Baker purchased the 1971 Chevelle SS new from Godney Chevrolet in Carteret, NJ. He ordered it with the 396/402 auto on the column and bench seat so his girlfriend could sit next to him.
When he picked his car up at the dealership, it had 454 emblems. He told the salesman that’s not what he ordered. He pulled out the invoice, and it had the 396/402 motor listed. Never found out why they put those emblems on.
The car came in December 1970, and his insurance went from December 1970 to December 1971. He let his girlfriend take it home on January 9th. If he remembers correctly, in 1972, it was stolen from in front of her apartment. It was found 3 months later in Spotswood, NJ. They ripped up the interior, broke the windshield, took the Gabrielle air shocks, parts of the motor, and the radiator. Scratched up the hood and other areas of the exterior.
He had it towed back to his house, where it sat a few years. He had a bet with his friend that he couldn’t get it running again. Well, it just so happened a family friend has a business called Lee’s Auto Body in Avenel, NJ. They had a wrecked 1971 Chevelle SS wagon. They said he could have whatever he wanted out of it.
So he took the motor, radiator, and all the engine parts he needed. Put the radiator, carburetor a few other things into his 1971 Chevelle. Poured gas in the carburetor, and it fired up. He drove it down the street with no shocks. Then he worked on it for a while and drove it for around a year.
At that time, he was dating a girl who went to college in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He drove his car every weekend to Scranton, going 40 miles an hour. Listening to Rod Stewart on his 8 track, and the motor was screaming. Crazy times.
He then pulled the 350 out, and it sat till 1986. He moved south to a different location, and when he took the tarp off, it was missing the hood, grill, lights bezels, and all the parking lamps. It sat again till he decided to have it completely restored. Truman Muscle Car started the restoration by doing a full body-off restoration. That took some years because he ran out of funds, and it had to sit again.
He then had him finish all the body and frame, including paint. He took it back for about a year and brought it to Mid Atlantic Muscle Car in Bridgeton, NJ, to finish it. He put in a 502 bored with a built turbo 400 and Holley sniper injection. The motor was built by Performance Engine in Florida. This is the end result, and he loves his Chevelle.
His future plan for the 1971 Chevelle is to drive the car. It’s not going to be a garage or trailer car. He will definitely keep it out of bad weather but when it’s nice out he will be out cruising.