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1969 Chevy Malibu
Larry Harris Independence, MO
Larry Harris dug Chevelles from the get-go. He bought his first, a ’65 Malibu, a few months prior to entering the military. Upon returning from Vietnam in late 1970, Larry traded the ’65 for a four-speed ’67 SS 396 car. That one stayed with him until 1972 when high insurance costs forced him to part with it. Fast-forward to 1990 when Larry’s eldest son Jason turned 16; due to Larry’s influence, he had become a diehard Chevelle fan too. For his first car they located a one-owner ’69 Malibu with metallic gold paint, a white vinyl roof, a lowly 307 backed by a Powerglide, and a 10-bolt single wheel spinner. After building a junkyard 350, Jason drove it through high school and his first year of college before getting a new car. When Larry’s wife asked when he was going to sell the ’69, Larry replied, “Maybe never.”
That’s because Larry had his own plans. With the assistance of his younger son Jake, the engine was swapped for a warm 355ci with a COMP Cams solid roller cam, aluminum LT-1 heads, an Edelbrock Torker II intake, and a 750-cfm Holley double-pumper. Behind that is a built 700-R4 and a 12-bolt rearend with 3.73 Richmond gears. Now with fresh bodywork, paint, and a new custom interior, the Chevelle captures trophies regularly and Larry says Jason has asked if he can have his first car back when he’s through with it. Maybe, but for now Larry says the Chevelle is his pride and has given him many fond memories of time spent working on it with both of his sons.
1955 Chevy 210
Curtis McLachlan Incline Village, NV
After taking stock of all the parts he had left over from his other projects, Curtis McLachlan realized he could put together a whole car, albeit rougher than the rest. So he decided to do this project as if he was 18 years old again, using just cast-off parts and very little money. To begin, Curtis found a ’55 210 Chevy that had been sitting in a field for 17 years and towed it home. After installing a complete new floor, he began throwing all the extra parts at it that were in his garage. Since a straight axle out of a ’57 GMC pickup was in that pile, the gasser look was a given. That pile was pretty extensive; it also held a 383ci stroker, making around 600 hp, a Muncie four-speed, a 9-inch Ford rear, a tunnel-ram intake, a rollcage, and even rear tires. Curtis swears he only had to buy eight or nine new parts, total. With the help of a couple of his friends, “Alley Oop” was born. “At 18, you only had money just to get it running,” Curtis says. “Who cared what it looked like, just as long as it went fast and stopped quick! Even if your girlfriend didn’t want to ride in it, your buddies did!”
1974 AMC AMX
Scott Alan Carpenter Hudson Oaks, TX
Scott Alan Carpenter tells us that this is the car that turned him into a hot rodder and automotive aftermarket business owner. The AMX was built on Halloween 1973 and then purchased new by Scott’s grandpa Frank Slavik for his uncle, Al Slavik in Sioux City, Iowa. Al drove the car until 1976 when the state police clocked him doing 138 mph! Since that was his sixth ticket with the car, the state of Iowa and Scott’s grandpa mutually agreed that Al would not drive the car anymore. So, it was parked in Scott’s grandpa’s garage and placed under a car cover with only 36,511 original miles.
Scott first saw it in the summer of 1980 when he was 11, and long story short, scored it in 2007 when it was willed to him. Over a period of two years Veronica (after the curvy actress Veronica Lake) underwent a thorough mechanical restoration with many upgrades, but against all odds, the original paint, vinyl top, and interior are still in amazing shape, and shockingly, there is zero rust. Scott has driven Veronica daily for the past four years and put over 45,000 miles on her. Because of this car, Scott tells us, I got into cars at age 11, got my first job interning at Paxton Products, got into the automotive aftermarket in 1989 with Paxton, started my business, got into my car club where I am the webmaster and VP of the North Texas American Motors Car Club, and in my club I have met the best friends I have ever met in my 44 years.
1959 El Camino
Steve Cordle; Bend, OR
Always attracted to more uncommon classics, Steve Cordle began his search for a 59 El Camino a few years back. Unfortunately, most of the places he found also had a rainy climateand rainy climate equals rusty cars. He finally located a basket case that wasnt built of rust and began a full-bore restoration. Seven years later, after prodding from family and friends to get this car done, Steve finished the Elky. With the help of his friend Tim, who handled all the bodywork and paint, Steve rekindled his passion for hot rods. After adding some custom touches to the body, such as a rolled hood, a custom oak wood bed, and an electric antenna, the body was sprayed in Jamba Green from a 93 Honda Del Sol. Rather than replace or polish all that molding and stainless trim, Steve had everything chromed. The engine is now a cleanly dressed 66 327ci with Sanderson headers, and a 650-cfm Holly carb, backed up by a 700-R4 for easy cruising. Wanting to keep the old-school theme, the 59 rolls on 15-inch BFGoodrich rubber on old-school Cragars, but it does have upgraded front disc brakes behind them. The result is a classy Elky that turns heads when Steve cruises by. Steve says, The license plates reads GRN NV for a good reason!