Sometimes you own the project and sometimes, unfortunately, the project owns you. Case in point:The '70 Chevelle shown here started out as a potential grudge-night brawler, only to be abandoned after the funds ran dry. Prior to sitting on the sidelines, a freshened 502ci big-block was dropped in between the rails and the entire frontend was removed in anticipation of being upgraded with new sheetmetal. Suffice it to say, years down the road it still needed a face-lift-among other things.
These days, the once idle 'Velle is in capable hands of a new owner, and he has little intention of reviving the dragstrip theme. Instead, we're talking street thumper with the occasional open-track jaunts. Don't expect a trailer queen asking to be pampered with A/C. We're starting by giving the ol' ride a new look with fresh components right out of Year One's mail-order catalog.
If you want the honest truth on the difficulty factor...let's just say if you've never tried to align a fender, then you'll have to deal with a slight learning curve, but it's really a matter of playing with shims to properly fill the gaps. Yep, it's nothing a little patience can't handle. Other than that, the radiator core support, the fender extension, and the front bumper went on with little drama, but we'll get more into that. The one thing we highly recommend you order is a frontend fastener kit. For $59, it comes complete with black-oxide pinch bolts, cage nuts, fender washers, and detailed information of where each piece goes. Besides, you'll be hours ahead by not having to search for miscellaneous bolts.
In the months to come, we'll add larger binders on all four corners to help bring it to a stop, and we'll even address the suspension. That's right, nothing crazy. Just easy bolt-ons for a truly functional street machine. Follow along as we begin the first phase of changing a straight-edge drag piece into something a bit more civil for the street, with a hint of attitude.
What We Used
Sheetmetal from the Year One catalog
Easy weekend bolt-on with minimal handtools
To the untrained eye, this...
To the untrained eye, this hunk of metal on four wheels could be an eyesore. The only structure attached to the frame was the radiator core support, and even that was banged up, which made us wonder about the real reason behind the missing sheetmetal.
Since the radiator was already...
Since the radiator was already in place and full of fluid, rather than remove it, we simply placed a jackstand underneath it for the time being.