If there is one thing I like to do here at Chevy Hardcore, it is to keep things personal. After all, the way I see it, I’m just one of the guys. Keeping that personal connection is what prompted me to put together our Home-Built Hero segment that you keep seeing on the home page. I do this because I want you guys to have the opportunity to be a part of what’s happening here. For that reason, I am continually asking you all to send in submissions about your cars. They do keep coming, and I appreciate that.
This week, I decided to put together a grouping of reader’s rides and show you a variety of classic Chevys the readers own, and to give you something to drool over. These cars epitomize the term home built, so let’s take a look.
“I had a ’63 Nova when I was in high school,” says Joe Ackerly. “When I found the car, it was in really rough condition.” Joe went on to say that it is a true Home-Built Hero, as he built it in his home garage.
Under the hood is a Chevrolet Performance LS3 engine with 495 horsepower. Behind that is a 4L70E overdrive transmission, and a 9-inch with 3.50 gears rounds out the motivational devices.
The suspension is a complete TCI Engineering “kit” to help the little Nova grip the road during those spirited cruise sessions. To make sure the car stops when it needs to, Wilwood disc brakes are mounted on all four corners.
Fulfilling The Dream
I first saw Allen Royster’s second-gen Camaro when he posted pictures of it on Facebook. I immediately asked him to send some pics and tell me more. He tells me it has been repainted once, and it has a 350 small-block with a two-barrel carburetor. Behind that is a Turbo 350 transmission.
The car currently has 48,530 miles on it. And Allen is adamant about getting it on the road whenever possible.
Steve HalBleib didn’t give much information about this 1957 Chevy Bel Air, but he did say it was built by him and his dad. What’s more, his grandfather used to own it. That’s three generations of Chevy pride. Under the hood is a 5.3-liter LS engine backed by a 700R4 transmission. To make the ride as enjoyable as possible, a C4 Corvette suspension has been utilized.
When I asked Van Nash why he owns this car, he replied, “It is the one I ordered from John Turner at Sutherlin Chevrolet in Pell City, Alabama, on November 2, 1966. After I placed the order, I received a letter from Chevrolet stating it would be assembled the weekend of December 3, 1966, at the Atlanta, Georgia, plant. It was delivered to me December 8, 1966.” That 36-day wait probably seemed much longer.
Van ordered the Chevelle with tilt steering, full instrument package, bucket seats, console, auxiliary lighting group, floor mats, bumper guards, performance suspension, and tinted windshield. “The sticker price was $3,461, and the first tank of 98-octane premium gas cost me $7.41.”
Eventually, the car needed to be restored, and Mike Allen’s Kaotic Kustoms in Birmingham, Alabama, replaced the floor and trunk pans, inner rocker panels, as well as the right quarter-panel. The car was then painted Bolero Red.
Under the hood is the original 396. However, it has been bored .030-inch over, and Keith Black hypereutectic pistons and a stock-grind camshaft have been installed. The original crankshaft was turned .010/.010-inch undersize. The original Quadrajet and original starter are still doing assigned duty. Behind the big block is the original Turbo 400, as well as the factory-installed 12-bolt rear with 2.73 gears.
The car has 260,000 miles on it, and both my kids learned they could not escape their mother’s reach when they misbehaved. – Van Nash
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 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 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].