Reader’s Ride: Milt’s Classic Chevys Are Special For A Variety Of Reasons

Does anyone remember that Dr. Seuss book titled, “Oh The Places You’ll Go!”? You may wonder if cars and trucks can read when you find out where at least one of Milt Heger’s classic Chevys has been during its lifetime. Milt’s Chevy truck could surely tell some interesting stories and his 1968 Chevy Nova SS has an interesting story of when Milt purchased it back in 1986.

Milt's classic Chevys each have a cool story to tell. The Nova was pretty special as it left the factory, while the C10 came into its own during its first assignment off the assembly line.

Milt’s 1969 C10 Step-Side Truck

Both classic Chevys are equally cool, and Milt’s 1969 Chevy C10 Step-Side pickup truck might be a touch cooler, but not because of how it came from the factory. What makes this C10 truck’s story interesting, is where it spent its first years after leaving the factory. If the markings on the door are any indication, its life experiences could be described as “other-worldly”.

Area 51 security Chevy truck

This ’69 C10 is a cool daily driver for Milt, but it spent some time at one of the nation’s most secure areas before that.

The writing on the door gives it all away. This 1969 Chevy now serves as Milt’s daily driver, but earlier in its life, it served the nation as a security vehicle for an area that doesn’t exist, the infamous Area 51. Only a very select few know what goes on there, but one thing is for sure, if Milt’s C10 could talk, it’d have some pretty wild stories to tell!

As it stands, this late-60s pickup doesn’t give up any secrets, but like the area known as Groom Lake, Nevada, its presence in the Nevada landscape is undeniable. Milt explains that his truck was a one-owner vehicle before he purchased it, that owner being Uncle Sam.

Milt explained, “Pretty much every time I get in a discussion about her, I’m asked if she glows at night!” That led him to put the atom motif on the taillight. There’s also a sepia-toned aerial view of the famously vague airbase on the spare tire, but we doubt it was used as a map back in the day. Being a work vessel in one of the most highly guarded areas within our nation proves that back in the day, these classic Chevys were merely utilitarian vehicles when new, albeit with a high-security clearance.

Milt’s 1968 Chevy Nova SS 350

As you may know, the SS package moved from a trim option to a performance package with the 1968 Nova SS, which was available with either a 295 horsepower 350 V8 or one of two variants of the 396 big-block V8. Milt’s 1968 Chevy Nova SS is the small-block version and is finished with a Muncie four-speed, console gauges, and a Positraction differential.

A younger Milt stands with his '68 Nova SS. Note the steel wheels and wheel covers.

Any 1968 Chevy Nova SSs are quite rare, and Milt’s is also a one-owner purchase he made back in 1986! He and his girlfriend at the time went to look at the car “In some of the biggest raindrops we’d ever seen,” he says. The bumper was black with soot, rusted through, and pushed in at the typical weak spot in the center of the bumper. He almost turned around and went home without giving the car a second glance. As you can see in the ad that led Milt to this car, the owner was asking a whopping $2,250!

Ad for a 1968 Chevy Nova SS for $2,250!

Don’t worry, Milt didn’t get this one-owner 1968 Chevy Nova SS 350 for the listed $2,250. He only paid $2,000!

Thankfully, Milt persisted and wound up purchasing the car for an even two grand. Upon starting the car, it became obvious that at a minimum, the head gaskets were trashed. Milt’s girlfriend said, “It looked like a boat spitting water out the exhaust along with steam!”

The next day, Milt pulled the heads and had them repaired. Milt also pulled the 14-inch, stock steel wheels and replaced them with a set of used Rally wheels from a ’74 Nova. He also swapped out the warped bumper for a straight unit and had a new exhaust run to the back of the vehicle.

1968 Chevy Nova SS 350

This photo shows Milt’s Nova SS after he swapped the wheels and bumper, and repaired the heads.

With the mechanicals handled, Milt began exorcizing the smoke smell and ashes left from the previous owner’s bad habit. He continued buffing on the car, up until he headed out for his first car show, which it won. He enjoyed the car for years, eventually giving it a long-term sabbatical from the road.

Milt reports that he is preparing to get the car up and running so he can enjoy both of his classic Chevys again! Then, it’s anyone’s guess as to the miles they’ll see together, or the places they’ll go. But, you can be sure that whether in his 1969 C10 truck or his ’68 Chevy Nova SS, there will be memories to be made every mile along the way!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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