One of the best parts about my job is getting to talk to people about their cars. I love talking about reader’s rides. There are many varied tastes when it comes to building the perfect Chevy and I have been fortunate enough to see probably all of them. Almost every day, I get at least one email from a reader who wants to talk about his or her reader’s ride. And if you know me, you also know that I will talk cars with anyone. That’s because I like to keep things personal. After all, the way I see it, I’m just one of the guys.
Keeping that personal connection with readers is what prompted me to put together this bevy of Home-Built Heroes. I put these reader’s rides together because I want you guys to have the opportunity to be a part of what’s happening here. For that reason, I am continually asking you all to send in submissions about your cars. They do keep coming, and I appreciate that.
This week, I decided to put together a triple grouping of reader’s rides and show you a variety of classic Chevys the readers own, and to give you something to drool over. These cars epitomize the term home built, so let’s take a look.
There are more than a few enthusiasts who would not take on a post-”70 car as a project. to them, there were no muscle cars made after 1971. That’s a good thing for true enthusiasts like Jason Nolan. That makes the cars built after 1970, readily available to use as a base for a cool hot rod at a relatively inexpensive cost.
Jason began his email by telling me, “Here are some pictures of my 1975 Chevy Nova. It’s got a 350 small-block crate engine and a Turbo350 transmission. The paint name is Sunburst Orange. I bought it from the original owner in October 2006. Before that, it was in storage since 1981. That is when he brought it to Newfoundland from Ontario. My dad and I replaced the six-cylinder engine for the 350. We installed a hood scoop from a ‘70s corvette, a new paint job, and added headers and new cam and carburetor.”
The Big Freeze
Finding a great project car that evokes memories that make us feel young is great. But when you can find an actual car that you remember from your youth, that is even greater. Jeremiah Johnson was sharing his images of a car he found, and I had to know more.
“My car is a ’57 Chevy gasser called Mr. Freeze. The car ran all over New England between 1966 and 1970. It had a fearsome reputation, and its best e.t. was 10.40 at 138 mph. I first saw photos of the car online over 15 years ago and fell in love with it. I came very close to buying it on several occasions, but several years ago, it was finally sold to a fellow in Illinois. I kept in contact with the purchaser, and eventually, he decided to sell it to me. Now it is back in New England, where it belongs.
A Family Heirloom
Although finding a great project in a barn that has been hidden for decades makes for a cool story, sometimes, finding the right car to build can be as easy as walking outside of your house. Just ask Phil Cunningham. This 1970 Chevelle has been in the family for a long time. But when you talk to Phil, it’s not the story you might expect to hear.
“This 1970 Chevelle was pulled out of my back yard, where it’s been sitting, covered for 16 years,” Phil states. “It was my oldest son’s first car. Unfortunately, he (Chris) passed away a few years ago.” Like many fathers, Phil could not bring himself to get rid of the car, and eventually, he finally had a better idea.
“It now belongs to my youngest son. He and his brother (my second oldest) are going to bring it back to its former glory, in honor of their brother, Chris. It makes me a proud dad to see this happening. Maybe one day when the time is right, it will make its way to Chris’ boys.
Sean Sullivan has a great Home-built Hero that is not actually “home-built”, and I am actually jealous. He began by telling me that his car has only 94,000 miles on it and what’s even more impressive, is it has no rust!
“The car was delivered to the original owner in Washington state after his brother ordered it for him while still in Vietnam,” says Sean. “It came into the dealership, but not as ordered. The gauge package was not included, and he didn’t want to wait for however how long it would take, so he kept it, added the factory gauges, and put the tach where he could see it instead of where the factory put the blinker tach.”
The car still features the original paint and white convertible top, and the factory-installed L34, four-speed, and Posi rear still provide motivation. What’s more, the wheels, floor mats, and 8-track “high-fidelity” stereo are still in play as well.
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].