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1966 Chevy Chevelle SS - Inspired Restoration

A Car That Wouldn't Sell Turns Into A Well-Rewarded Labor Of Love

Mike Petralia Nov 1, 2000
Sucp_0011_01_z 1966_chevy_chevelle_SS Front_view 2/6

As a high school graduation present to himself, Randy Kirker, of Sanborn, New York, bought this Chevelle Super Sport new in 1966. He enjoyed driving the car for the two summers that followed, until he was shipped off to Vietnam. Returning home in 1970 following his service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Randy felt the need for more power and put the SS on the selling block with hopes of making enough cash to fund a new '70 LS6. Alas, there were too many '66s still on the road, and Randy had no takers. He decided instead to garage the Chevelle at his dad's house, taking it out occasionally to enjoy summer cruising and for routine maintenance.

Years passed, and in 1993 Randy tore the Chevelle down to its frame for a complete restoration. He was intent upon keeping the Chevelle as stock as possible, and to that end Randy reused many of the original components, since they were still in the same condition as when the Chevelle first rolled off the showroom floor.

The bare body was mounted on a giant rotisserie and trucked over to Gerstner's Collision Service in Williamsville, New York, where body experts Ron Gerstner and Ed Riberio repaired some of the factory mistakes that, although all new cars come with them, had been bugging Randy for the last 27 years. On went a fresh coating of rich Aztec Bronze, which was the original GM color, and Randy hauled it back home for reassembly.

Sucp_0011_05_z 1966_chevy_chevelle_SS Trunk 6/6

Good friends are invaluable during a project like this, and Randy's proved no different. The original interior was still in pristine condition, so Randy reinstalled it with some help from Candy and Eugene Pfhol. His buddy Billy Lambert helped re-create the factory original paint markings on the car, and Al Gibson helped Randy with the finishing details.

Motivation for the big SS comes from the original 396-cid Rat with only 52,000 miles on its ticker. Randy took the time to go through the big-block and freshen its gaskets and seals for the restoration, but internally and externally it's bone stock The Muncie four-speed sends power back to the detailed 12-bolt spinning 3.31:1 gears.

All told, it took Randy and friends three years to restore his Chevelle, and their efforts have come well rewarded. The SS has taken home a dozen Super Chevy show awards and five national first place trophies at NCOA and AACA shows. Looking back, Randy is pretty happy that he wasn't much of a car salesman in his youth, otherwise someone might have bought his Chevelle, and where would it be now?



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