Featured Car

1967 Chevy Chevelle Malibu

Owners: Eric and Jennifer Wachob

Desiring a GM muscle car since the day I began driving, the Chevelle was at the top of my list.  After eighteen years of dreaming, and four of those years searching, the Randolph Swap Meet delivered a car in the Fall of 2004.  A Malibu with a strong 327, the car came with an ultra solid body and high quality paint job.  After inspecting the car at Randolph and finding only a few minor leaks and some chrome peeling from the rear bumper, I determined there would be just enough work to cut my teeth on during the cold winter months.  So that was that, I bought the car and drove her home.

Now, have you ever bought something thinking – wow, I am really proud of my purchase, only to find a surprise you weren’t prepared for?  A week later, I drove the Mali to work only to have a friend (Steve) notice that the car was lower on one side by approximately an inch or two.  Thinking that an air shock went bad, I replaced both rear shocks and installed new air lines.  The shocks didn’t fix the problem.

Well, what I didn’t realize was that I would only get to drive the Chevelle three more times before it would come off the street for a full frame off restoration.  During the next full twelve months, 700 hours was spent meticulously restoring everything from the frame to the fuel system. 

Although the body was in great shape, two of the body mounts holding the frame to the floor pans had rusted completely through the floor.  Actually, I later found that only three of the ten original body mounts continued to hold the car together.  Glad I didn’t take any curves at excessive speeds!

Close inspection determined that the 95% of the floor pans were in excellent condition except where the body mounts met the frame.  Thank goodness Steve, the guy that noticed the problem, had an extensive background in auto restoration and all the right tools.

The car was disassembled in December of 2004 and the entire interior was removed except the dash.  The frame was sent out for a complete blast and epoxy paint before coming back, while the balance of the cleaning and painting took place on-site. 

While mig welding new floor pan sections, a spark flew up into the dash and caught some old insulation on fire.  After a hit with an extinguisher and water, the dash came out and received a complete rebuild.  Good thing too - the former owner spliced into every wire that he could reach.  No problem.  Since we work for a contract electronics company (MJM Industries), all wires, terminals, bulbs and contacts were replaced with factory correct colors and parts.  All connections were either soldered or crimped utilizing factory correct tooling.  All aftermarket wiring received its own terminal block near the fuse panel.

The balance of the restoration to the engine, transmission, fuel, brake, and suspension systems went well until we had to replace the infamous body mounts behind the rear tires.  These mounts are welded to the bottom of the trunk pan and to the inner wheel wells.  There we found the allusive pink metal most of us refer to as Bondo.  After grinding off some of the Bondo it was evident that the mounts were never welded to the trunk pan.   Some type of rubbery silicone was substituted as an adhesive.  Must have been some new technique the rest of us have yet to discover. 

Not wanting any additional surprises, the entire trunk pan was cut out plus portions of the inner wheel wells.  New wheel wells were fabricated to factory specifications, and a new trunk pan was installed, primed and spatter coated.  Even the factory didn’t look as good once it was finished.

The car was re-assembled in the fall of 2005, just in time for two or three remaining shows.  Currently the car is receiving new roller rockers, Flowmaster exhaust, and some window rubber.

All in all, with exception to the body mounts, the car seemed to have lived a fairly dry life in the past.  With the family all excited about hitting the shows, we are hoping that 2006 will provide good weather for our 67 Mali.

 

Specifications:

Engine: 327, 64cc factory heads, Trick Flow Rockers, Lunati Cam, Weiand Stealth Dual Plane Intake Manifold, 650 Holley 4bbl, Mallory Ignition, MSD 8mm ignition wires
Shifter: Hurst V-Matic
Transmission: 350 TH w/ B&M Transpak
Rear-end: Original GM 10 bolt w/Richmond 3.73 ratio gears
Suspension: Factory correct Springs, Edelbrock IAS Shocks, Edelbrock Super Sport upper frame braces, Addco rear anti-sway bar, Factory front anti-sway bar, 10 factory style body mounts + 2 additional in the SS/convertible location
Exhaust: Hooker Headers, Dual 2.5” Flow Master American Thunder w/ 40 Series Mufflers
Fuel: New fuel tank, sending unit, and fuel lines (2005)
Brakes: Factory Drum, 100% new lines, hoses & cylinders (2005)
Wheels: Wheel Vintiques – Ralley w/CMD cap, 15x7, 15x8, BF Radial T/A, (2005)
Exterior: Original Sheet Metal, Black vinyl top (1998)
Interior: 100% new original (1998, 2005)
Paint: Metallic Silver (1998)
Frame: Restored 2005 – Blasted and Black epoxy
Trunk: New 2005
Replacement Parts: National Parts Depot
Estimated HP: 330

Body-off Frame Restoration (2005): Eric Wachob / Steve Porath