Once when I was in seventh grade, I broke my wrist while skateboarding at a school dance. To boost my morale, my mom took me to Blockbuster to rent some movies, one being what would, in my opinion, turn out to be one of the greatest movies ever-Tommy Boy. It's impossible for me to pinpoint my favorite part of the movie, but one thing that comes to mind is when Tommy (Chris Farley) and Richard (David Spade) are driving along in that beat-up Mopar and singing along to R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know it." It also happens to be the only line they know from the song.
When I first spotted Joe Jenkins' '66 Chevelle, that moment in Tommy Boy jumped in my head, not because the movie has anything to do with it, but because once I saw the paint scheme, I started singing that Kenny Wayne Shepard song "Blue on Black." As soon as I started, I realized that "Blue on Black" was the only line I knew, much like Tommy and Richard. But I guess in the end it doesn't matter what draws you to a car, as long as you are drawn to it, and Joe's '66 has no problems sucking people right in.
Musclecars are always cool to have, but when you're 18 and making the miniscule amount of money that most teenagers do, musclecars aren't the most practical. When Joe was 18, he had a '66 Chevelle. Like any teenager, he figured "What else do I need besides a rad car?" As it turns out, cash was what he needed. Since most of his wages went into keeping the Chevelle on the road, it was time to trade in for something that would get him to and from work trouble free. A few years have passed since then, and Joe now has a regular vehicle, which he takes to work. He also had some extra dough, so he thought, "Why not get another '66 Chevelle?"
Through word of mouth, Joe heard that his brother's engine builder had a fairly decent '66 Chevelle. After some haggling on Joe's part, he finally persuaded the engine builder to sell the Chevelle. The car was all there, but looked as if the ugly stick had beaten it. The day the Chevelle arrived at the Jenkins house, the build was in full swing. Joe and his son immediately began thrashing through the car and tearing it apart. There was no preset direction with the car other than getting it back on the road looking good, so Joe just played it by ear. The engine builder who sold the car said he could build him a fairly stout small-block, so Joe took him up on the offer. As for the body and paint, it was sent out to J.V. Enterprises. Nine months later, the Chevelle was up and running. Although it was a nice car, it wasn't stunning, so it was back to the drawing board.