Nor-Cal ChevelleCaminos
Featured Car

Like Father, Like Son
Sergio Velasquez' 69 SS396


After owning many, many muscle cars and being so into the muscle car scene throughout his early life, my dad got me into muscle cars in late 1988 when we bought my sister a 1972 Pontiac Ventura with a factory 307 Chevy engine. I was 11. We took the motor apart and redid a lot of it in addition to repainting it and refinishing the interior. After that, my dad and I kept the car thing going when we found a 1966 Impala SS327 and a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T 440 which we worked on and did mini-restorations on.  I was even lucky enough to drive them to high school. 
Then, in late fall 1990 my dad had the idea of getting back into Chevelles because he had bought a brand new one in 1970. He had an L78, Monaco Orange with a black bench interior, M22 4 speed Chevelle Super Sport. He had later traded it in because my mom could never learn to drive it. He traded the Chevelle in and got my mom a Chevy Nova and got himself a 1959 Chevy pickup with a 283. Anyway, he wanted another Chevelle.  So we were searching and searching El Paso , Tx (where I grew up) and could not find a good, original, 1969 SS Chevelle.  We heard from a friend of a friend that the local dealership ďOle ChevroletĒ had an 80% restored Chevelle SS396 sitting in the showroom! 

We rushed over there and at almost closing time, we saw it. It was beautiful! And really, the first restored looking Chevelle SS I had ever seen. As a kid I didnít know why my dad had to keep talking to sales people, I just wanted to cruise around in it. Of course, he was actually making the deal to trade in my momís pretty new 1988 Cadillac Seville. She would go a few days without speaking to my dad after all of this went down.

        So my dad actually made them move it out of the showroom to test drive it. My dad told me he couldnít get the Chevelle because it was too expensive. I didnít know any better, but he had tricked me and then surprised me a few days later when he pulled up in it at our house!  

We were lucky enough to get the car a month before the 20 year anniversary of my mom and dad (then boyfriend and girlfriend) taking pictures at a local park on December 24, 1970 . So on December 24, 1990, my dad and I went down to the exact spot where my parents took pictures of his new, orange Chevelle SS396, and took some of our new and different blue Chevelle Super Sport. Pretty awesome.

 

        So we did a mini-restoration on it and won a big trophy at a big show in El Paso. We have also drag raced it many times. Then I joined the Air Force and left in 1995 and my dad would get too busy to use it. So sadly, it just sat in my dadís warehouse for 11 years. I would start it and drive it around the block once or twice a year when I visited back home. Finally, last year in late 2007, the antifreeze had corroded through the thermostat cover and my dad told me I had to take the car or we had  sell it. I of course  took the first option. So I lined up an enclosed trailer company and hired them to haul our blue baby to San Francisco. It arrived and I was excited to get started to mini-restore it again! In my garage. I redid most of the cosmetic engine compartment stuff, redid most of the interior and trunk. And of course had it detailed to get her back to show quality. It is now in the great shape most of you have seen.