OPGI Customer Spotlight: Jerry Austin’s ’67 Chevelle

Hand-me-downs. Typically, when offered-up, the younger sibling is not happy to be the recipient. That’s because those “slightly used” items are either toys or clothes. Nobody “wants” to be forced to take ownership of an older sibling’s stuff. However, there are those few instances where a hand-me-down brings a lifetime of happiness. Jerry Austin was just such a recipient of a lifetime “gift.”

Jerry’s older brother, Joe, possibly become Brother Of The Year when he handed-down to Jerry, the keys to this ’67 Chevelle. In 1966, Joe purchased the car from Guarantee Chevrolet in Santa Ana, California. He was in the Marine Corp. at the time, and Jerry told us they were living in Base housing in Tustin, California.

67 Chevelle

Jerry (right) and his older brother, Joe, pose with their nephew. Jerry was 14 years old when this was taken.

“He paid $3,500 for the car when it was new,” says Jerry. “When I was 15-1/2 years old, I even learned to drive using this car.” When those long six months were past and Jerry was officially a licensed driver, he drove the car to high school for the next couple of years. In 1972, Jerry was a graduate of Santa Ana Valley High. His brother had a special graduation present for the younger Austin.

“After graduating in 1972, my brother handed me the keys and said ‘congratulations’,” Jerry states. “When he said, ‘this is your graduation present’, I was floored and surprised.”  The 327-powered Chevelle continued to be Jerry’s pride and joy, and when it finally came time to give it some much-needed attention, he was all in.

“The changes I made include swapping the small-block for a 454ci big block,” affirms Jerry. “behind the engine is a Turbo 350 transmission. Its original color was gold, and when I had it repainted, it was changed to Maroon. I reupholstered the bench seats, put disc brakes on the front, replaced the front and rear bumpers, and also replaced the wiring under the dash and in the engine compartment. I did, however, replace the dash chrome bezels.

The 454 big-block benefits from a Weiand Stealth Intake manifold fed by a Quick Fuel Technology Slayer series carburetor. Jerry also installed Doug Thorley Headers and a Mallory Ignition system.

I purchased many reproduction parts from Original Parts Group (OPGI), including the front-signal lights, rear back-up, and signal lights, emblems, rear-light bezels, new horns, door handles, and armrests.

Having a car that has always been a part of the family delivers a great storyline. This Chevelle is not your typical hand-me-down, and we congratulate Jerry on being OPGI’s Customer Spotlight recipient. Also, our sympathies go out to his brother, Joe, for letting this hot rod get away.

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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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