After Twenty Years...
posted in: problem child kustoms studio garage on May 08, 2008 at 07:49 PM
...things are bound to change. Just about 20 years have passed (we’re about a month-and-a-half shy) since the lead photo was taken:
It’s my old Chevelle, and the pic was snapped as the car was being completed… this being roughly my Senior year in high school (note lack of tail pipes and trunk lock cylinder, among other important items).
I bring this up on roughly the tenth anniversary of selling the car, after moving to CA in the late-90’s, and, surprisingly, after my father ran into the car once more in Pleasanton, the very grounds where the old girl was passsed to a new owner.
In any event, it’s kind of funny to look back at the changes. I bought the car (with help from my parents… I had a very cool and supportive, hot rod-oriented mom… how killer is THAT?!) as a near basket case.
...and with a ton of guidance and help from my father and a few close friends, brought it back to life (in the form of the lead photo).
Fast-forward a few years, and things were shaping up on it, with some new wheels and aggressive rubber, all setting the tone of a late-’60’s/early ‘70’s street machine (OK, with updated wheels… hindsight yells “shoulda kept the slotted mags!!”). The tall stance and big meats were part of it, as was the period cool crushed velvet interior.
It was a fun car… not the fastest, by any stretch, but respectable enough. It was a clean car that had a classic look, and looking back on it, was an amazing car for a late-teens/early twenties-age guy going to school.
It packed attitude, and that black paint was a constant source of pride (and time-swallowing detailing), and the monster even saw the first snow on one notable occasion. It was a reliable, almost comfortable car, considering the ride height…
Fast-forward ten years after selling the car to head back to school, and I get a phone call from my dad, at the Pleasanton Goodguy’s event. “You’ll never guess what I’m standing in front of,” he says. “The disembodied, floating head of Elvis?!” I ask, really wanting a picture… “No, you (expletive), your old Chevelle.” Very cool indeed… The old girl is alive and well.
Granted, like any personal project, the new owner has taken the car and personalized it, as anyone might make something their own, creating a vision they can be proud of. The car has a new life, yet continues its rebirth, which is an awesome thing.
Some of the new owners’ changes:
Rally stripes, new wheels, a front valance…
New seats up front (the rear remains!), updated gauges, speakers, and so on….
...but most amazingly, the black paint that was laid upon the car in ‘88 is still looking deep, shiny and straight… Seeing that work live on made my day. It’s testimony to spending time in the right places, and taking pride in anything you do… a lessson I’ve been trying to teach my kids in all they do, and was illustrated perfectly in a car none of the three are old enough to recall. In any event, long post, I know… But I thought it was cool to share a project that spans two decade, two owners and two very distinct styles, but shares the same basic foundation.
May all your first projects carry on as long…
(additional photos are on my site at www.problemchildkustoms.com if interested)