For Brent Casteel, resurrecting an old Chevrolet is nothing new. Brent has had two cars grace the pages of Super Chevy magazine, one being his '65 Bel Air in the September 2005 issue. His other ride, a '76 Z06-powered Camaro, not only hit the pages of the magazine, but was also emblazoned in all its glory on the cover.
When it came to this '64 Chevelle SS, things were different. The A-body wouldn't be for him, but for his 12-year-old son, Evan, to enjoy later on down the road. The thing is, not only would the Chevelle be an effort in rescuing a decrepit hulk of classic American iron, but also an exercise in teaching the finer points of resurrecting said car. Consider it Car Resurrection 101.
"My son, Evan, is in the National Honor Society, and in a sense, this car is his reward," Brent states. "We built this car for Evan to teach him what goes into a build like this, and the techniques of welding, wiring, and everything else that goes along with it."
When Brent and Evan picked up the Chevelle it was, by Brent's own admission, in pretty sad shape. The car was sitting in a neighbor's driveway, and it wasn't long before the father and son duo transported the Chevelle back to the Casteel family home for lots of tender loving care.
"When we picked up the car, you could see that 23 years of exposure had taken its toll on it," Brent explains. "We had to contend with mold, rust, and a liquor store. As we stripped the car, we counted three cases of beer, two gallons of liquor, and a bottle of wine--all unopened."
The Chevelle, which was originally a 327-powered Super Sport backed with a four-speed, got a bevy of new body components. When all was said and done, Brent and Evan replaced both quarter-panels, a floor pan, and the trunk pan. As this was going on, the body was removed from the frame, which was then cleaned and painted. Once the cancer was removed from the body, it was set down upon the chassis once again, and then moved over to Stevens Restoration and Refinish, where Roger Stevens laid the Glasstech 2 -inch cowl hood down and then, after applying the primer, slathered the flanks of the Chevelle in Dupont Viper Red and Chrysler Black.
When the bodywork was completed, it came time for father and son to tackle the interior and the driveline portions of the car. "The overall vision of this car was to make it a driver," Brent muses. "I wanted to do the Hot Rod Power Tour and cruise with this car. It was built to be a driver." With that in mind, Brent set out to make the interior of the Chevelle as comfortable as he could, all while retaining the stock flavor. The stock seats were kept, though both were recovered in custom black vinyl. He then fabbed up a set of custom door panels, complete with a later-style SS logo. Digital gauges replaced the vintage '64 analog dials, while a Trim Parts black carpet was laid down as well. Throw in some custom touches to the dashboard, and the interior was looking fine. The thing is, with the car being a driver, Brent wanted to make sure it was comfortable to cruise in. Enter the installation of a front and rear air conditioning system from Hot Rod Air and a thumping stereo system.
With the A/C blowing, Brent and the Casteel crew can jam to their favorite tunes thanks to the Kenwood head unit wired up to an Alpine amplifier, 6 1/2-inch Kenwood speakers up front, 6x9 Kenwoods in the back, and a 10-inch Infinity subwoofer. For those long trips, Brent made sure the Kenwood head unit was compatible for the Sirius satellite radio he installed as well.