It was the summer of 1969, and Jim Carter was enjoying his brand new Chevelle as anyone would in the heyday of the muscle car era. Unfortunately, his enjoyment wouldn't last long thanks to some scum who illegally, and permanently, liberated Jim of his Chevelle. After living for years with the memories of his briefly-owned A-body, and dreaming of the kind of car he'd get to replace it, Jim couldn't resist the purchase of a fully restored '70 Chevelle SS454 convertible that crossed his path.
After purchasing the ragtop, he drove it straight to Fesler Built in Phoenix with thoughts of dropping a new engine/trans combo into it, refreshing the interior, then topping it off with some new wheels so he could relive his youth. An easy job for the Fesler crew, but after digging into the car, true horror was discovered. Cancerous rust was found throughout, hidden beneath layers of Bondo and paint. Chris Fesler called Jim to break the bad news and present him with options. After talking things over, Jim gave the green light to strip the Chevelle completely down, excise the rust, and rebuild the car back to better than new condition.
After separation from the frame, the body was stripped and all the corrosion-infected panels and pieces were replaced with new sheetmetal from Goodmark, and a factory NOS SS cowl hood. While the panels were being welded in, the original frame was cleaned up and treated to a full powdercoating, then reassembled with Hotchkis suspension components front and rear, along with a Driveshaft Shop 9-inch Currie rear, Baer Claw Track brake system, and Budnik five-spoke with BFGoodrich rubber.
For power, a GM Performance Parts ZZ454 with aluminum heads and 4L80E transmission were selected. Topping off the 454 is a GMPP Ram Jet fuel injection system, and a Vintage Air Front Runner serpentine system drives all the accessories off the 454's snout. Once the body was back from being sprayed by paint pro Gary Sharp in classic blue with white stripes livery, it was bolted back to the body, and a new interior from YearOne was installed, with black carpeting and white leather accents. A factory console shifter controls the 4L80E, while a new dash with Dakota Digital gauges keep tabs on the 454. A Fesler custom steering wheel and Flaming River column keep the Chevelle aimed in the right direction. For interior comfort, a Vintage Air climate system was installed, and cruising tunes are supplied by a Pioneer head unit and speakers. Keeping the elements out is a new Stayfast top and Bell Glass windshield.
Despite the nasty rust surprise, thanks to Fesler, Carter can cruise in worry-free comfort in the Chevelle that's finally put his old memories to rest, and created some fun new ones to take their place