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My first blog entry should detail the first project I ever did; my '72 Chevelle SS.

I bought this car at age 16, and it wasn't all that bad. The quarters were gone, but not enough to warrant a full quarter installation, there was a small hole in each front fender, and the rear window frame was gone. But hey, talk about great floors and frame! You could almost eat off this thing since the prior owners slung 500 gallon of undercoat all over the thing. The 402 and 12-bolt were missing, and the trans was a mystery gearbox in the trunk, but man, was it ever cool looking over the faded cowl hood!

We brought the thing home, gutted the interior and assessed the bodywork. I then proceeded to strip the miles of undercoat and restore the frame. We didn't remove the body from the frame as the body mounts were new, and the frame didn't have so much as a rust pit on it. From there, I stripped the body with Spray Strip and we dug into sheetmetal repair.

Now this recap is meant to be condensed, so I'm not going to detail all of the hardships occurred during the restoration, but we did it all in shop. My uncle and I blocksanded the car, a friend of ours helped us fine-tune the bodylines and lay out the stripes, and we laid the basecoat huggar orange and seven coats of clear.

From there, my uncle did a .030" 396. It's got closed-chamber iron heads, a COMP Magnum-series cam, and static compression's around 10.2:1. I then build an ignition system from MSD components (6AL, Billet distributor, 8.5 mm wires, etc.), and a Hooker Headers-into-Dynomax exhaust system. The mystery gearbox turned out to be an old T-10 from a 409 car, which has a really deep low gear. The 12-bolt houses a posi unit with 3.73 gears, feeding twist to the BFGs that wrap around the 15X7 Americans.

The interior is mostly stock, except for the Auto Meter Sport Comp II gauges (recent additions, I love the LED lighting) and the Custom Autosound exact-fit radio.

All and all, it's a pretty stout street machine, and I'm really proud of my first project. Oh, I even show it sometimes. I've won over 50 awards, mostly 1sts and a couple seconds, people's choices, owner's choice and even two best of show's.

It's been a surreal experience, one I wouldn't trade for the world. It's not about the glory of a shiny car, or as some argue, an arrogant show of 'status' (in reality, I'm broke!), it's about pouring your heart and soul into a piece of work. I don't believe my car is 'better' or 'worse' than anyone else's, but for me, it's the best car in the world. That car is the ultimate extension of me, and it's something I won't ever let go of.

Thanks for reading!

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