We received an email the other day from a friend, and in this email, he informed us that something really cool was about to see the light of day – something that it hadn’t done in many, many years. But to get the whole story, we have to step back to around 1971. That’s the year that Steve Furio traded his then current ride for another used car. This wasn’t any used car though. This was a 1970 Chevelle that was motivated by the famed LS6 big-block under the hood.
When Steve was a mere 17-years-old, it was 1971, and he was driving the ’68 Coronet R/T that he had purchased from his father for $1,100. Not a bad price for a three-year-old car. Like many first cars, Steve immediately started to modify the Mopar by painting it purple, “jacking up” the rear of the car, and adding fat, JC Penny A/FX tires and Cragar SS wheels on all four corners. It was the ‘70s, and this was the groovy thing to do.
He was a regular in the street racing scene, and one of the guys in the group showed up one night with his new purchase. That was Steve’s introduction to the Chevelle. Unfortunately for Lee, the original owner, his wife not comfortable driving the new Chevelle, and wanted it gone. She did however like Steve’s purple Coronet, so the guys traded vehicles and a little cash as well.
According to Steve’s brother, Romeo, “Steve knew he had something special, so the car was used very little. But, it didn’t take long before the list of needed speed equipment was made and Steve headed to the local speed shop”. Soon, the car was wearing an Edelbrock high rise manifold with an 850 cfm Holley double pumper, and an Accel dual-point distributor, coil, and wires. Since the car possessed a four speed, a Lakewood scatter shield was installed, along with a Hurst Competition Plus shifter to replace the factory Muncie. To aid with traction, Lakewood upper and lower control arms were installed to control the rear.
The Chevelle was born with white SS stripes, but because the car had a Saddle Brown interior, Steve felt that a change to gold stripes was in order. Romeo reflected, “I was about 14-years-old at the time and remember a few wild rides in the car. Steve was a great driver of stick shift cars, but he hardly street raced the Chevelle because he was too busy driving the stick cars other guys owned.
As we said earlier, the car didn’t get driven much, and Romeo thinks that his brother was worried that he would hurt the car in some way. Romeo quipped, “Once, during a third gear power shift, the number five spark plug blew apart and he thought he blew the engine. I also remember that sometimes when he would power shift into second gear, the passenger’s side door would open due to the body flexing.” The Chevelle racked up less than 20,000 miles by 1976 – which is the last PA state inspection sticker that is still on the car. After that, other cars and motorcycles were now in his stable.
Romeo also told us, “Steve had a saying”, ‘If you don’t use them, they will always stay nice.’” Steve felt that just owning it was good enough, and he was satisfied just knowing they were his. He never cared about the escalating value of the car, and for more than 40 years, he continuously turned down many offers for the Chevelle.
Unfortunately, Steve passed away on January 19th, 2017. His pride and joy was still in the garage, and now his widow needs to make a decision. As attached as she is to the car and Steve’s memory, she is exploring options about what will be the fate of the car. It’s clear to us, that no matter where the car ends up, Steve’s legacy will remain, and we’re certain that the car will receive the future care and admiration that Steve had always bestowed upon this monster of an era.