About 20-plus years ago when I was still pretty young, my father piled us kids into the family truck. He had just made a sweetheart of a deal over the phone with a guy to buy a travel trailer, so off we went to pick up the new family toy. Upon our arrival, I remember seeing another man handing over a check to the seller of the trailer. My father, moving like lightning, sprang out of the truck, and started hollering at the man with whom he had made the deal over the phone just moments before. Yup, the rug was yanked out from right under him, and the trailer was sold to another buyer. At the time, I had never seen my dad so mad.
A similar situation happened to me decades later. My wife, children, and I piled into our family hauler and made a 90-mile one-way trip to pick up a Model A Coupe about which I had just spoken to a guy on the phone. At some point during our 90-mile drive, he changed his mind and didn't have the bother to let us know. He instead sent a messenger to deliver the bad news once we arrived. These types of situations and people can be a real stumbling block in our automotive pursuits. However, though many may stumble after these situations, we dust ourselves off and move on. It may not be in the direction we had originally planned, and it may be with a completely different car, but we move on just the same.
This story has a similar beginning, as well. Gil Dickason had struck a sweetheart of a deal with Mr. X for a fine-looking '66 SS Chevelle. And like our above examples, Mr. X reneged on the transaction. Heartbroken, Gil thought he had acquired the car he had dreamt about since his teen years, but it slipped away. When your bubble bursts, you simply start over again with a new bubble.
After some searching, Gil once more found his dream 66' Chevelle on eBay of all places. This deal, however, wasn't much of a sweetheart. According to Gil and his wife, Susie, they paid "too much money" for this Chevelle. But when you got to have it, you got to have it.
The Chevelle originated out of Montana, which usually means it's bound to have some rust-and it sure did. The Chevelle was just plain ol' worn-out. But that didn't matter, especially when it was the couple's dream ride. When you're handed a lemon, you make lemonade.
A call to Mike's Street Rods in Apple Valley, California, started the lemonade-making process. Over the course of the next two years, Mike and his crew massaged the metal with hammers and blowtorches, transforming the otherwise worn-out Chevelle into an enviable rolling work of art. The crew at Mike's fit a monster-sized 502 Ram Jet fuel-injected big-block nicely into the spacious engine bay of the Chevelle. The 502 Ram Jet was extensively dressed up using accessories from Street & Performance, and a 4L80E was transplanted right behind it, giving it the gears it needs to tame the savage beast of a block.
The frame of the Chevelle was soda-blasted at Cal Blast, and then powdercoated to a high-sheen gloss black. Other than some moderate upgrades, the suspension still retains most of its OEM styling. What really sets this vehicle apart is the custom-mixed blue pearlescent paint, but it does not stop there. Once you look inside this particular Chevelle and your eyes adjust, you just might see something that breaks the mold-clean, sanitary lines that flow through the interior of the car. From the dash to the rear seats, this Chevelle takes on an almost Art Deco quality. All unnecessary visual clutter has been discretely hidden away. What originally started out as a sour deal turned into a tasty batch of lemonade, don't you think?