Home-Built Hero: Kraig Garcia’s ’69 Chevelle Wasn’t His First Choice

If you’re a “seasoned” enthusiast, much like I am, you surely will have a song pop into your head when I say, “you can’t always get what want.” If not, you really need to get Stoned—so to speak. Anyway, that philosophy sometimes manifests itself within the car hobby. For Kraig Garcia, that meant he ended up with this ’69 Chevelle instead of a third-gen Nova.

“I originally wanted ’68-’72 Nova, and I must have looked at a dozen of them,” Kraig quips. “Eventually, I started to think I wouldn’t be able to find one. That’s when a guy my father worked with told us he was selling this Chevelle. It wasn’t the Nova I was looking for, but I’m glad I checked it out.”

At first, Kraig was dead set against even looking at it, but eventually agreed to at least put his eyes on it. Apparently, that was a good move, as he says it was love at first sight. This was during the summer of 1992. What’s more, he actually picked up the car on his 17th birthday. Way back then, he paid the whopping sum of $1,200. Here we are, 29 years later, and he still owns it.

69 Chevelle

The 396 engine in Kraig’s Chevelle has been treated to a host of go-fast goodies.

“The car was in good shape when I bought it,” he says. “It was missing some exterior trim, and the interior was kind of rough, but the body was solid.”

Kraig told me the car has power steering, power disc brakes, and all of its original sheetmetal. However, it didn’t always look this good. When he bought it, it was covered in a coat of primer. However, being the young enthusiast he was, he took the time to learn about painting cars and covered this one himself while he was in high school. He drove it for the next several years, and then, like happens all too often,  life got in the way.

Like happens so often, he started a family, and the car was relegated to hibernation. “The car sat for many years, and I became the guy whose house everyone visited to see if the car could be bought. As usually happens, Kraig told all wanna-be buyers the car was not for sale, and he was going to fix it up someday. This time, someday actually came around.

“About six years ago was “D” day,” he says with a chuckle. “I started a complete restoration. Every nut and bolt was turned. I’ve been in the collision/refinishing industry for more than 25 years, and I did all the work myself — other than the engine and transmission rebuilding.”

The car was originally covered in code 57 Fathom Green. However, it’s now covered with 715U Bottle Green, a 2013-only GM color. Kraig also took the time to completely refurbish the interior with OE-style black vinyl.

Under the hood is a 396 big-block that has been decked out in L78 livery featuring an 11.5:1 compression ratio, solid-lifter camshaft, and a 750 cfm Quick Fuel carburetor. Behind that are a Muncie M21 four-speed and a 12-bolt, posi-filled rear with 4.10 gears.

Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heroes? All you need to do is click here. I want to see those reader’s rides. If you would like to share yours, I want to hear about it. Since I’ve started this series, I have received more than a few candidates, but I still want to see more — I can never get enough. If you want to see more cars built by you the readers, send a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information, and I’ll make you internet famous. You can send your submissions to [email protected].

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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