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ClassicsTwo 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession

18:30  23 july  2019
18:30  23 july  2019 Source:   hotrod.com

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The car was built only two weeks after Terry's black Chevelle . After a bit more digging, Terry found that the rearends for both cars were cast, assembled Since then, the cars have been inseparable. Terry bought a two - car trailer in an effort to keep them together, as they have toured around the car show

The Chevrolet Chevelle is a mid-sized automobile which was produced by Chevrolet in three generations for the 1964 through 1977 model years.

Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession
No matter how old you are, we are willing to bet that you can remember the boundless energy you had when you were 10 years old. Nothing could slow you down. You were motivated to do anything that involved getting sweaty and dirty, and especially something that made you feel older than you were. This is the age when mischief often comes into play, so it takes a strong influence to keep that energy headed in the right direction.

The First One
For Terry Davis, the age of 10 was a transition point, when his lifelong fascination with cars turned into an obsession. That's when, in February 1980, his father, known by everyone as Stick, brought home a 1966 Chevelle SS396. While Stick may have had a wild side of his own, he saw this Chevelle as a way to motivate his son through the very impressionable years ahead of him. With a plan to give Terry the car, there was a simple stipulation as described by Stick in these words: "I'll give you the Chevelle if you stay out of trouble and graduate high school. But if you don't, I'll burn the car and make you watch."

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Terry assured us that this wasn't a mere threat. He agreed to the deal and worked hard to hold up his end of the bargain.

Through the years, Terry was able to track the history of the car back to its original owner. He determined that it had received a repaint in the 1970s but was otherwise very original. In a picture dated 1980, the Chevelle is wearing oversized Polyglas tires and mag-style wheel covers. Another interesting detail in the old photo is a spotlight, which was reportedly a dealer-installed item when the car was new. Terry's research led him to find that the car was built the third week of January at GM's Baltimore plant. It was then delivered and sold at Burroughs-White Chevrolet in Martinsville, Virginia.

Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession© Hot Rod Network Staff 004-davis-2-chevelles-black-1966-chevrolet-chevelle-rear-three-quarter.jpg

Another pivotal moment in Terry's childhood was his first summer job, which was at Harold Buckley's restoration shop nearby. Harold was a family friend who restored cars and displayed them at Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) regional events and Nationals meets. Bodywork and painting seemed to come naturally to Terry, and the guidance from Buckley put him on a path to a career of his own.

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The newfound knowledge and experience inspired Terry to repaint the Chevelle a few months before his 16th birthday. He stripped the car and repainted it with black lacquer, his very first all-over paint job at the age of 15. He finished the repaint in time to use it for his driver's license test, but he only occasionally drove the car after that. He respected the car and didn't want to harm it, but the lack of use eventually led to it sitting in the corner of his garage. The long-term plan involved a full restoration, but years rolled by and the car continued to sit, while Terry made a hobby of collecting original and N.O.S. parts for the eventual rebuild.

Managing his business (Terry Davis Restorations) didn't leave much time for personal projects, but certain cars would sneak ahead of the black Chevelle, despite his deep connection to the car. Terry would build a car, enjoy it for a while, and sell it, then start the process all over again. Knowing the dedication required for a concours restoration, he avoided starting such a strenuous project with the mindset of, "it's not going anywhere." So it sat idle for nearly 30 years.

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Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession© Hot Rod Network Staff 005-davis-2-chevelles-black-1966-chevrolet-chevelle-engine.jpg

The Second One
In 2006, Terry stumbled upon his next potential project, a neglected 1966 Chevelle sitting outside a warehouse in his hometown of Wytheville, Virginia. The car looked rough enough to be an affordable project for a fun driver. Terry waited nearly a year before the owner of the car called him back and asked if he was still interested in buying it. Terry and the owner agreed on a price and decided to finish the deal the next day.

As Terry was leaving, the man said, "Be sure to bring a big enough truck to haul all of the parts." Terry thought he was just buying the shell, but nearly every piece of the car had been stored indoors. What he thought was a fair price for a roller turned into an excellent deal when he realized just how many parts came with the car.

