In 1993, my dad purchased a 1967 Chevelle Malibu 4dr Sedan. The car had
50,010 original miles on it and the back seat looked like it had never been sat
in. The car had a 250 L-6 with a Powerslide 2spd. auto. The only
obvious options the car had were Power Steering and cloth center seats.
In '93 I was driving an 1982 Monte Carlo that had been purchased brand new by
my aunt, then passed on to my grandfather, and ultimately to me. I loved
that car and even though the paint was bad, the rest of the car was in great
shape. That is, until a school bus pulled out in front of me.
With a police officer watching as he directed traffic, I drove into the side
of the bus at 45 mph. The officer was waving me through the intersection
and he had the bus stopped. Then, for some reason that I still don't
understand, the bus driver pulled right out on the opposing road. The only
place I had to go was into the side of the bus. I hit the bus so hard that
the car hit on the right front and bounced around to catch the right rear and
then bounced back to almost the same position at impact. Amazingly, I had
nary a bruise and no one on the bus was hurt. I have to admit, though,
that I was so mad, I threw my open can of Pepsi at the bus and it went through
After a few weeks of waiting, I got a check for more than double what the car
was worth. I can only imagine that it was because the Board of Education
really didn't want to hassle with a court case.
This is where my love affair starts with the
Chevelle. In the timeframe
of this accident, my dad had purchased another vehicle, so he no longer needed
the Chevelle. So I gave him what he had paid for the car ($300) and it was
officially mine. Over the next few years, I put about 100,000 miles on the
car until one cold November afternoon, the engine let go.
I immediately shut the engine down and coasted off to the shoulder.
Later that night, we went back to retrieve the car in the frigid wind. I
pulled the engine apart to discover that the #5 piston skirt had
shattered. But thanks to quick thinking, the cylinder wall was not
The Chevelle was one of two cars I owned at the time, so I head no real
urgency to fix the car. After all the '83 Caprice wagon with the Marvin
the Martian headliner had become quite the attention getter, er, grocery getter.
A year or two later, I pulled the 250 and put a 350 4-bolt in (casting #
3970010). The first day I had it out on the road, I got a ticket for
repainting the road with black lines instead of yellow.
The motor I put in was a well used engine that was a little noisy and a
little smokey, so I wasn't surprised when it started to smoke badly and despite
using 20W50 oil in the dead of winter, I still couldn't convince the little man
with the hammer to leave the inside of my engine.
Now, I am not one to lend my cars to anyone except family and very close
friends. But, when my dad's car gave out, he needed to drive the Chevelle
again. One day, he loaned the car to his boss. I don't know what he
was doing with the car, but I know what it was capable of and when it started
hammering the crank, he continued to drive the car 20 miles back to the
office. I could have killed him. But that was the end of the
The car was parked at my dad's house for 5 years until he threatened to have
it towed to the scrap yard. I wasn't able to get the car out of his yard
easily because I had since moved 400 miles away. So when he came to visit
me, he took my truck home and a month later, he brought my car to me on the
U-Haul car trailer. Imagine the scene. A rusty old truck towing an
even rustier old Chevelle. Can we say Sanford and Son?
So, now the car sits in my Garage half disassembled until someday I have the
projected $8-10K to do the whole project the right way.
Want to know what my plans are? Click