This 1971 Chevelle was the first car Jason purchased back in high school. He graduated and moved out to his first place, a trailer park in a not-so-good part of town.
One day he was awakened by his roommate’s alarm. He looked outside to see if he was home, and he saw his car, but not his Chevelle, was a burnt brown 307 Malibu. He asked him, Dave, did you see my car when you got home last night? He said, yep, parked right next to it.
Well, the conclusion is that it was stolen (liability only). Jason moved on and became a cop in the same town. In his spare time, he did look for it, but everything ended in a dead-end. After five years of being a police officer, he moved to a different state.
Seventeen years after the car was stolen, his father received a call out of the blue from the State of NC Highway Patrol. Sir, do you own a 1971 Chevelle? His dad replied, my son used to, but it was stolen.
The Trooper replied I think we have the car. His dad forwarded the Trooper to Jason, which he then sent him pictures of the car. It was completely gutted, with no engine, no transmission, no interior. The car was on four flats, the hood was not attached, and primed grey, to include the bumpers.
The Trooper asked if he wanted it back, and he said absolutely! A buddy and he drove down to NC to pick it up. The story on how they got the 1971 Chevelle, is that a guy purchased it from a junkyard as a restore project. He tried to register it through the local DMV, which is when it came up stolen. It took the Trooper 2 years to contact them, as his dad had moved to Germany and now was stateside in a different state. The Trooper used gov. contacts as his dad worked as a contractor.
Following that the car sat for a year, as he wondered if he was going to do the work or get a shop to do the work. In the meantime, while he was out on a business trip, his wonderful wife tried to surprise him by calling Chuck Foose. She wanted to see if they would restore it and broadcast it on their show.
They advised the car needed to be a running/working chassis, which he had no engine. So, he decided to do it himself. Through blood, sweat, and vodka, several buddies of his helped rebuild the 1971 Chevelle (off frame). Every bolt has been replaced or cleaned. All rust has been removed (to include a new firewall).
He bought a 350 4 bolt main to rebuild and rebuilt the engine from the crank up. It ended up that towards the end of the project, gas was getting in the oil. So, he had a performance shop in TX (where he lives now) drop a 383-crate engine in.
They also talked him into a new coil-over suspension, which was a great move! His buddy who drag races rebuilt a turbo 350 to withstand high horsepower. Several other buddies and family helped with bodywork, paint, and interior. One of his close friends Jerry who helped has passed and is forever missed. He also had much help from Ground Up SS396, Ausleys, Summit, and YouTube!! It wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s help.
The best thing about the car was bonding with friends. The car was in the finishing phase of painting when he and his wife moved to TX.
The Chevelle had to be shipped, which he elected for a covered transport. When delivered to Jason the transport truck was hauling Ferraris and other beautiful cars. They were heading to Gas Monkey Garage and the hauler driver said that whenever he had a stop to deliver, he opened the hauler, and everyone was always eyeing the Chevelle. It made him feel good. Special thanks to Ronnie and his family, Earl and his family, Jerry and his family.
Plans for the 1971 Chevelle are minor issues. As with any restore project, when it gets close, items get overlooked. So just minor fixes, like the blower motor doesn’t work (it did before he installed it), and the dash pad doesn’t meet the lower dash all that well. But mostly, just keeping it clean for the grandkids.