When he got the new project home, he sorted through the parts and cleaned out the body to evaluate it. Even though the body and frame had been outdoors, the damage wasn't as bad as he thought. The real fun began when he started running the numbers on the car. He had already confirmed that it was a Super Sport before he bought it, but a deeper dive into the RPO codes revealed a nearly identical option package as his black Chevelle. Even more surprising was the fact that nearly all of the parts matched the original build date of the second week of February at General Motors' Atlanta assembly plant. The car was built only two weeks after Terry's black Chevelle. After a bit more digging, Terry found that the rearends for both cars were cast, assembled, and stamped on the same day. Both cars had 396ci/325hp L35 big-block engines, both had Muncie M20 wide-ratio four-speed manual transmissions, both had 3.31 rear gears with Positraction, and both were radio-delete cars. The only difference between the two Chevelles was the color combination, as the new project featured Chateau Slate paint with white interior.

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Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession© Hot Rod Network Staff 011-davis-2-chevelles-slate-1966-chevrolet-chevelle-rear-three-quarter.jpg

The idea to build a driver-quality car went by the wayside, as this car deserved a full restoration. Even with the excitement of the new project car, Terry put the Chateau Slate Super Sport on the back burner while he completed customer cars, and enjoyed his 1966 Chevelle drag car.

One day, a seemingly innocent conversation between Terry and his dad led to the harsh reality of just how quickly time can pass by. Stick said, "I would've never given that [Chevelle] to you if I knew you were just going to let it sit like that."

Terry responded, "You know I'm going to restore it one of these days," and the two shared a laugh.

Stick said, "I'll never live long enough to see that."

Just a few months after that lighthearted exchange, Stick was killed in a tragic accident. As if the loss of his father wasn't devastating enough, Terry couldn't stop thinking about that conversation about the Chevelle. He told us, "I knew at that moment I had to make the time to restore the Chevelle, but it seemed I had already waited too long."

Two 1966 Chevrolet Chevelles Feed a Lifelong Muscle Car Obsession© Hot Rod Network Staff 026-davis-2-chevelles-slate-1966-chevrolet-chevelle-cylinder-head-detail.jpg

Side-by-Side Restorations
Knowing the similarities between his childhood Chevelle and the more recent acquisition, he decided to restore the two cars side-by-side. Between his collection of original date-code-correct mechanical parts and N.O.S. trim pieces, he could build two exquisite Chevelles at the same time. While this would be a daunting task for even the most experienced Chevelle guy, Terry had spent his whole life around these cars, and had the support of his wife Amy to carry him through the double rotisserie restorations.

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Since then, the cars have been inseparable. Terry bought a two-car trailer in an effort to keep them together, as they have toured around the car show circuit from Chicago to the Carolinas. The cars are well-decorated, with a long list of awards from the Super Chevy Show, Carolina Chevelle Association, MCACN, and AACA Nationals.

Terry set a high standard for himself at a young age, hoping to own a car one day that was an AACA Senior Grand National winner, and he did just that in May 2019. Both cars took the honors at the AACA Grand National Meet in Auburn, Indiana. Terry also considers it an honor to have the Chateau Slate car re-created in 1:18-scale as one of the Auto-World Diecast "MCACN Series" cars.

Terry has spent nearly 40 years with his beloved black Chevelle, but the last six years or so have been special. The extensive restoration, and then the time spent preparing the car for each event, allowed him to let this car's purpose really sink in. Sure, there is still pain in knowing how much Stick would've enjoyed seeing it finished, but the joy of telling this car's story immortalizes his father's gift and allows others to enjoy it, too.

A well-respected Chevelle expert and automotive craftsman, Terry Davis poured his heart and soul into this pair of pristine Super Sports, one that inspired his desire for muscle cars, and one that is like its long-lost sibling that came into his life many years later. Both cars hold a special place in his heart, and they will continue to inspire car guys for many years to come.

BLACK CAR

At a Glance
1966 Chevelle SS396 (black car)
Owned by: Terry Davis
Restored by: Terry Davis Restorations, Wytheville, VA
Engine: 396ci/325hp L35 V-8
Transmission: Muncie M20 4-speed manual
Rearend: 3.31 gears with Positraction
Interior: Black vinyl bucket seat
Wheels: 14x6 steel with dog-dish caps
Tires: 7.75-14 Coker Firestone redline
Special equipment: All original or N.O.S. parts

SILVER CAR

At a Glance
1966 Chevelle SS396
Owned by: Terry Davis
Restored by: Terry Davis Restorations, Wytheville, VA
Engine: 396ci/325hp L35 V-8
Transmission: Muncie M20 4-speed manual
Rearend: 3.31 gears with Positraction
Interior: Ivory vinyl bucket seat
Wheels: 14x6 steel with mag-style wheel covers
Tires: 7.75-14 Coker Firestone redline
Special equipment: All original or N.O.S. parts

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