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1969 Chevy Chevelle - Heart Of Copper

This '69 Shines Right Off The Periodic Table

Andrew Schear Nov 1, 2003
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Attraction: The one sensation that humans really don't understand. Just as two people create sparks from across the room, the same can be said about the first time a 16-year-old sees the ride of his dreams. The feeling is almost euphoric and no words can properly explain it. This numbness is what Kim Lapick has felt for '69 Chevelles for as long as memory serves. All he ever wanted was a cool A-body with a gigantic bumpstick and a slick paint job. Many years passed with no Chevelle and no lumpy big-block noise resonating from the garage.

About 3 years ago Kim was in a casual conversation with a colleague when the words "selling a '69 Chevelle" graced his ear canal. Before he could keep up with his wallet, his mouth said yes. In a few moments Kim had become the proud owner of the machine of his dreams. After slapping 5,000 bucks into his associates hand, the '69 was on its way to Kim's garage, with Kim behind the wheel wearing a smile from ear to ear.

After researching the proper restoration shops, Kim found himself knocking on the door of expert builder, Rex Buxton. When Buxton originally scoped out the bad Bow-Tie he told Kim that the it was beyond repair and that he was going to throw a lot of money away if he wanted to keep this specific car. Kim was fulfilling a childhood dream, so the restoration was given a green flag!

The A-body was completely disassembled and sent to the blaster, or as we like to call it, the sheetmetal historian. When the '69 returned from being blasted, the history of every accident was revealed. After this unfortunate news Kim was tasked with the job of finding new quarter panels, fenders and door skins. While the body ailments were being sorted out, the frame was modified with Alston rear framerails, a FAB9 rear housing and Air Ride Technology bags.

It was at this point that the Lapicks realized that their $30,000 restoration wasn't a very realistic goal. In fact it wasn't even in the ballpark of reality. After Kim and Diane learned of the unfortunate reality that Gold Class restorations are pricey, Buxton pitched the Lapicks with his thoughts on what to use for a power plant. They decided that a mild big-block had no business in a car such as theirs. That being the case, a 690-horse Rat with nitrous was built to propel this copper beast down the strip. Power would be transferred through a five-speed manual gearbox and a set of Currie gears out back. In the name of safety, a full cage was painted body color and installed accordingly.

With the Chevelle rolling, the bodywork was next on the agenda. After Kim had chased the appropriate sheetmetal, Silva's Custom Auto Painting was given the task of re-skinning the doors, hanging the fenders and replacing the quarter panels. Three months later, the moment had finally arrived for Kim and Diane to pick their color of choice. Not knowing what to do, they decided to sit on the decision over the weekend. Come Monday their decision had been made. Although we think the name doesn't do it justice, they had their heart set on Prowler Flame Orange Pearlcoat. After the basecoat/clearcoat had dried the finish was wet sanded to a glass-like finish, and polished to a mirror shine.

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With the '69 just an interior shy of being finished, the body was bolted back onto the frame and the experts at Fiber Technology and Design began their magic. After the sport Recaro buckets and Auto Meter gauges were installed the '69 was given a thorough shake down and a final once over.

After checking out Kim and Diane's copper tire twister for the better part of a day, we believe now more that ever that Chevelles truly are some of the meanest machines on the road.



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