One way to know a true Chevy enthusiast is to look in their garage. If they are “into it,” it’s usually full of cars and/or parts for cars. Another way is to take the time to talk with them and see what they have owned in the past. If you talk to Tracy Hallock, you’ll soon realize she is a fan of the brand, through-and-through.
“I would say my passion for Chevy began with the ’67 Chevelle,” she states. “I had a Malibu first, and then an SS model. I owned that car for roughly 14 years. After I sold it, I bought an ’88 IROC Z. That IROC was a very rare-optioned car with a 5.7 TPI engine and leather interior. I really liked that car, but it was missing the classic muscle car style.” Although the early IROC cars are a great classic Chevy, many people feel the same way.
Tracy started searching for something a little older and eventually came across a ’69 Chevelle. According to the ad, it was sitting at a classic car dealer in her hometown of Tacoma, Washington. “When the weekend arrived, my boyfriend and I went to look at it,” she says. But, like happens quite often, plans change.
“I ended up being more drawn to a ’71 El Camino,” she quips. “I was never really into the El Camino style until I saw this one. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. A couple of days later, I went back to the dealership during my lunch break and test drove it. As soon as that functional cowl-induction hood opened I was hooked.”
Tracy quickly traded-in her IROC. She tells us the Elco was in pretty good shape, but she still added headers, Flowmaster mufflers, new bumpers, a new grille, and new wheels and tires.
Her second hot rod in her garage is this ’71 Chevelle. “I bought my Chevelle in 2016. I found it while I was searching for a ’69, ’70, or ’71 Chevelle,” she tells us. “My main goal was to find one that wasn’t abused. I almost gave up hope and then I found this ’71 Chevelle on Craigslist. It was in Oregon.”
Tracy says the car looked to be in great shape, especially the interior. Early the next Saturday morning, she and her boyfriend grabbed the car trailer and headed south to the Beaver State. “When we got there, the car was in the driveway and it looked great,” she exclaims. “The owner actually let us take it for a test drive without him, which was very trusting. And of course, I fell in love. We negotiated a bit, and then before I knew it, the car was mine. We loaded it up and headed north. The weather was terrible and so was the traffic. It was a long, hard, day but I would do it again in a heartbeat. It’s a great feeling when you finally find what you’re looking for.”
Tracy might not have been the one to build the cars from scratch, but you can bet she is making sure to do everything she can to make them her own expression of the ultimate hot rod. Tracy finished by saying, “I’ve had a passion for muscle cars since I was a little girl. But my weakness is for Chevrolet’s Chevelle. My girls — aka cars — are my therapy. They are my escape from the everyday. I don’t take them to car shows, because I can’t sit still that long. I get more pleasure out of driving them. Which I do as much as possible!! I only stop for two things: to take pictures of them and to get gas. And that’s my story.”
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, I want to hear about it. Since I’ve started the series, I have received more than a few candidates, but I still want to see more – I can never get enough. If you want to see more cars built by you the readers, send me a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information, and I’ll make you internet famous. You can send your submissions to [email protected].