Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Chevelle Story

OK, so here's the story on my 1970 Chevelle SS 396. My dad traded a 1961 Chevy Impala with a 348cc 340 horsepower, 3-2 barrels, 5 speed set up. I remember it because it was fast and my dad painted it in our garage! Anyway, he found the Chevelle from some guy who wanted his Impala so they basically traded with some cash, this was when I was 12 or 1983. Dad used a local credit union and eventually it was kind of paid off but the title was lost some where in Podunk New Mexico.
Then when I turned 16 my dad handed the keys over and there was my first car! I remember it having about 78,000 original miles on it and I drove the crap out of it. It was fast, glass pack loud and got me around. At that time we were living in Washington State, Tri-Cities to be exact, and dad was taking a new job in Nebraska so we headed out and started driving and somewhere in Idaho during Memorial day weekend the as I was rolling down the road leading the way I heard a loud snap, crackle, pop and smoke started pouring out the back end like a southern mosquito fog killer. I pulled over and after further diagnostics we realized that the car had blown an piston ring and we were not anywhere near a service station and it was late Saturday afternoon. After getting some oil and stopping every 20 mins to add more we finally made it to a town, rested the night away and of course Podunk Idaho is pretty much all closed up till Tuesday except one U-haul station. After being quoted the price for a rental trailer and hitch that was well above $1500 of highway Idaho robbery and serious contemplations of my dad leaving the car because of finances or lack there of, and my pitching a totally HissyFit he wrote a check for the highway robbery job and we were on our way later that day. (Dad didn't even have the money to cover the check but he also knew we were being taken so there was bitch session to come later to U-haul) After arriving in Nebraska and taking the trailer back we found out that the actually cost should have been less than $500 and the nice Podunk Nebraska U-haul guy helped file a claim against the Idaho guy and stop payment on the check. In that deal, U-haul waived the fee overall and we got to keep the hitch!
So we rebuilt the engine with a .30 over bore and I was back on the road. I was a junior in high school, 1988, and drove that car for 8 years on and off as I bought other cars and would park it from time to time. Then I decided to go to Chiropractic college here in Texas and at the time I really couldn't afford to bring the car or didn't have a place to put it so the girl I was dating then, her grandparents lived in a Podunk Missouri town and someone they knew just built a brand new storage facility so I talked to the guy and rented the unit in 1996. The car has been there since!!!!! I think!!!!
I have kept in touch with the nice people and send my payments and even when I'm a little late they give me a shout and say hey just checking on you. Well, today, the family joke is that I have been paid $4620 for someone to restore my Chevelle and drive it around and they all can't wait for me to go and open the storage door and see my face/reaction when all that's sitting there is a note and a match box car that looks like mine. There so wrong! Bottom line is I am not really sure if the car is still there. But I really have to go get it and I say that every year. It will cost about $600 and I need a truck to pull it back, as I will once again rent a trailer to get it down to Texas and I even have space in my garage! I even think that I will put this priority over getting a new triathlon bike as my road bike seems to be getting me here and there.
So that's the story. I really Pray to God it's there.
What you think Steven.


Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

that's a bitchin' car! what are you waiting for?!?!? Go get her!!

momo said...

heck ya - go get her!! my hubby has an old '63 caddy and just looking at it reminds him of good times and riding with his dad. i'm thinking a road trip is a good idea to go pick your baby up!!

I belong anywhere but in between... said...

LOVE the smell of old cars...makes me think of my uncle, a race car mechanic. When I was little I used to go tell him to wash his hands all the time...car guys are great guys!

Myles said...

My brother has been keeping a 68 Chevy Nova on the road for years...he won't let it go but you know, you are gonna have to get that tri bike within the next year.

I've got to tell you...I LOVE seeing those pics of San Antonio! That's where I spent most of my formative years. Actually, my wife and I are heading there this weekend for a few days to visit my mom.

I will be doing the Tri One O One Championships in The Woodlands on Nov. 11 this year...maybe you could hook something up with the weather? Make sure it's, say, mid 50s to low 60's?

Good to have another Clyde in the blogosphere, Go Clyde Go! (that's also the name of anyther Clyde's blog)

Deb said...

That is one heck of a toy. Thanks for checking on me! I'm feeling better...I think it's one fo those things that'll take time. Now go get that car!

Steven said...

I think you need to drive to Oregon so I can drive it! What a sweet ride. I was always partial to the early-year Camaros (I've owned 4, including a rockin' IROC Z) but the Chevelle was always a close 2nd to me.

Go get it and never let it leave your sight again.