Featured Chevelle

Mom’s Chevelle

In 1968 I bought a ’68 Chevelle SS396 as a family car. My Dad liked the 112” wheelbase for ease of parking. He had never owned a new car before and said he would like to buy one in the spring. Unfortunately he passed away in January, 1971. He was going to buy a new Chevelle.

Mom decided to go through with the purchase in April of ’71. She said “I want a blue car with a vinyl top.” At that time, I worked at a Chevy dealer and pulled two blue Chevelles out of stock for her to decide on. She picked the one with the cloth interior. The car was billed out to me as an employee, for a $100 over cost discount.

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The Cars of Cuba

 had the opportunity to see the cars of Cuba in February of last year on a “people to people” or “humanitarian” visa. We flew directly from Miami into Havana– it was a real step back in time. I found the Cubans to be very interested in talking to Americans– especially about their cars.

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1969 Chevelle SS396: Almost a Custom!

This incredible ’69 Chevelle SS396 almost became a chopped up custom!

My 1969 Chevelle SS396 was purchased through good old eBay. It was represented as an “unfinished custom car with newer Corvette running gear”. It had been equipped with air bags, front and rear. To look at the car in the ad, it looked great – until I arrived to pick it up. After a brief argument over missing parts and sloppy workmanship (which lead to a subsequent price reduction), I loaded this project onto my truck and headed back to San Diego. After a couple of weeks, I uncovered the car and began to put together an itemized list of what it would take to complete this project as a custom build. Because of all of the missing parts and re-doing the sloppy work, you can only imagine the final tally.

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1970 Chevelle Convertible: Out of Time

A ’70 Chevelle so advanced, it must have come from the future.

1970 Chevelle Convertible: Out of Time. I grew up with Chevys. I have been involved with them my entire life, and I’m blessed to have a fully supportive wife who loves cars. After spending 35 years building hotrods, I’ve learned that not all cars are created equal. Some of the builds were just builds and others were nightmares – but this 1970 Chevelle took the cake. We spent over 2000 man hours building this masterpiece.

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At the Drive-in

Yes, I know it’s still winter and drive-in movie theaters are probably not on your radar– well, yet anyway. How did I possibly get onto this subject you ask? I recently went online and checked out one of my old haunts– the 99W Drive-In, in Newberg, Oregon. Of course, being in the northwest, their marquee currently reads “Closed for the Season, see you in 2016”. I’m sure you’ll find most of the drive-ins across the country shuttered ’til spring, unless you happen to live in a southern clime. Here in Florida, they seem to operate year ’round. Spring will be here before we know it and it’ll be that time again; time to polish up your old Chevy and take your favorite date (or, the whole family) to the big screen under the stars. This has always been a summer tradition for my wife and me. It’s always a special treat waiting for dusk, watching the kids play on the swings in front of the screen, and hitting the snack bar before the big show starts.

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An American Original: 1970 Chevelle Malibu Convertible

When this 1970 Chevelle Malibu Convertible joined us, we had a license plate we weren’t using that was in our daughter Sandra Ellen’s name. Because of that, “Ellen” somehow became the car’s name, too.

The car came to us from Cleveland, Ohio. No doubt, that’s a good place to live. It’s in a great state (Go Buckeyes!), the people are nice, they have the Cleveland Clinic and LeBron, and of course, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But, it can be tough on cars. The liberal (and necessary) use of road salt definitely takes its toll on steel during winter. For example, restoration of this car’s body required one new door, some floor repair, a full trunk pan, both lower fender patch panels, and full quarters on both sides.

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Two Websites You Need To Know About

I’d like to let you in on something. There are two websites you need to know about. You will find this information very useful. It concerns a couple of lesser-known websites that you should be aware of. One will let you know your car’s value, the other will let you know what your ride’s correct paint hue should be.

First, let’s talk about your classic’s value. Here at Eckler’s, we often get asked, “What’s my 19__ Chevy ________ worth?” 

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The Next Generation

The Next Generation: No doubt about it, we’re all getting older. Sorry for the reminder, but it’s true. I’m 58 years old and hopefully still have many years ahead of me to enjoy this hobby, amongst other things! As the years roll on I wonder who’ll carry the “classic/muscle/hotrod” torch in my family. For me, most likely my son- in-law. My own son isn’t a car guy. He grew up with a dad who was (and still is), car crazy. My father was definitely not a car guy. I grew up with a Fiat and a Rambler– it was rough! When my son was a teenager, I asked him what his favorite “old car” was. He said he liked the ’68-’72 Novas. Ah, a flicker of encouragement! I still hope to find one of those cars and turn it into a father/son project with him. Right now, he’s entrenched with his career and our new grandson.

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Do It Yourself?

Last summer, at a car show in Cleveland, Ohio, I sat around with a few older gents discussing ’50s cars in general. One of the guys was itching to buy late ’50’s Chevy or Ford, didn’t matter. He just loved that era. He’d seen a few advertised for sale that had stirred his interest, and they had been relative bargains, but, they all required complete restorations. He’d said he’d come to the conclusion that he simply didn’t have the energy any more to embark on a lengthy project, and had decided to buy a finished, completely restored car. Totally understandable, considering how long it can take to build a car– be it a back-to-showroom stock restoration or a full-on custom build. This particular gentleman had the financial means to pull out his checkbook and seal the deal, good for him.

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Racing Cops

Let’s talk about doing really, really stupid things. Like racing cops – ever done that? By accident I mean, of course. I’m not talking about squaring-off against a marked cruiser at a set of lights– that would just be suicide. I did however, put on an “exhibition of speed”, right in front of an unmarked Chevy Tahoe police unit.

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