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Look what just arrived this morning! A badass 1968 Chevelle SS396! Okay, almost certainly it's a "tribute" car rather than a factory SS model - which would have cost about $10-20 grand more - but it is an original 396 4-speed, and now it's even faster than stock!

Here it is after a 600-mile trip from Milwaukee. The fellows who delivered it are great and brought it here for half what others charge (can't find a website, but they're Double-D Hauling from Milwaukee, I believe, and I found them through Progressive Auto Relocation). Everything about the delivery was perfect once I finally found a shipper... that part was a huge pain. If you ever need to have something delivered fast, affordably, and with good humor, these are your guys! Here they are backing the Chevelle off the trailer, driver in the car and his co-pilot guiding him off:



I love how the only color in that shot is the Chevelle. After a minute or so of warm-up (it's actually winter in Kansas now), he backed it right off and parked it in the street, where I got this requisite, "Hooray my car arrived and it's as nice as I hoped!" photo:



Yes, this is the first time I bought a car off eBay without being able to inspect it first. Scary. Also scary was having it delivered by people I'd never worked with before. Let me tell you, but did I ever do my research. Even so, I still had nightmares about shippers turning out to be car-thieves, or the car getting here and turning out to have been totally misrepresented in the ad, and so forth. *whew*

I had been looking at and occasionally bidding on Chevelles for months now, particulary the 1968 model (my favorite because of the angled nose, sleek tail treatment, cool interior design, and elegant body shape), and had actually bid on this one a few times. Yes, it's sort of a hobby. I didn't want to pay a lot, which was tough because I wanted a 4-speed and the big-block, both of which add big-time to cost. This one had been relisted several times, with a pretty horrible ad that used photos taken with a cell-phone camera. The seller never updated his ad with more description or better photos for the month or two I kept track of it, though he did lower the reserve a little each time. Finally, after the bidding once more ended without a winner, I got a "Second Chance Offer" matching my high bid (almost $4000 off the reserve price!). HOORAY!

We exchanged a few emails and calls, and he sent me a much nicer photo he had from when he first bought the car. Though it wore the wrong wheels (and too big, in my opinion), it revealed that this was not a complete basket-case. I should point out that I paid about half of book value in medium condition, so I figured that even if it needs some work, whatev! We can spend some time and moolah to fix it up and even improve it. See, clevermanka is also a big muscle-car fan, and we wanted something awesome to use as a regular driver, so it didn't need to be perfect and we both kind of preferred it that way - it's a little scary to think of driving an expensive, historically significant car in the rain! In fact, it's going to be the first car she works on, too. There's little more satisfying than having been part of the restoration and customization process of your classic car!

This came at a really good time, too, because the Saab's fuel-injection is once again failing. *sigh*

Anyhow, its condition is about what I expected: a few areas of bubbling under the paint, a couple of small holes in the trunk floor, tires need to be replaced, driver's-side door panel needs to be replaced, the shifter linkage is a bit wonky, it needs to have one of those aftermarket AC/heater systems installed, and a few other things need to be addressed. On the other hand, the engine is clearly newly rebuilt - and built to the back teeth! It uses a gear drive (what an incredible sound!) to drive a hot cam, the heads are ported and polished to flow more air, it has new long-tube headers, and the power it puts down is pretty awesome to feel. Who needs first gear? Well, it'll be nice to get that fixed, but still - WOW! And even though it delivers about 450 horsepower to the wheels (way more than stock), it's a little quieter than the hot-rod Newport because it has Cherry Bomb mufflers that dump right before the rear axle, which is located using drag-race-style ladder bars. What a sound it barks out the exhaust, by the way!

Oh, and I took it for a spin around the block. I discovered that it'll go a little sideways in all the gears when the roads are damp and you give it lots of throttle... heh heh.

Anyway, once I got it back to the garage I spent some time wiping off the wet road grime and inspecting it. Verdict: I'm happy with the new addition to the stable. WOOHOO!

Chris

Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
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scarlettina
Feb. 15th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on the new baby! :-)
mckitterick
Feb. 15th, 2012 06:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm a little excited ;-)
busychild424
Feb. 15th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
I am so jealous that you have TWO awesome cars. I hate you. Give me one.
mckitterick
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
Just two? What, you don't like the Crossfire?

