John first became aware of the very car that would bring the Chevelle back into his modern life through a friend. What he heard was that not too far away existed a one-owner 1967 Chevelle SS with a 396 under the hood and a four-speed in the tunnel. The owner that had purchased the car new was ready to retire from driving, yet held interest in the car going to a good home. John took time out to go check out the Chevelle. He was amazed at its preserved original condition. No part of the car had ever been modified, and only a few regularly scheduled maintenance items had been swapped as they wore out. With a mere 25K miles on the clock, John knew he had found something very special that deserved to be kept that way.
John had the car delivered to his brother's shop for a closer look. John's brother Dennis handles restorations in his own shop, but, with a heavy schedule looming overhead, Dennis suggested Todd Lewis from Extreme Restoration be brought in for the meeting of the minds. The three talked over the car and which direction the project would travel. John's final solution was to keep the car as original as possible but at the same time restore the inner workings to showroom perfect or better condition. Only the chassis and drivetrain would receive a workover back to OEM specs. The rest of the car would remain 1967 factory original.
Brother Dennis and Todd Lewis worked together on the project from transporting the car down to Extreme Restoration's shop right up to the point where John got to kick it over and take a drive in the big-block way-back machine. The 396 mill was machined back into 100 percent factory specs by Nat's Incorporated in Swansea, Massachusetts. The chassis and underbody were restored to better than good working order. Everything from the Muncie M-20 wide ratio trans out to the original factory racing stripe remains as it was from the factory. The results had John smiling all the way back to the late '60s.
"Now I know what it may have felt like to drive one off a dealer's showroom floor back in 1967. This car is as tight and smooth as a modern day car. It's an absolute joy to drive," John said.
Having driven the car a few miles since its restoration, John plans to keep it as a time capsule. He plans on preserving and showing the car in the present day, while maintaining its original condition for the coming generations to enjoy. Even the original owner stays in touch with John, and is looking forward to seeing the car at some shows in the near future. The family appreciation for American muscle that started so long ago with a few pairs of headers hanging on the garage wall continues in the Chevelle. John's son just started driving last year and carries with him the same interest in cars that John's dad began. John's next project remains as unknown as the time that has not yet passed, but his passion will certainly continue on.
"I'm not really sure what the next project will be, though I do have some other interesting cars," added John.
"As for this one, I'll probably keep it for my son, but you never know what's ahead."