Home-Built Hero: Turning An Oldsmobile Into A Chevy

Have you ever changed your mind about a project car? Maybe you were in the midst of a project, and for some reason, you just decided to change directions. It happens quite often, and sometimes, it even happens while you are looking at what might be your next project.

In 1989, William was still living at home and completed almost all of the rebuild himself, in his parent's garage.

William Pastoor happened to be on the hunt for a classic car to fill his time and empty his wallet, and he found exactly what he thought he wanted. “I was looking for a car, and came across a car for sale magazine. Inside, I found a 1970 Oldsmobile W30 at a classic car broker,” William relayed.

Monte Carlo

In 1971, only 1,919 big-block SS Monte Carlos were built. That makes this one rare hot rod. Image by Alaina Pastoor.

“When I got to the broker’s, I found out the Olds was already sold,” William stated. This is where Williams plans changed directions. “I then saw a 1971 Monte Carlo and took it for a test drive. That’s all it took,” he quipped. Not only was the second-chance ride a good-looking Monte, but it carried the bonus of a 454 big-block and SS badges.

(Left) Under construction in 1989. (Right) Finished. The SS 454 package mandated the inclusion of both the F41 suspension and the G67 Automatic Level Control. The leveling system consisted of a compressor pump, rear leveling valve, rear air shocks, and corresponding shock-absorber air-line shields. It functioned strictly on engine vacuum, which was first sent to the large compressor pump mounted on top of the left-front inner fender. The pressure was then distributed to the air shocks.

The car was in decent shape, but needed a little TLC. The body was stripped down to bare metal, and a new GM quarter-panel and front fender were installed on the passenger side due to rust. The original doors and hood were in decent shape, and the trunk lid was replaced with a rust free used one from a Buick. “Due to limited space in my parent’s garage, the body stayed on the frame. I did all the bodywork and then primed and blocked the body several times. My friend, Ray Standard, then painted it white with PPG Concept acrylic urethane single-stage paint,” he said.

The engine is the original matching LS5 that came with the car. It has been bored .060-inch over, and the holes filled with TRW pistons. Inside is a Crower cam moving the larger 2.19/1.88-inch Manley valves. The heads have been ported-matching to a Weiand Action Plus intake manifold topped with a Holley 750 double pumper. The exhaust runs through a set of Hooker Super Comp headers and a Flowmaster exhaust. The engine was rebuilt by friend and co-worker Dave Vos.

Monte Carlo

The first-gen Monte Carlo in SS 454 trim is a true muscle cruiser. Image by Alaina Pastoor.

William rebuilt the original Turbo 400 with a kit from TCI, and he added a shift improver kit and a deep pan for good measure. A Hughes torque converter stalls at 2,500-rpm, and the drivetrain converges at a 12-bolt rear with a Moroso Brute Strength positraction and 3:31 gears.

The interior is mostly original, but the cloth on the seats replaced with vinyl before William bought it. The carpet was also replaced but the rest of the interior consists of the original dash, headliner, and door panels. Interior amenities include: power windows, four-way power-adjustable bench seat, tilt column, air conditioning, AM radio, rear window defroster, and tinted glass.

Image courtesy Alaina Pastoor.

Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heroes? All you need to do is click here. If you own a Home-Built Hero, we want to hear about it. Since we’ve started the series, we have received more than a few candidates, but we still want to see more – we can never get enough. If you want to see more cars built by you the readers, send us a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information, and we’ll make you Internet famous. You can send your submissions to [email protected].

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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