The drive from his grandparents' Inglewood, California, home to the High Desert weekend house was a long one for Scott Davies in his single-digit years. His first memories were of sleeping on the floorboards of Grandma's '67 Chevelle through the late-night drives home. They got the Chevelle after Scott's Uncle Dennis crashed her previous car, a Corvair, racing on the street. Think Grandma had a pretty cool ride? Gramps had a '70 El Camino SS at the time. They were a hang-out-in-the-garage type of family who were often given offers to buy the Chevelle. Scott says, "There was no amount of money she would entertain. She gave them all the same response, 'It's not for sale. This will be my grandson's car.' I knew from the beginning I would have this car someday."
With a family including a mother, father, uncle, brother, and sister, there was still no debate on who would get it. Scott was the only one on their list who was excited about cars and didn't have a history of crashing theirs.
When Scott was ready to drive, Dad got him a Chevy LUV truck to drive to school and tinker on. He quickly moved up to a '69 Chevelle he built at home and through the high school auto shop program as a street/strip car. He loved his weekly trips to LACR (Los Angeles County Raceway) in the big-block–powered ride. When we asked what happened to the car, he answered, "I got married." It wasn't with a complaining tone; he just had more important things in his life at the time. He knew in the back of his mind he would have another car someday.
That day came in 2001. Grandma and Grandpa kept their word and handed down the Chevelle to Scott. It had the original era-appropriate gold paint with a vinyl top and only 43,000 miles on the clock. Scott was happy to drive it as-is for a while, but there was one thing that kept him from really enjoying it: four-wheel drum brakes. Having shoes all around was fine 45 years ago when nearly everything else was. These days, with everything else having two- or four-wheel discs, keeping a six-car gap on the streets was difficult and unpleasant.
Scott benched the car for a disc brake upgrade. The Classic Performance Products catalog had a kit for stock wheels and a larger kit on the same page. Good marketing guys! Scott picked the larger brake kit then went on a search for the perfect wheels. The Budnik M5 wheels he ordered were going to take 10 weeks to produce so Scott thought it best to keep busy.
He enlisted Cy, his father, to help him scrape the underside of the car to rid it of the factory undercoating. The stuff was falling off a little each day anyway. That took weeks of eight-hour days, but there was still time left on the 10-week clock. He repainted the whole underside with Dupli-Color Satin Black paint and Gloss Black highlights on the bracing. Having CPP right across town, Scott got all of the suspension and brake goodies right away. Well, that got him one day closer to the wheel date. Scott ripped out the gold interior parts, dash, and carpet, exposing the bare floors and wiring. He rewrapped each run of wires and lined the entire interior, including the roof, with Dynamat.
The minute the wheels came, the car went off to Miracle Design paint shop in Santa Ana, California. Their usual work was repairing typical minivan fender benders on an insurance claim, but that's not why the owner got into the business. The owner himself labored on the Chevelle in the back while the regular guys kept on with the minivans. The body had been untouched until then, giving them the best platform possible. Only seven weeks later the car rolled out with fresh paint and re-dipped bumpers.
The powdercoated dash, leather seats, and black interior parts were ready to go in. Just a day or two later Scott was on the road. He is a car show guy—not so much the huge mega shows but the local meets and fundraiser type of events. He and his buddies crash the Elk Lodge in Buena Park, California, every Friday as well as a half-dozen other shows around the Los Angeles/Orange County area.
The now 76,000-mile motor is still in place with a couple bolt-ons. Plans are to change that soon though. The 300hp 327ci Gen I small-block Chevy will be replaced by a 600-plus horsepower stoker LS3. The only question is: build it with a carburetor or fuel injection? He may move onto bigger things, like autocross and some dragstrip action, but for now he's happy cruising the streets in this rockin' grandma car.