Under any circumstances, restoring a classic Chevy is a labor of love. It takes passion to go through the restoration process. It's fun, it's frustrating, and it can be expensive. But the sense of accomplishment you experience, often after years of hard work, makes it all worthwhile. Sometimes it goes beyond that. The car becomes a way to pay tribute to people loved and lost. That's what makes Michael and Ann Boyte's 1972 Monte Carlo so special.
His father went to countless dealerships and lots in search of that perfect car for Michael's older (and only) brother, Randy. The car was from Tal Williams Chevrolet in Greensboro, North Carolina. As Michael describes it, "That night when Randy brought the car home, he parked it in the backyard and turned on all of the outside lights so the family could admire it. To repay our parents, Randy drove a school bus. He repaid every penny.
"I always looked up to my brother and wanted to be like him. But as fate would have it we lost Randy way too early in a rather horrific car accident on December 2, 1978." Michael continues, "He and three of his friends lost their lives that night. I was 14 at the time. Two days after his death, my parents [Wilbur and Peggy] gave me Randy's car, along with strict instruction to take good care of it."
For the next 20 years Michael kept the Monte Carlo in pristine condition. If so much as a cloud appeared, back in the garage it would go. His wife Ann was a great source of support. She often suggested they show the car, but Michael would tell her it's not a show car. He told her it would be costly. She never gave up and said they should make the necessary sacrifices as a memorial to Randy and a tribute to his parents. Eventually she wore him down.
The '72 Monte Carlo was taken down to the frame, cleaned and painted. Mark Hooker of Pine Hall, North Carolina, did the bodywork, then sent it to Scott Tickle of Summerfield, North Carolina, for color. Scott laid down a flawless Sikkens Autobase Plus Triple Black paint job. After each piece was painted, Steve Dale would wet sand and buff it. The result was a deep, blemish-free finish.
This Monte is all about the details. The rear quarters, trunk pan, fenderwells, and all body panel crimps have been smoothed, blended, and shot with a base/clear process. The trim was all NOS and sent off to Pro One Polishing in Hobart, Indiana, for a show quality finish. Advanced Chrome Plating in Nashville restored the grille and did the plating.
The engine was sent to Banks Racing, where the original 350 increased to 388.3 ci. The engine was bored to 4.060, stroked to 3.750, blueprinted, and balanced at 50 percent. Michael asked for 500hp and got 553.1hp at 6300rpm and 521 lb-ft at 5000. That power was the result of some of the best parts out there—aluminum cylinder heads, JE pistons with a compression ratio of 11.2:1, SCAT crankshaft, Comp camshaft with.555 lift and a 254/250-degree duration split, topped off with an Edelbrock intake manifold and a Holley 800-cfm carburetor. Exhaust is sent out through Hooker Competition headers and a Jet Hot coated Flowmaster exhaust. Behind the motor is a Turbo 350 with a 3800rpm stall converter coupled to a chromed driveshaft. The 12-bolt Posi rear sports 3.73 gears.
A classic street machine wouldn't be complete without a wicked stance. Larry Lawson installed Classic Performance Products A-arms, Hotchkis springs with a drop of 3.5-inches and KYB adjustable shocks up front. Out back are Hotchkis springs with a 1.5-inch drop and Monroe adjustable shocks. Wilwood 12-inch rotors with polished four-piston calipers were installed all the way around. Custom-built Foose wheels (18x8-inch front and 20x10 rear) are shod with Nitto NT555 tires.
This Monte is all about the details. The rear quarters, trunk pan, fenderwells, and all body panel crimps have been smoothed, blended, and shot with a base/clear process.
While the interior still has classic items like the vinyl seats, it also has custom billet sills, strikers, and vents. Other billet accessories include the hood and trunk hinges. But probably the most important item in the interior, and perhaps the whole car, is Randy's graduation tassel from Stoneville High School forever hanging from the rearview mirror.
Once you learn the story of this Monte you can't help but be moved. The car has been shown all over the U.S. and has done quite well. In fact, the Monte won the national championship in Super Chevy's 2013 AMSOIL Best of the Best online competition in the Chevelle/Monte Carlo class.
With his wife's constant encouragement, the Boytes will continue to campaign the car this year in as many cities as they can.
"Everywhere we go Randy's story and his car go with us," says Michael.
This is more than a Chevy, more than a restoration; this is Randy Boyte's triple black tribute.