At ChargingChargers.com, we do a variety of things involving DC devices, but the predominant area is motor sports and activities. We do vehicle restoration, rebuilding, modification, and repair, going all the way down to a bare shell if necessary. This of course involves wiring, rewiring, alternator and starter rebuilding, and sound system installation. We attend local car shows and cruises, charity events, etc., and have numerous trophies and awards, but those are not the point. More pictures and text will follow as time allows.
The following will be included: 1970 Nova SS, 1971 El Camino, 1969 Mustang Sportroof (fastback), and a 1969 Camaro. The Camaro is still in 'Grandma" condition, with dings and scrapes and bruises.
The '70 Nova SS was Larry's car during the late 70's, early 80's. He rebuilt the suspension, detuned and installed a 1970 LT-1 (the original LT-1) that had been bought in the crate and modified for racing (and some street) in a '55 Chevy. A Turbo 350 straight from B&M was installed. The car had an original 12 bolt. No interior or body work was done. With only about 15,000 miles since the modifications, Larry intended to sell the Nova and get an econo-box. His dad, Gil, knew about the goodies installed, and not wanting them to get away, he bought it, and drove it until 2001. After putting 100,000 miles on it, he gave it to Kyle (Larry's son) when he turned 16. Droopy headliner, full of leaves, pine needles and cobwebbs, Kyle brought it home. He drove it a bit, after his mom, Nan, hand stiched the headliner back up, and he cleaned the rest of the car as best as could be done.
Then the work started. It was torn down to a shell. The engine was torn down, and the block sent to be bored (could have been honed, there was no ridge and no taper), and the heads (LT-1 2.02/1.60, screw in studs, etc.) stripped and given to Mike, Larry's brother, for further porting, gasket matching, and bowl work. The trans was just serviced, and new seals installed, since the intention was to change to a 700R4 soon after reassembly. That still hasn't happened, but the car still chirps 2nd gear pretty decently (and easily). Body work was done in house, only final color spray was done by a friend who had a paint booth.
The body side moldings were shaved, and all the stainless was straightened and polished by Larry, who has done aluminum and stainless polishing professionally. The aluminum headlight eyebrows and hood molding were stripped of the anodizing, and straightened and polished, while waiting to find matching finish pieces. Both eyebrows were crushed, one by a deer (Oregon, remember?), the other by Grandma at sometime. They came out so nice, they are still on the car. Naturally the Edelbrock Performer RPM Air Gap was polished in house, as well as anything aluminum or stainless, including all bolts and fasteners that could be procurred in stainless.
While the shell was sitting on stands during bodywork completion, with the stripped subframe sticking out, one of the local powder coaters called, and asked if we had anything we wanted powder coated, since he had some items he wanted polished. We had no intention on doing powder coating, since it was all Kyle's money going into the project, and we had to budget carefully. But the subframe was sticking out, the A arms were stripped, the spindles were out and apart, etc. So we bartered. Larry still thinks he got the short end of that stick. Anyway, Kyle was in Utah for Karate Nationals (2 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze), and we figured it would be a nice surprise when he came back. The subframe went back on with polyurethane bushings, as did the A arms and sway bar.
The result of all this is this - the Nova was too nice for a daily driver, which was the original intent. HOT ROD magazine published a letter about this Nova and some of it's history, which we will get scanned and included when there is time. There's more, another time. And we haven't gotten to the El Camino story, or the Mustang story, or the Camaro yet. And there's the '63 Bel Air sitting in Mike's yard - 4 door former South Pasadena, CA police car, that was a family car in Larry's childhood, then Larry's first car. It's got a BIG engine bay, and 'Dare to be Different' is in, so maybe the 4 doors will be cool.
The El Camino was purchased new by Gil, Larry's dad. He handed it down a few years ago. He had a shell on the back, which had rubbed through the paint, and some rust was starting. Since a repaint was necessary to deal with the rust, a color change was in order.
