Understated, but beautiful. The Great One. The Tiger.
Wow, it’s been a long time since I last posted anything. As is the usual, I haven’t really had time to work on either of my classics. Last time, I talked about “gearing up”, getting ready, and launching into the Pontiac Winter Project. I bought a lot of things for this build (concentrating on the interior) and crossed a lot of large items off my “To Buy” list. I was amped and well-prepared to finally dig in on Project Custom S.
Well, things have changed.
The Chevy II/Nova Community here in Northern California is very tight-knit and this event, being held in Pleasanton next August, gives my family the opportunity to particpate in something with the Chevy II/Nova family.
So, what’s my intention? Considering the Chevy II (henceforth known as “Hers”) isn’t running, the priority is to get her driving again. Whether that means finding out what happened to the tired 194 sitting in her engine bay or rebuilding an engine and dropping it into her, that remains to be seen. I have a couple of choices that I need to consider carefully: Rebuild the 194 (most likely not), rebuild an inline 250 and port the 194 head onto it (a very strong consideration), rebuild the Chevy 305 sitting next to the 250 (again, another strong consideration), or buy a brand GM Goodwrench 350 crate engine (the urge to choose this is very strong). As with everything, there are upsides and downsides.
Next on the list is to upgrade the suspension and brakes. 1965 was quite a long time ago and I’m sure, with modern suspension upgrades, the Chevy II will not feel creaky and soft. More importantly, the manual drum brakes are quite scary to use. So, a disc brake conversion, at least for the front, will be a necessity.
I’m sure there are a lot of things that I’m missing, but the other stuff will be addressed in time.
To sum up: Get her driving again and make her stop safely. I have until the end of next August as my goal because I want my family and I to participate at the Mini Nats. Will I succeed? Well, isn’t this blog supposed to chronicle the success or failure of my efforts? I guess we’ll just have to see.
That’s all I got for now. Will hopefully have another update by next week.
I know it’s been a while since I last updated, but things have finally fallen into place. I will likely be updating weekly again.
So, after almost a year of sitting in my garage, I’ve finally begun the process of restoring the Custom S. It’s my intention to work through the Fall and Winter and have most of the interior done.
In the last week, I’ve ordered a lot of things from Ames Performance, Performance Years, and Eastwood. I got a POR-15 Floor and Trunk kit from Eastwood, carpet and other interior pieces from Ames, and glove box components from Performance Years. Doesn’t sound too exciting, but once applied and installed, will result in significant progress made.
The largest item I was able to procure (with my wife’s assistance) were 1968/1969 Chevelle Bucket seats in pristine condition. All the seat components are there and the vinyl is in excellent condition for 44 year old seats. They have the Chevelle vinyl on them from that era, but if I choose to do so, could replace it with Pontiac Vinyl. It would be a shame though; these seats are LITERALLY in pristine condition.
That’s all for now. More updates coming soon!
So, today was the first day in a long time that I’ve made any forward progress on the cars.
I started off by removing the battery in the Pontiac. This was in preparation to remove and replace the steering wheel with the black GTO one I got a while ago. Removing the battery prevents the horn from going off (or so I’ve heard).
I next removed the front arm rests from the car. I removed the pads and will be replacing them with new ones once funds are available. I cleaned up the arm rests and am prepping to dye them black (as the previous redye was flaking off and the original color started showing through).
It doesn’t sound like a big deal. But, they’re significant steps for me since work on the Custom S stalled after October.
The biggest thing I did today was purchase a Chevy Inline 250! This crosses off a big item on my To Do/Wish List for the Chevy II. Now, I’m prepping and planning the rebuild and have gotten advice from people about where I should go to machine the block as well as the head from the 194.
While this was going on, my wife went solo and assembled the foldable shop crane we bought on Friday. It took her several hours, but now the crane is sitting in our garage ready to be used (which will be tomorrow as we pull the 250 from the bed of my truck).
Always move forward. And that’s what we did today.
Good Guys 30th All-American Get Together Mar. 24th/25th
The Chevelle has moved on from my possession. I sold it to a co-worker who will hopefully have more time and motivation to work on her.
That leaves me with my Pontiac. I’m a little less than a week away from having funds to start the parts purchasing period of this Spring’s work on her. I will be taking significant steps in getting the interior done.
However, she will not be ready for the early part of the Car Show season. There’s just too much work to be done and I won’t be able to show her off yet.
In any case, just bought our tickets for the Good Guys 30th All-American Get Together for next Saturday and Sunday. We’ll only be going one day (most likely Saturday), but I’ll be sure to take as many pictures, maybe a little video. If we’re lucky (barring any major meltdown by Jackson and Jacinda), maybe we’ll see a little bit of the autocross competition.
That’s it for now!
I’ve been trying to motivate myself these past few weekends to do something, anything with the cars. I’d come up with excuses such as: I’ve got too much home work, It’s too cold outside, I’ll do it in a couple of hours.
The reality is, if I don’t get my ass in gear, it really will take me years to finish either the Chevelle or the Pontiac.I’m going to try to commit myself this weekend to completing a couple of small things on my list:
a. Removing and dyeing my armrests.
- Which includes removing the armrest pads.
b. Removing the one window pillar and attempting to recover it.
- I was going to dye it, but I noticed several cracks on it. I might just buy both replacements.
I did end up installing the rear Chevelle Badge this past weekend. Baby steps, right?
Here’s hoping my resolve lasts the week.
Custom S Interior Video: Overview of the interior work I will need to do.