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Restoring Your Classic Chevy in the Heat

July 1, 2015 Posted by Mod-Auto

restoring chevy heatHave you heard the phrase, “shade tree mechanic?” There’s a very simple yet excellent reason for it. The shade tree usually provided the mechanic with a strong branch overhead that could be used to hoist the engine out of the front of the car. It also provided a great deal of shade under which the mechanic and the vehicle stayed cool via wafting breezes and out of direct sunlight.

Few of us can afford the luxury of an air conditioned garage. Those of us who do have garages (those that aren’t packed to the gills with household goods and other cast offs) find that it still gets pretty hot out there, even with the big door open, due to the lack of windows or other ventilation. Let’s face it: big shade trees are our friends.

If you lack an air conditioned garage, space for your restoration project within the existing garage, and/or a substantial shade tree in the yard, here are a couple of ideas you might consider implementing that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

  1. Construct a sunshade from the largest, light-colored tarp you can afford or find. Head for the nearest big box hardware store to purchase long pieces of electrical conduit and rebar from which to construct a “frame” to which you can tie the tarp overhead. Pound the rebar into the ground at four corners (the length and width of the tarp), slip the long electrical conduit over the rebar, and use zip ties to affix the tarp to each pole. This is only a temporary fixture and you should expect the tarp to blow away in a storm but it will shade you from direct sunlight and keep you dry in a light rain.
  2. For about $200, you could purchase a backyard shelter that is light weight and easy to assemble on the fly. These work somewhat like a huge umbrella but the corner poles can be affixed to stakes in the ground (like a tent) to prevent it from flying away in strong breeze. This can be taken down and easily stored through the winter. It can also be used for other purposes such as backyard lawn parties in case you need to justify the cost to your better half.

Mechanic Classic Chevy Heat

If you have a sufficient garage for working on your restoration project, consider these ideas:

  1. Add a dual heat/AC unit to an existing window. Frigidaire makes an 11,000-BTU, 570-square-foot (115-Volt) window air conditioner with heater that you can purchase at the local big box hardware store for about $600. It installs in the window (or wall opening that you create) and looks and operates just like a regular window AC. It comes with a remote control so you don’t have to climb up on a stool to operate the unit, should you place it high up on the wall.
  2. Purchase a dehumidifier to take the humidity out of the air in your garage. Dry air feels cooler. You’ll need to purchase a space heater separately for wintertime use, if your garage isn’t already heated.
  3. By all means, insulate the garage door(s) to prevent cool air from escaping in summer and keep the warm air in in winter. Nothing spells “expensive” more than heating and cooling the great outdoors.
  4. Moving air also cools off a room pretty quickly. The least expensive way to cool the garage in summer is with a pair of box fans. Strategically placing box fans diagonally in the garage can help you stay cooler (provided you leave the overhead door open) than if there was no moving air at all. Be sure to stay hydrated if this is the option you choose.
  5. As a bonus, pick up a couple packages of interlocking reversible floor mats from Sam’s Club or Costco. These will not only prevent fatigue in your feet, legs, and back, but will provide a buffer between your feet and the concrete floor, keeping those tootsies cool in the summer, warm in winter.

Once your cooler-maker is setup, turn on the radio, organize your toolbox, bring out the ice chest complete with drinks, setup a lawn chair for one of your friends nearby and get busy enjoying your car restoration in the heat.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

June 15, 2015 Posted by Mod-Auto

Father’s Day is fast approaching and we’ve got several restoration gift ideas for the classic Chevy car buff in your family!

camaro ss hatFor those who don’t know the precise Chevy restoration parts or supplies to buy for Dad, how about a Gift Certificate? You can connect with our sales department via online chat or by calling (336) 727-4828. We can help you choose an amount to give and help ensure Dad gets the credit he needs to help move his Chevy restoration along.

T-shirts and caps with Chevy’s most popular muscle car are always a safe buy. You only need to know his size. While you’re here, you may as well get apparel for yourself!

