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1966 Chevelle

2/23/2021
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We’ve all been there. You have a nice, clean classic in your garage. Then you decide to do something simple like an engine swap or quick scuff and respray, and before you know it the car is in a million pieces scattered around the garage, house, and yard. Sometimes these cars never get reassembled and are sold as basket cases years later. But sometimes, they not only get finished, but they exceed all expectations. Such is the case with Steve Schmidt’s ’66 Chevelle.

It helps that Steve had an ace up his sleeve all along. You see, Steve’s son-in-law happens to be Dave Wallace. Dave manages the Speedway Motors machine shop and is an all-around fabricator and machinist extraordinaire. Steve entrusted Dave with the Chevelle, and the plan was for a quick respray of the clean, mostly original car. For the paint and body work, Dave went straight to Dough Kielian at Auto Kraft in Lincoln, NE. Doug doesn’t do anything halfway, so when some small areas of rust and poor repairs from the Chevelle’s 55-year history turned up, Dave and Doug started the work that would take the car to the next level. All the panels were repaired, massaged, and gapped to perfection before the custom mixed dark blue hue was expertly sprayed by Doug.

Since the paint and body work came out so nice, it would have been a shame to slap the original interior back in the car. Dave hit the Speedway Motors catalog for carpet, a headliner, armrests, weatherstripping, and all the other little parts necessary to take things to the next level.

The mechanical pieces were not left alone, either. The 383 was dressed-up and tuned-up with a Holley 750, new power steering components, a new fan, and a bunch of detailing. Dave even whipped up a few custom pieces in his shop. Speedway Motors G-Comp spindles bring the front down and tuck the 18-inch US Mags nicely into the wheelwells.

In the end, things escalated quickly on Steve and Dave’s Chevelle project, just like they always do. But this story has a happy ending. The results speak for themselves, and Steve couldn’t be happier with his rejuvenated Chevelle.

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