;-D
(no title) - busychild424 - Feb. 15th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Feb. 15th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
tessagratton
Feb. 15th, 2012 06:22 pm (UTC)
HAWT.
mckitterick
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
Aw, yeah.
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! A classic contest!
(Deleted comment)
(no title) - mckitterick - Feb. 15th, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no title) - mckitterick - Feb. 16th, 2012 05:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no title) - mckitterick - Feb. 18th, 2012 04:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - clevermanka - Feb. 15th, 2012 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Feb. 15th, 2012 08:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - clevermanka - Feb. 15th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no title) - mckitterick - Feb. 16th, 2012 05:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no title) - clevermanka - Feb. 15th, 2012 10:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no title) - clevermanka - Feb. 15th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Feb. 16th, 2012 05:12 am (UTC) - Expand
clevermanka
Feb. 15th, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is the first time I bought a car off eBay without being able to inspect it first.

How is it that I've done it twice??!?!

I like this one best so far, though. =D

with keys
mckitterick
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
Hahahaaha! Interesting point....

Love that photo!
edichka2
Feb. 15th, 2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
Where the hell do you put all these things?
- E
mckitterick
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:07 pm (UTC)
Well, the Saab is staying on the street until I decide if I keep it or sell it. The Newport lives in the garage, along with the Aprilia and the BMW (and tools and telescopes and so on). The Crossfire lives undercover under the carport. I'm thinking of building a cycle shed so I can keep the Chevelle in the garage rather than covered under the carport.
(no title) - mckitterick - Feb. 16th, 2012 05:13 am (UTC) - Expand
bogwitch64
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
Cherry, dude. ;)
mckitterick
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
Even matches the color! *g*
siro_gravity
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
you are so cute with your dang cars!!

I think you should be McCarterrick!
mckitterick
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
:-D
(no title) - silverfae - Feb. 17th, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
etcet
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
This is my "covetous" face.

Sweet ride, dude. Sweet, sweet ride.
mckitterick
Feb. 15th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
I never thought I'd have a muscle car, myself - they're usually so expensive (why I built the hot-rod Newport, in fact). All good things come to those who invest time and persistence, sir.
(no title) - clevermanka - Feb. 15th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Feb. 15th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
gryphonrose
Feb. 15th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
That's very cool, amigo. I love the Chevelle's shape, too. Have fun rebuilding, and I'll look forward to seeing the pics--and perhaps the car itself, next time I'm in town. :)
mckitterick
Feb. 15th, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, I think GM design from that era is just gorgeous. For sure you'll get a ride next time you're here!
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Feb. 15th, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks! You know we will.
normalcyispasse
Feb. 15th, 2012 10:09 pm (UTC)
NICE, Chris! Well done!
mckitterick
Feb. 16th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC)
Thanks, fellow motorized-transport collector :-D
the_themiscyran
Feb. 15th, 2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
Such a pretty baby - I want to pet it!
mckitterick
Feb. 16th, 2012 05:15 am (UTC)
Isn't it though? Chevy had such gorgeous design in this era, and this particular model is one of my favorites ever.

PS: I can see doing a lot of waxing... it's so curvaceous....
dragonet2
Feb. 16th, 2012 12:20 am (UTC)
I can only hope that
the earlier models of the two-door had better windows than the one I got when i turned 16 (1972). If you so much as put a finger on the damn window when shutting the door the thing would go out of track and require a body shop trip. ARRRGH. Esp for a high school student.

Otherwise it was a wonderful car, nice ride, etc. Just didn't get to keep it long, dad sold it when I went to college.

Yours is beautiful and I am so glad it runs and is as nice as you wanted!
mckitterick
Feb. 16th, 2012 05:17 am (UTC)
Re: I can only hope that
This might be similar, in that the window tracks seem off a bit. But, hey, many companies make brand-new replacement parts!
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Feb. 16th, 2012 05:17 am (UTC)
:-D
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( 45 comments — Leave a comment )

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