1968 Chevy Chevelle
Being the seventh kid in an eight-kid family, Peter Avonda often got the short end of the stick when it came to new clothes and toys, since those from his elder brothers were easily handed down. It wasn't just the supplies for growing up that his older brothers provided, but also exposure to something that was really exciting to Peter. Brothers Tom and Joe had a project '66 Chevelle and '68 GTO, respectively. Still too young for Peter to have a car of his own, he looked over his big bros' shoulders as they constantly tinkered on their toys. Overcoming the urge to make their younger sibling's life miserable, they took him in and started to show him the hot rodding ropes.
Peter eventually adopted the '66 Chevelle his brother Tom was using as a parts car. "It was definitely ugly, but it was my car!" Peter says. It wore rattle-can black primer and had nothing more than two seats in the cockpit and the mandatory driving controls to operate the vehicle. Sadly, this Chevelle rests in pieces due to the teenager's tangle with a tree. Since then he has owned two '68 Chevelles, the latest sold to buy living room furniture. Just a couple years ago, still feeling sick from the sale of his last ride, Peter came across his salvation, this particular '68 Chevelle. An SS 396 original, Peter wasn't going to let this one get away. Even better, it was 90 percent restored and would only need minor repairs to bring up to the show condition he was seeking. It turned out it only looked 90 percent done, and it ended up nickel-and-diming him way beyond his expectations.
He has put a ton of work into the car, transforming it from a four-speed stocker, to a five-speed autocross capable hot rod. The factory 396 is being saved, but in its place, Peter installed a 496 big-block with over 550 hp to play with. He's got a second '68 in the oven; this one is a convertible that he hopes to finish next year.
By The Numbers
1968 Chevy Chevelle
Peter Avonda, 42