Some drivers/automotive hobbyists put their blood, sweat and tears into rebuilding a classic musclecar to enjoy it during a lazy Sunday drive, showing off at those cool car shows or to sell it for top dollar to the highest bidder. While this may be true for some – the same can’t be said for weekend drag racing warrior and Chevy muscle fan Gary Templeton.
This classic gear jammer and licensed plumber is currently implementing the finishing touches on his latest drag racing musclecar – a 1966 Chevy II/Nova. The North Carolina native became a fan of all things Chevrolet fan at the early age of 16-years-old.
“My father was a Chevy fan when I was growing up and was always working on cars,” said Templeton. When I was 16-years-old my dad told me that I would have to work on my car myself. It wasn’t long before working on old Chevy’s became my hobby and everyday stress reliever.”
While Templeton began spending as much free time as possible helping his automotive tuning father rebuild some of the sweetest old Chevy rides possible for the next 8-9 years, Templeton wouldn’t be ready to take his first ride down the straightaway until a few years later.
“I was actually dared to take my first Chevy drag racing in the 80’s and I didn’t do all that well, but I was intrigued on how I could take a bare bones car like my old ride and turn it into a competitive car,” said Templeton.
Fast forward several years, and this part-time tuner/welder, is enjoying as much time as possible proving that he has what it takes to build some of the most hard-charging classic Chevy musclecars possible.
While Templeton has continued to rebuild and race what he calls his line of Pipe Dreams ’6o’s era Chevy Nova’s at drag tracks across the southeast since the 1990’s, his goal has always been to build one of the top performing of its early model class – hence his current project Pipe Dreams 3.
Built with an all new outer skin from Classic Muscle, the latest in Templeton’s series of drag racing musclecars is also powered by a 450 horsepower 388 ci small-block Chevy stroker engine, which is partnered with a Jerico four-speed transmission and a nine-inch rearend. All this power has given this gear jammin’ drag racer speeds of over 100 mph in just over six seconds.
“While I could run a Super Stock engine in the IHRA Modified class, I love to show these younger drivers, who are more impressed with pomp and circumstance, how a hand built musclecar can perform,” said Templeton.
This hot rod Chevy also features a hand-welded roll cage, designed by Templeton’s own hands, as well as a signature paint job that this Chevy Muscle Car fan was able to complete in his man-made garage.
“When I rebuild a car, I am too picky to let anyone else touch it,” said Templeton. “I rarely even buy the newest expensive parts available for a car like this. Instead, I spend my time finding those hard to find pieces at swap shops across the country. I guess that is why it took me two years to build this car?”
While Templeton is not your average Street Muscle driver, we can’t wait to see how far his hard-working hands can take him both on and off the track, including at this weekend’s Classic Gear Jammers & Farm points race.