona, West Texas and New Mexico are the best. Colorado is not that bad either. My 67 SS spent 15 years in Bisbee, AZ down on the Mexican border. It had very little rust, and only one bullet hole, despite being left outside a lot. I never saw the original fenders, so I can't vouch for them, but there was a some rust under the rear window. The body is all finished and painted now. The left fender is from an El Camino. I got it from a door/fender guy here in Phoenix. It had nothing but surface rust. The right fender is NOS. Most of my interior plastics were completely dry rotted, but the whole interior is being replaced anyway. Kick panels can be hard to find though. I can't wait to get it one the road. See you in Bisbee on July 4th!

------------------
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
MY 72 WAS BUILT IN ARLINGTON TX. I LIVE IN FT WORTH TX, HAVE BOUGHT AND SOLD 55S ON UP, THE BODYS SEEM TO HOLD UP MY 72 HAS LED NO SHELTERED LIFE NOR MY 71 EL CAMINO, IF I HAD KEPT THE LEAFS ETC.... OUT OF THE USUAL SPOTS LIFE WOULD BE BETTER, BUT THE USUAL SURFACE RUST AND ALL IS MOSTLY AROUND THE WHEEL WELLS! ALL IN ALL IT S MUCH SLOWER THAN SALT........ BUT THE POT HOLES MAKE UP FOR IT.......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Interesting question. I don't know where Chevelles had the best lives, but I have several experiences to share.
I am from east Tennessee. When these cars were new, there were many, many unpaved roads in the area. The corrosive clay dirt would tend to get packed in the wheel wells and rust the Chevelles in the lower fender and quarter area. Salt is used on the roads in winter, too. I saw Chevelles rusted out at five years old. I now have a 1970 LS-5 from Nashville which was in light use all its life. It has no rust that I know of. A city car would fare better for lack of dirt roads.
I lived in Huntsville/Decatur area of north Alabama in late 80's and 90's. I bought a worn out 1966 SS in 1987 with not even a pinhole of rust in the body. No body damage of any kind was evident under the old dead blue paint. I also bought a 1971 SS one owner in 1989 that sat outside since day one with no rust except under the vinyl top. No damage either, it had original paint. I put a friend on a one owner 1969 SS convertible in 1992. He bought it and did a body off and found only one dime sized rust hole in the floor. I bought a 1972 SS driver that was a resurrected junkyard dog that was rust free except one from fender that was rusty when the previous owner put it on.
North Alabama is good on cars but you are going to go there and find Chevelles sitting around everywhere, not anymore.
p.s. You don't want to know what was paid for any of these cars. It will make you sick!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,908 Posts
We had a '67 Malibu that spent most of its life in Ackworth, Georgia. It is still like new with only minor blow-ins on the paint. It won some survivor awards in the early '90s at a couple of Super Chevy shows. Kept inside, high and dry, cars can stay pretty pristine for a long time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
986 Posts
My 69 is originally from southeastern Penn., Philly area. I bought in southwestern N.Y. and that is where it has resided for twenty + years. It still has the original floorboards, trunk, rockers, rear quarters, NOS front sheetmetal and one replaced door. I bought an aftermarket door to replace a rusted door and am not real crazy about the fit, so I am looking for a factory replacement. I bought the car for $1400.00 :beers:
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top