John E’s 1971 Chevelle

Built From The Ground Up

John E’s 1971 Chevelle

Jumping right into the story, slightly shortened. This was John’s very first car, a 1971 Chevelle. He got it on November 5, 2005, at the ripe old age of 14. It was definitely a project car, to say the least. He acquired the car through family friends a longer story, a good one but we won’t get into it.

He bought the car for a steal at $2,500. He’s very lucky to have an amazing uncle who is an autobody man. Plus, a super dad that knows his way around cars. They really showed him the way, he did everything to the car, all the bodywork, motor, transmission, everything. They did a complete frame off.

Since he wasn’t spoiled, he had to work to get a lot of the stuff for the car. Time was endless but money was not. Somethings were gifted for his birthday or Christmas. PRO-car bucket seats made a really great gift. The car took two years to make it driveable. Definitely done on a budget.

So if your math is quick, the car was ready around his 16th birthday. So there he was 16, with a 1971 Chevelle as a daily driver. He had the hottest car at his school.

Skip ahead, he’s 18 years old and fulfilled his lifelong dream of joining the navy. The navy then turned into a career. His mom and dad looked after the 1971 Chevelle during his first 10 years of service. In those 10 years, a lot of life happened married, kids, house, the usual.

Recently he deployed aboard USS Nimitz 2020 Covid cruise. Before deployment he states now that he has his own house, it’s time the 1971 Chevelle should come home. So, he set plans into motion for after deployment. By the way, this turned into a record-breaking 11-month deployment with very limited ports.

Then one day on deployment he reached out to his dad. Asked if he could send him some car parts. So he can work on the car upon returning home. Well, stuff got a little crazy, and things on the car that he couldn’t afford the first time got replaced. The Chevelle underwent another full restoration for the second time in his ownership. Now it sits with him, where he’ll continue to wrench it out with his two sons and hopefully pass on the knowledge.

The 1971 Chevelle is equipped with a Chevy 350, Edelbrock performer RPM top end, 700R4 transmission.

It’s special because he was a 16-year-old with a 1971 Chevelle in high school in the years of 2007-2010. Also, because it was a family project. With tons of learning. His mom even helped him rebuild the transmission.

Before deployment, he pulled a 454 out of a 1994 C/K from a junkyard. Someday, he would like to have a streetable 600 horsepower car with a 6-speed, and updated suspension.

"In this newest restore I bought all of my parts from Ground up. Doors, hood, fenders, chrome, gaskets, headlamps, fender extension, and much more. I like the online platform of Ground Up. Anytime I reach out to customer support or they reach out to me, they are extremely friendly, and helpful. On my free time on deployment, I was on SS396.com shopping, giving me something to look forward to for 11 months out to sea. "

-John E

Ground Up Parts Featured In This Build

1971 Chevelle Grille Emblem by TRIM PARTS

Part #: TC-4741

$29.99

Best Price Available

1968-1973 Chevelle V8 Frostbite Aluminum Radiator

Part #: FROST-FB134

$472.99

You Save: 10%

1964-1977 Chevelle Frostbite Electric Fan Relay Kit

Part #: FROST-FB403

$104.99

You Save: 11%

1971 Chevelle Tail Lamp Lens Kit

Part #: LKIT-71A

$189.98

You Save: 5%

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