An addition - Christmas 2007. Kyle (Larry's son) found a '63 Chevy 2 door in the AutoTrader in November 2007, watching for one since Larry had shown interest in a '63 Biscayne 2 door that rumbled by at an intersection. The one in the AutoTrader was advertised as a Bel Air. Larry went to look at it, even though it was just not feasible at the time, just so he wouldn't regret it later. When the guy pulled back the car cover, there was a Biscayne sitting there, not the Bel Air as advertised. While the Impala was the most popular at the time they were new, there were far fewer Biscaynes built. They had minimal body trim, interior trim, and frequently had a radio delete plate instead of a radio. They were the lightest of the bunch, if a full size '63 Chevy can be light. Anyway, the car was straight as could be, with all the parts, and extra parts. But, it was just not to be. So Larry told his wife and Kyle he didn't want it.
Fast forward to Christmas morning. With the dogs yapping too early, Larry and Nan ignored them. After a while, Nan got up to see what was going on. Later she came in to get Larry up for Christmas. She said to put on a coat and come outside for a minute. Well, you know the rest. That Biscayne was sitting in the driveway. Kyle had gone and found the car, bought it, and with the help of a neighbor (one of the best neighbors anyone ever had), trailered it to the neighbor's fathers property. A few days before Christmas, they trailered it to the neighbor's barn, and early on Christmas, pulled it with a quad (ATV) into the yard. Kyle's parents still don't know whether to hug him, or chew him out. They hugged him, since he's 23 and a 3rd degree Black Belt.
Spring 2008. Kyle got the 3.73 gears and a new Eaton Posi in the Nova 12 bolt, along with new axles, etc. We also finally put a 700R4 in. "It just bolts in". NOT. We still have some tweaking to do, since it seems like it shifts a little short when you get on it. Just before the power starts to come on.
July 2009. The 700R4 never was right. I finally got hold of the guy (John Harmon) I wanted to do the first trans, but never could get in touch with, and had him look at it. It was an early model, with the small shafts and hard-to-deal-with valve body. Not what we wanted. He said even if he did all that he knew to do, it still wouldn't shift like I wanted, and still would have the small shafts. He knew where a good later truck core was for $100, so I went and got it. All the internal hard parts were good, so John built it, modifying the valve body and governor to do what we wanted, and supplying a 2200 to 2400 stall converter (locking). The difference in the car is indescribable. Before we did the 3.73 posi and 3.07 low gear 700R4, I told my son that combination should scream, and plant your butt in the seat. It never did, and shifted out of 1st gear way too soon. Now it does what it was supposed to do on paper. My son doesn't think I'm a moron anymore. Actually he does, just not on this subject.
I'm still looking for a way to get an LS-7 (the late, 500 hp Z06 motor) and a T56 for the Biscayne.
|El Camino, Nova, w/TorqueThrust II|
|El Camino, Nova, Camaro, Mustang||Kyle at a show||Nova at a show|
|Another Show||Nova Engine Bay||Nova Interior|
Nova Engine Install
Yes, on rocks!
|Powder coated or polished|
First show with interior
|Nova and El Camino||
Grants Pass, Oregon
Back to the 50's
Back to the 50's
|Paint Prep||Base Coat|
|Body with Clear||Front Fenders||Blacking the Hood|
|1963 Biscayne||6-71 Blower Project|
Biscayne dash molding (Ignition, etc), short aluminum piece over the ignition switch
Radio delete plate
The following don't have to be perfect, just straight:
Biscayne trim molding towards top of the door, Left
Interior quarter window steel pieces that extend back from the post ('B' pillar) at the top
The following can be Bel Air or Impala pieces:
Upper and lower eyebrows (I know reproductions are available)
Outside heater box
Hood lip molding
If you have any of these or can suggest a source, I would appreciate it. Anyone who has done a rack and pinion steering or a Gen III/Gen IV LS series engine install or a T-56 on a '58 to '64 B body Chevy, let me know. I'm just thinking. I'll never find or be able to afford the Z-11 parts. Thanks.