Artist Robert Neumann gave us this rendering of what our Project XS Chevelle will eventual
Gentleman, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability nowadays to rescue perhaps the world's rustiest Chevelle convertible. Fortunately, this particular rebuild won't cost $6 million, thanks to the folks at Goodmark Industries and the hard working team at Jim Barber's Classic Automotive Restoration Specialists (C.A.R.S. Inc.).
A few years ago, the demand for replacement body panels for '70 Chevelles/Malibus started increasing as the popularity of the cars for restorations and restomod projects shot skyward. With the supply of NOS and donor parts dwindling, the only option was to start stamping brand-new sheetmetal.
Goodmark was founded in 1991, and for almost 20 years its inventory and offerings of new sheetmetal for a variety of American cars and trucks has grown by leaps and bounds to keep pace with demand and necessity. That's a great thing for us, as we're practically throwing the Goodmark catalog at our rusty Chevelle. North Carolina-based C.A.R.S. Inc. has been in business since 1999, when Founder/Owner Jim Barber left Eaton Corporation to get into the lucrative restoration business. C.A.R.S. Inc. can take just about any clapped-out old car and turn it into a gem. And in the case of our Chevelle, we're really going to put those skills to the test. It redefines the term "clapped-out." C.A.R.S. Inc. is also the builder of the '69 Camaro COPO and Yenko recreation series. For more on its services, check out its website: www.classicautomotiverestoration.com.
This particular ragtop was built in the Baltimore assembly plant and sold new in Wisconsin, where it spent a good part of its life and then ended up in Massachusetts. Those are two states where salted winter roads and a few fender benders accounted for most of the reasons this convertible is in such cancerous, sorry shape. Some might ask why we're even bothering to save this heap, and there are two good answers to that question. One, we wanted to show everyone in Bow Tie land how even the most rotten, beat-up automobile can be saved thanks to the aftermarket. Two, Chevelle/Malibu convertibles are tough to come by, and currently the aftermarket doesn't make the convertible top hardware and other related equipment. So, any convertible with all its equipment intact is worth saving, no matter what the condition.
Follow along as Barber and his crew start tearing the A-body apart, surveying the damage, and begin cutting out the cancer-stricken metal and replacing it with fresh steel from Goodmark. We'll go ahead and warn you: Some of these pictures aren't pretty, but they do show how even the worst Chevelle can be saved from the scrap heap.
Here are the major pieces from Goodmark that we'll be replacing on the Chevelle. There are
Hiding in this box is a Chevelle, sort of. All Goodmark sheetmetal comes wrapped, boxed, a
Going over the car, there was evidence it had been through two major collisions in the rig
The front end of our Malibu has taken a beating over the years, too. Nothing from the fron
The interior pretty much matched the outside of the car. Our Malibu is a factory Cranberry
From here you can see the beating the passenger side has taken over the years, and all the