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Finding the Perfect Chevelle

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Vincent Scullari waited for just the right Chevelle to come along.

In 2010, he found what he was looking for: a 1970 Chevelle Malibu on Ebay. At $3,450, Scullari, manager at Shurway Auto Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., found the clean, original-owner car completely stock.

“My first car was a ’70 Buick Skylark, but at that time I wanted a ’70 Chevelle,” Scullari says. “I couldn’t find anything worth getting, so I’ve been looking for about the last 15 years. I wanted a one-owner car with all the original documentation.”

When he bought it, the car did indeed have all of its original paperwork, including the original window sticker, licence plate protector, engine, transmission and rear end. The Malibu, which even had the original high beam and headlight bulbs, would soon be the muscle car Scullari had been waiting so long to own.

Adding More Muscle Vincent Scullari spent two years restoring his ’70 Chevelle, including putting in a rebuilt 454ci engine that makes 475hp. Photo courtesy Vincent Scullari

“It even had the original weather stripping,” he says. “I checked all the rubber around the doors and windows, and it was all still soft and pliable. I was pleasantly surprised.”

Scullari had looked for a clean car that wouldn’t need a lot of work. However, the Chevelle turned out to be more labor than anticipated once he decided just how far he wanted to go with the restoration.

After he decided to do a complete teardown, Scullari went to remove the undercoating and found the previous owner had built up layer upon layer over the years.

It took more than two weeks to completely strip the frame to bare metal, with Scullari doing the work by hand. (Overall, Scullari and his shop worked on the car when they found the time, taking more than two years to finish it.)

The Chevelle’s Autumn Gold paint, he says, is its original color, and a tribute to a paint scheme that is often forgotten.

“There are just so many that are red and black,” Scullari says. “I just like the gold. Nobody keeps that original color.”

Scullari added that nearly all the chrome is original, aside from the added fender liners.

Scullari also deviated from the completely stock Chevelle with a pair of bucket seats replacing the original bench, and putting in a new engine.

After rebuilding the original 307ci motor, it didn’t take him long to decided there just wasn’t enough “go” to the gas pedal. The answer was to put in a rebuilt 454ci that made 475hp with new cylinder heads, cylinders and a bored block.

“The car was too big for the 307. [The engine] didn’t move it the way I needed it to move,” Scullari says.

After replacing the engine, Scullari took the Chevelle to the track for an eighth-mile run. A little over eight seconds later, the car’s one and only race was done.

Now, Scullari keeps his Malibu for leisure rides, cruising and trips to local auto shows as a part of a local car club.


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