1966 Chevy Chevelle
100 Percent Tough
Some people spend the majority of their lives indoors behind a desk someplace crunching numbers for the man while driving their environmentally acceptable hybrid cars home to waste away the evening on the couch. That's not how Jake Lavash of Concord, California, lives. He wakes up early in the morning and hops in his lifted Chevy pickup with a home-fabbed steel window guard and bedrail tie-down system that he uses to strap in his dirt bikes on the weekend. He drives to his current job as a pile driver, and drives home after a long day of work to wrench on his '66 Chevelle that he's had for the last decade.
Jake is a headstrong, self-propelled kind of guy. Most guys get their car enthusiasm from their family, but Jake came up with it on his own. He was more interested in the mechanics of an automobile, how to fix it, how it works, than how good it looks. He picked up a cheap truck to start out on where he taught himself the hard way how things work. After a little bit of practice, Jake upgraded to this Chevelle. Good thing he had the experience, because the previous owner hacked the thing up quite a bit. The rear seat structure was completely cut out to make way for a plywood speaker wall with fire-hazard wiring. Jake found a section cut from a filing cabinet that was welded poorly into the floor where it had rotted out. He spent the next several years chasing down problems, getting it to a condition that was up to his standards. He replaced the hand-tightened front suspension with all Hotchkis road race/autocross goodies. In its original condition, there wasn't much to trust on the car, so he yanked the drivetrain and installed his own 383-inch small-block and five-speed manual. We're hoping to see Jake stretch the Chevelle's legs at one of this year's Goodguys autocross events!