Lighting may be just the thing he’s looking for. Check out our LEDGlow Lighting for underbody, wheel wells, interior, and more, as well as Oracle Lighting for a halogen glow that will make his Chevy “growl in the dark.”

chevelle and el camino assembly manual

Factory Assembly Manuals are a great help when restoring a Chevy muscle car or pickup truck. Choose a manual from a variety of Chevy models and years so that once he’s assembled all the parts he needs, he’ll have a manual to refer to for the correct placement. You could also surprise him with an Owner’s Manual, wiring manuals, shop, or body manuals for his reference library.

If you know exactly what to purchase for Father’s Day, be sure to shop our site for Classic Chevy parts and/or GM Performance parts. Give us a call at (336) 727-4828 for helping finding the exact part or parts you need.

Resurgence of the COPO Camaro

May 11, 2015 Posted by Mod-Auto

What is “COPO?” COPO stands for “Central Office Production Order” which means it’s a high performance Camaro that doesn’t come with regular production options. This Bad Boy isn’t necessarily available to the public and can only be special ordered through a dealer. The COPO Camaro can’t be licensed, titled, and registered for highway use but then, you probably wouldn’t want to drive it on a public highway. There’s no underbody sealant and very little insulation to muffle the rumble of the engine and the sound of the road beneath you. Nor is there a back seat or power accessories to accommodate sissies. This ain’t your mommy’s luxury sedan, folks.

Photo Credit: GMAuthority.com

Photo Credit: GMAuthority.com

The COPO Camaro was designed exclusively for off-road drag racing. Therefore it meets all NHRA racing specs – the whole reason behind the absence of a rear seat and interior gizmos and gadgets. It’s a lighter weight racing machine that lunges off the track and thunders to the finish line in record time. It does come equipped with two racing bucket seats, a driver-side racing harness, competition gear shifter in the floor, and Chevy performance gauges across the dash. We should also mention there are six engines available, four of which are naturally aspirated and three that are equipped with a seriously powerful supercharger. Our pick is the 350 LSX-based 5.7 liter V8 with the 2.9 liter supercharger, rated by the NHRA at 500 horsepower. For those of you performance junkies out there, check out this video taken back in 2011 while Chevy was testing out the new COPO concept.

The COPO Camaro had its humble beginnings in 1969. Created specifically for drag racing, Chevy produced only 69 of the ZL1 COPO. It was so magnificently popular when it was reintroduced in 2011, Chevy has continued the tradition each year since, rolling only 69 COPO’s off the assembly line in Wixom, Michigan with a little help from each auto’s future owner.

Gotta COPO? ClassicMuscle.com has your COPO Camaro parts and Chevy performance parts. Visit us online or give us a call.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Restore For Earth Month

April 10, 2015 Posted by Mod-Auto

Reduce Reuse Recycle April is Earth Month but, when you think about it, EVERY month should be earth month. If we use a little common sense in everything we do, whether at our jobs or our hobbies, we can prevent the earth from becoming one giant landfill/cesspool. Here are a few tips to help you reduce, reuse and recycle, whether it’s practiced at your automotive repair business or your home garage.

REDUCE: Stop purchasing paper towels and start using rags. You’ll find cheap rags at the dollar store. If you’re a business, contract with a rag service to pick up the dirty ones and drop off clean rags. At home, you can launder the rags and dry them on the close line following every weekend. Save those cardboard boxes that parts are shipped in and advertise them “free” locally. As long as no colored ink was used, cardboard boxes will become dirt in some enterprising farmer’s garden. Clean up those chemical spills with absorbent pellets instead of washing it into the storm drain where it will pollute the local rivers and streams. If you don’t want to drink it, what makes you think the deer, frogs, and fish will appreciate it?

REUSE: Old parts can be cleaned, refurbished, and reused in the event the new part becomes a problem. If you don’t want old parts sitting around or don’t have the time for cleaning and refurb, drop the parts off at the local automotive recycling warehouse the next time you’re by there. What the recycler can’t resell may become scrap metal.

RECYCLE: Old motor oil drained from automobiles can be reprocessed and used for home heating fluid as well as help generate on-grid electricity by your local utility. Always recycle old motor oil. As for bald or thread-bare tires, these make excellent flower beds and playground equipment for children’s parks. Print off these instructions on how to use old tires stacked four high to plant potatoes vertically and give them to each person who asks you for “old tires.” Word will get around and those tires will literally roll themselves down the road. As for old brake rotors, axles, and such, it’s likely the local automotive recycling warehouse will accept these for scrap metal. Don’t forget to check out the parts inventory while you’re there in case they have something you need.

RESTORE: You’re already helping the environment by restoring a classic so pat yourself on the back for helping conserve the earth’s natural resources. If you’re looking for classic Chevy parts to finish your latest job, contact us today!

green classic chevy

The Making Of The Chevelle Super Sport (SS)

March 12, 2015 Posted by Mod-Auto

chevelle super sport first generation

Chevy introduced the Chevelle in 1964 as a midsized muscle car. Wearing a Malibu SS badge, the Super Sport package was an upgrade offered on the upscale Malibu whether it was a 2-door hardtop or rag top. It bore polished metal work (“brightwork”), SS emblems, 14 inch hub cabs (“wheel covers”) from the Impala SS, vinyl bucket seats with a center floor console on models with the Muncie aluminum 4-speed tranny or the Powerglide 2-speed automatic transmission. It was equipped with a 4 gauge cluster instead of warning lights and provided the option for a dash-mounted tachometer.

In ’69, Chevy offered the optional SS 396 package. Although the body was still a Malibu sport coupe or convertible, the SS 396 package got reinforced frames, revised front suspension, higher rated springs, recalibrated shocks, and a thicker front stabilizer bar. But, it came with different exterior trim such as the simulated hood scoop, red stripe tires, metallic trim moldings. Three engines were offered but all were the 396 CID V8: The 325 horsepower rated engine was standard with the 360 hp and 375 hp as options.

Next came the short run Z16 in 1965, of which only 200 were produced (not counting the prototype built in Baltimore). Only 75 of these very rare Chevelles are currently accounted for.

Chevelle got a new body style in 66 and was touted as a car that would make you want to get out and drive. It came equipped with front disc brakes, dual master cylinder braking system, 14 inch wheels, 3-speed automatic transmission, and, an added safety feature, a collapsible steering column. Missing from the list of options however was the 375 horsepower 396 cubic inch engine but Chevy offered no less than seven transmissions from which to choose.

chevelle super sport second gen

The REAL Chevelle muscle cars, in my humble opinion, were the 70-73 models, the hardtop coupes with the fabulous SS styling. After ’73 however, there were big changes to body style. Although the front end was big and squared off, it was shapeless and uninteresting. The rear deck was still short and tapered. The hard top became the “Colonade” hard top which provided a slanted rear window that did not open.

There were three generations of Chevelle stretching from 1964 to 1977 during which it was the basis for the Malibu, Laguna, El Camino, and the Monte Carlo. After 1977, it was replaced with the smaller, more economical Malibu.

Looking for Chevelle parts for your classic muscle restoration? Visit our site or call us today at:

8 Things You Didn’t Know About the 69 Camaro

February 18, 2015 Posted by Mod-Auto

69 camaro emblemWe’re willing to bet that even some of the most seasoned restoration gearheads haven’t heard of all 8 of these unique 69 Camaro facts. Have something to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below or connect with us on Facebook and see what some of our other followers are saying about their classic Camaros.

  1. Two versions of the ’69 Camaro were produced by Chevy: One for sale to the public equipped with a 427 big-block V-8 engine that was rated for 425 horsepower and the COPO version, originally developed for the Chaparral racing team to use in the CAN Am series.
  2. The ’69 COPO Camaro was designed for use as a commercial “fleet” automobile, such as police cars (with heavy duty suspension) and taxis (with stain resistant interiors).
  3. The ’69 COPO Camaro could be equipped with the optional all-aluminum ZL-1, a 427 V-8 engine that was rated for 430 horsepower but because it was a racing spec engine, was known to deliver as much as 550 horsepower.
  4. There are no emblems indicating whether the engine is the ZL-1.
  5. Don Yenko of Yenko Chevrolet in Canonsburg, PA discovered how to order the ’69 COPO Camaro (#9560) with the more powerful engines. The bodies of these were customized with Yenko’s signature stripes and sYc (Yenko Super Car) badge.
  6. The ’69 COPO Camaro with the ZL-1 engine, low mileage, in mint condition has fetched as much as $400,000 at auction.
  7. Fred Gibb, a Chevy dealer from Illinois ordered 69 of the ZL-1 equipped COPO Camaros but sold only 13.
  8. It is believed that less than half of the ’69 COPO Camaros produced exist in drivable condition as of this writing.

