Employee Rides: 1969 Chevelle - Jeff Behrens
I don’t know the exact time or place that they became one of my favorite cars, but '69 Chevelles somehow earned the top prize in my gearhead mind. I have owned 3 over the years and each one did a level up as I owned it. My current '69 Chevelle named “Ole Blue” ended up being the keeper as two kids really cuts into car building time. Something that really set this car off was the fact that I decided to powdercoat all the trim and door handles satin black and paint matched the bumpers. Lots of folks thought I was nuts to get rid of all the chrome as the black trim concept was still fairly new when I did this car in 2009. It was really cool to hear all the compliments once it was done and realize I made the right decision. The car has had a few different wheel sets and stances but here is how it looks currently:
The car was an ebay find that had a bit of a story behind it. The gentleman that owned it was an avid drag racer and went to the track nearly every weekend during the fall and spring time. There was a diary that came with the car that described the track and weather conditions, car's weight, any changes that had been made on the car, and finally the track numbers that it ran that day. The hundreds of entries in this book provided my friends and I some good entertainment reading about the racing. The car went a best of 11.90 with the big block 468 that was in it when I got it, FYI. The car was in Rio Rico AZ which, as luck would have it, I had just traveled to several times for a job. I had gotten to know the plant manager at the place I had been working and he ended up living 10 minutes from where the car was. He went and looked at it and said “if you don’t buy it, then I will buy it” so I knew with the knowledge of cars he had it was a pretty good deal. Here is how it looked when I 1st bought it and the original 468 engine as well.
What started out as an “I'll just put some wheels and a paint job on it” adventure turned into a full out frame off restoration with over 100 pieces of the car powdercoated and the whole car completely dismantled down to every nut and bolt. With no kids and a ton more energy than I have now, I completed the initial restoration with the fuel injected 427 running for the first time in a little over 8 months. The body was stripped down and minimal bodywork was needed as it was an AZ car. The frame was blasted and powdercoated satin black. All new tubular control arms and disc brakes were added. Here are some pics of the bodywork being started, body in primer, rolling chassis, and the body back on the chassis.
My grandpa was my early teacher for all things that had wheels. Didn’t matter if it was a tractor, dump truck, road grader, or a car, he always seemed to have an answer if something was wrong with one of them. He was really a car guy and owned numerous types and brands of cars from Packard, Nash, Chevy, Ford, and Studebaker. Studebakers were his favorite and he probably owned over a dozen different ones that I can remember growing up. He really enjoyed rides in the Chevelle and loved a good burnout whenever we went on one. Here are a few of the cars he owned and one of my favorite pics of him and the Chevelle: