Sunday, July 22, 2012

Automotif I

Seen outside the local boozearama in Broad Ripple on Friday afternoon:


1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396.

Even sitting quietly in the parking lot, it seemed to emanate the faint tones of a George Thorogood tune. It was just that b-b-b-b-bad. Next to it, even the Zed Drei looked like a Playmobil toy...

28 comments:

farmist said...

Our high school principal's secretary drove one, red with black top...and her husband was a deputy sheriff, so we KNOW it got wound-out occasionally.

Bob in Houston said...

Those rims are just wrong!

Anonymous said...

First car I bought was a '73 Mustang 351Cleveland death machine. Classmate down the street always shamed me with Mopar 440Magnum power. I lost and still taste the tears.

RabidAlien said...

Ver' nice indeed!

phlegmfatale said...

Radiating waves of unctuous cool, that thing is.

CLH said...

P-p-p-purdy. I drive a '55 Chevy truck with a 454 big block salvaged from my 74 chevelle project (that got smeared across a track). I <3 my truck, but I miss my chevelle. It's like driving a sheet of drive wall down the road.

Rob Reed said...

My Uncle did a year as a Combat Engineer in Vietnam as a 19 year old draftee during '67 - '68. He was there for the Tet Offensive.

When he got home he bought a '69 Chevelle Super Sport. His was the version with the red body, black stripes, and the restraining pins on the hood.

I always figured that was his reward to himself for making it home in one piece.

(In some ways he may have been in more danger in that car than "in country." If nothing else the med evac and emergency care was better in his AO in Vietnam than on those Michigan country backroads where he drove too fast and often with one hand on the wheel and another holding his beer. Drunk driving didn't have the stigma it does now...)

He drove the car for at least 10 or 15 years. I remember it from when I was a kid. If I had the cash, I'd buy him another just like it, but they are out of my (and his) price range now.

Rob (Trebor)

J.R.Shirley said...

Yum!

Totally different animal than the Zed, for sure.

Trav said...

I'm with Bob from Houston--she'd look a lot better with a set of Cragar mags.

JohninMd(help?) said...

Is Crager even in bidness anymore? Their S/S mag wheels, madeany car look better.

JohninMd(help!) said...

But really, the only way that Chevelle could look better would be to lose the vynil(?) roof.

Robb said...

It's just my opinion, but I still think the '66 Chevelle SS was better.

Anonymous said...

The Chevelle weighed 3,600 pounds. My '67 Camaro with its 427 weighed 2,850 on the scales at the local drag strip.

I smiled a lot as I played Harry High School around Austintatious.

'Rat

Robert said...

Take heart that your Z3 can run circles around that car anwhere there are curves in the road. (And I've owned both a BB chevy and a Z3)

Tim D said...

The rims are just the worst part, the hood is aftermarket and the markings on the front fenders are missing the 396 underneath.

Anonymous said...

My high school wrestling coach drove one. He used to drag race it at Atco Raceway and dated the hot Spanish teacher on the sly.

My hero in 10th grade.

Gerry

Weer'd Beard said...

Had a Boss who restored one of those. Not sure what the block side was, but it sounded nice and was a damn classy ride!

Ed Foster said...

A guy I worked with had a black '69 SS 396 in about new condition that he bought in '71, while in highschool. Still has it, along with a spare factory longblock, in the original shrink wrap on a factory skid.

I had a '69 XKE at the time we worked together, and along with a Mustang and a 383 Barracuda, we had some interesting times on Route 2 south of the State Police barracks in Colchester.

CB radios were all the rage then, and we would send a spotter down along Thunder Road first, to make sure there were no town clowns or county mounties hiding in the bushes.

There's a high straight stretch down around Gilman that's an even mile long, with a fairly gentle half mile curve after it to slow down. Add a population density of about zero in the area, and it was no suprise that the beginning of the straighaway and the beginning of the curve were rubber coated.

Never wound the E out tight though. When I hit 130 I remembered that there were three kids at home who needed a Daddy.

But I got there faster than Gary in the 396, although I didn't really pull ahead until we passed 100.

Tam said...

Tim D,

"The rims are just the worst part, the hood is aftermarket and the markings on the front fenders are missing the 396 underneath."

Well, thank gawd we're not at Pebble Beach, then! :p

Anonymous said...

I'd take the Z3 on any road that had those evil curve things that they seem to be littered with.

American muscle cars are notorious for their inelegant handling of same.

DJ said...

I have a different memory.

My mother had a '69 Chevelle, but not an SS 396. Hers was a 307 2BBL Malibu with a Powerglide transmission and a vinyl-covered bench seat. It was the most uncomfortable vehicle to drive that I have ever driven, and I was raised up driving old farm machinery. Driving it from Dallas to Oklahoma City (about three hours total) required at least two rest stops along the way to work out the kinks and reduce the pain.

No, I do not exaggerate. It was made to look pretty, with no apparent thought given to ergonomics.

rickn8or said...

DJ, the same design philosophy was carried on in the form of the padded shelf that was supposed to be the rear seat on '69 Mustang fastback. No way an adult could ride comfortably for more than a few blocks, let alone engage in uh, "other activities."

But gawd was it pretty!

Will said...

rickn8or:
the fastback rear seat folded down for those "other activities"! At least they did on the '65...

I was riding with a friend in '70 when he totaled his '69 Chevelle SS396. Came over the crest of a hill that was shaded from the afternoon sun, and it was a sheet of ice. We slid down the hill to where it split in a Y, and hit a telephone pole centered between the two roads. Shoved the engine back a ways. We were picking up speed the whole time we slid down the ice. Doing maybe 30mph at the top.
For some reason, I decided to put on my seat belt just before we crested the hill. Had a scar from where the buckle sat on my hip, but became a firm believer in belts after that incident. My buddy broke ribs on the steering wheel. Green with a black roof.

Tam said...

Anon 10:18,

"I'd take the Z3 on any road that had those evil curve things that they seem to be littered with."

Actually, most SS396 Chevelles had the juice-lifter L-35 mill, which put out 325 horses at the brochure (ie, not much over 200 in modern SAE net HP) in a nearly two-ton automobile. The 190-horse 2.8 M52 straight six onlt has to drag around about 2800 lbs of Bimmer, so the Zed Drei will generally outperform most stock SS396 Chevelles in any direction you care to measure the G's.

But it's such a sterile little roller skate by comparison to the ground-shaking thunder of even Chevy's most docile big block. Sometimes it's not just about the numbers... ;)

Darrell said...

I had a '68 GTO, 400 4 speed, that metallic forest green Pontiac had back in the day, white interior. Didn't even have to drop the hammer on it, just pedal to the metal at a stop and it would light 'em up. Dang I miss that car.

Saw a sweet '56 Chevy Nomad at the car wash last weekend. I talked to the owner, it was a 30 yr old "resto-mod", as they'd say nowadays. It was all Corvette under the skin. Beautiful car.

Anonymous said...

Amazing; the early Chevelle had four distinct iterations in eight years...the '64-'65, '66-'67, '68-'69, and '70-'71 each have a unique look and feel and cool about them.

For better or worse (and certainly in the rose-tinted haze of my youthful memory it's better) that's something you just don't see nowadays.

I know it's hard to believe now, but Chevy was an American brand back then.

Anonymous said...

um, I meant "worse" of course. :{

Pathfinder said...

Tam -

Hate to break it to you, but the Zed drei ALWAYS looks like a Playmobil toy!