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Diamond in the Rough

Found at Last

Jul 1, 2004

Some people out there must have more willpower than a small country. Take explorers for instance. Could you imagine setting out on expeditions for days, months, and years at a time? Searching foreign land not knowing if the goal of this mission even exists, and furthermore not even knowing where it might be if it does exist. Now odds are, well at least I would think, more than half of those crusades end up empty handed. Yet they keep searching and searching. Its insane, but at the same time shows the patience and willpower some people have. I guess the feeling of finally striking it rich on one of those adventures is how they justify years of hard work.

Drake Albert might as well be considered an explorer. Since he was 15 years old, Drake has been searching to get his hands on a '67 Chevelle. And when he finally got the chance to buy one from his friend, it was like finding a mine full of diamonds. Only problem was those diamonds turned out to be cubic zirconium.

The Chevelle was originally bought to drive everyday. And with a 396 motor and four-on-the-floor Drake was more than psyched. Then he found out the 396 had an internal gas leak and Albert blew the block, pistons, and camshaft. At the time Drake was raising two children and couldn't afford to buy a new big-block. There was one only one thing left to do. Take the car apart and start from scratch, even if it meant waiting even longer to finally complete his mission.

Drake decided since he was going to have to wait for the Chevelle, he might as well build it how he wants. He decided he wanted to give the car a Pro Street look. At the same time though Drake didn't want the car to look tampered with on the inside. Drake and friend, Bobby Hoey, cut the back of the frame and welded it to where the car would be tubbed and the back seat would stay. Under the rear framerails sits a Dana 44 rearend with 33x21.5 Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires. Keeping the rearend in place are a set of Koni coilover shocks and a ladder bar setup. In order to get the tires to tuck into the rear fenders Keith Comeaux did some serious work. Not only did he replace both rear quarters, but he also cut and stretched the quarter 4 inches.

For the heart of the Chevelle Drake decided on a 283 after it was given to him. For some added power Drake added a Comp Cam 292 Magnum camshaft, 202 Camel Hump cylinder heads, Edelbrock Victor intake manifold, and much more. The finished small block puts out 400 hp at 6,500 rpm.

The interior was stitched together by Deville's Seat Covers in Lafayette, Louisiana. It was put back to stock using black vinyl and a black Essex carpet kit. Auto Meter gauges rest in the dash as well. A USA-5 radio from Custom Autosound keeps the stereo looking original and the car rockin' at the same time.

When the Chevelle was all said and done Keith Comeaux sprayed it in House of Kolor Candy Apple Red. And finally, after years and years of searching and waiting Drake's dream finally came true.


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