Willie Perkins, Augusta, GeorgiaBack in the day, W.H. (Willie) Perkins had it made. Well, sort of. His father was a salesman at the Harrison-Guller Chevrolet dealership. Willie's first meaningful Chevy was a hot '58. He often won his class at the drags, but had to race under an assumed name, Jim Stark. This was the character name legendary actor James Dean made famous in "Rebel Without A Cause."
The local newspaper published the dragstrip winner names and classes. Willie's secret went out the window when a mechanic at the dealership squealed. Three years later, in 1961, Willie graduated from the University of Georgia at Athens, then special-ordered a white-over-red 348, four-speed Impala. According to Willie, it was not only super classy but a girl-getter too. In early 1963, Harrison-Guller Chevrolet campaigned a Mystery 427-powered Chevy at the Daytona 500, driven by Bubba Farr. They won a 50-mile qualifying race on Thursday, then overheated on Sunday. Liking NASCAR, Willie had a friend at Ray Fox Engineering in Daytona, so he got to see a brand new Mystery 427 engine.
Willie's future new Chevys included a '64 Daytona Blue Chevelle SS, a '65 Impala SS 327, then a '66 Chevelle SS 396. Willie went on to become the tour manager for the storied Allman Brothers rock and roll band from Macon. In 2005, he published a hard cover book called "No Saints, No Saviors-My Years With The Allman Brothers Band" (awesome reading). Now semi-retired, Willie buys and sells later-model GM big cars for the working class ($1,000-$4,000 range) in Macon, Georgia. He also reads Super Chevy to stay up on hot Chevys and history from back in the day. (Doug Marion photo)
Nik Christensen, Madison, WisconsinA retired (2002) University of Wisconsin college professor, Nik Christensen special-ordered a brand-new, black, '58 fuel-injected Impala, waiting three months for delivery. With lakes pipes, it ran strong at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wisconsin. In the spring of '59, he traded it in on a brand-new, white 348 Impala convertible.
He got married in 1960, and in '63 purchased a new Impala Super Sport. In 1969, he and his wife purchased a new El Camino, which they still own today. In the late '70s, he and his son restored several late '50s Chevys and, yes, they still own all them today-as well as a '68 Camaro and a '68 Chevelle.
"Professor Nik" still has an office at UW/Madison, but they live in beautiful, picturesque Washington. (Photos courtesy of Nik Christensen)
Bruce Hammond, Big Rapids, MichiganA Ferris State University lab manager for Manufacturing, Welding and Graphic Arts, Bruce missed the torrid '60s by a decade but has been a Super Chevy subscriber since 1974.
As a teenager, Bruce earned $10 a week from a newspaper route, and he's never forgotten some of his customers.
One had a '67 Rally Sport Camaro convertible, blue with white stripes, houndstooth interior and a floor shift automatic. It was for sale for $800. A year later in Battle Creek, Michigan, he found an even better deal-a one-owner, 60,000-mile, '69 Chevelle SS 396, four-speed convertible (orange, white stripes, white top and interior) for $500. He's had several nice Chevys since age 15, including a '57 (paid $300) that he drove for seven years and later on, a red ' 65 396, four-speed Corvette roadster. His thought today: "You always remember the Chevys that got away."