Interested in getting 1969 Camaro parts for your rebuild project? Contact us today or ‘like’ us on Facebook below to get updates on new products, promotions and other classic Chevy info.


Like Us On Facebook for an Exclusive Valentine’s Day Deal

February 9, 2015 Posted by Mod-Auto

Are you dreading more ties, cologne, weird socks & underwear, or gourmet fruit baskets from your Valentine? Why not treat yourself to what you really want? Parts and accessories for your vintage Chevy restoration project. Nothing says love like a brand new performance intake manifold assembly. This Valentine’s Day, get your muscle car something special that it can appreciate. On February 14th, we’ll be posting an exclusive promotion on our Facebook page for a site-wide discount. Like us today to make sure you don’t miss out!

New Year’s Resolution: Complete Your Restoration By Spring!

January 27, 2015 Posted by Mod-Auto

Every gearhead eventually makes the same New Year’s resolution: to finally finish that restoration project. It can seem daunting, though, which is why the following breakdown will help you get your wheels on the road before the summer shows.

chevy restoration resolution spring

  1. First, get all the documentation you need. At the very least, you’ll need a new best friend, namely a muscle car parts catalog of your make and model. This is an excellent free resource.
  2. With that in hand, thoroughly inspect the current body, engine, exhaust, frame and every other component. Take an inventory of which parts and tools you’re going to need. If you’re not sure, give a Classic Muscle specialist a call.
  3. Which brings up an important point: don’t be afraid to bring a professional mechanic in on your project, either. Reserve a portion of the timeline and budget for those tasks outside your expertise or which need specialized equipment.
  4. You now have a good idea of what needs to get done. Tackling such a big job without a specific course of action planned out far in advance is sure to end in defeat. Break the project into pieces, break those pieces into smaller pieces, and keep doing this until you have a single, concrete goal to accomplish each week until your deadline.
  5. You eat an entire elephant the same way you eat an apple. One bite at a time. Be patient. Plan to chip away at your restoration, and measure your progress by hitting goals, not by the total percentage of work you still have to complete.

Finally, give us a call if you have any questions about your classic Chevy restoration. Sometimes we run promotions and discounts too, so ask about those while you have us on the phone: 884-251-4400. Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

Classic Corvettes Convertibles – Sports Car Or Muscle Car?

December 12, 2014 Posted by Mod-Auto


My first love was a ’67 Corvette Convertible. It was white and the engine growled like a tiger about to strike. At eight years old, I stood standing on the sidewalk watching the parade of Homecoming King and Queen wannabes float up the street, smiling and waving from the back of a plethora of cars. It was the glistening white body that caught and held my eye. My breath stuck in my throat and the sounds of drums and horns from the marching band faded so that all I could see and hear was that single automobile.

67 chevy corvette convertible

Photo Credit: PaintRef.com

It exuded every ounce of raw power that a muscle car in those days could. Muscle car? Heck, yeah. Sleek lines. Wide body. Rumbling engine under the hood. While many of the other guys were tooling around in second-hand Camaros by the dozen or the family car, this one Corvette stood out to me as the Number One automobile to own.

And so began my infatuation with the Vette. Not every make and model appealed to me through the years but each represented power, prestige, and seething muscle. The Speed Demon that starred in all of my youthful fantasies. I also believe that because the Vette was rather uncommon made it all the more tantalizing.

The be-all, end-all 3rd Generation Vette is the ’69 Corvette Convertible Stingray in cherry red with the side exhaust pipes and chrome bumpers. What’s not to love? With its 350 HP engine and 4-speed manual transmission, I can imagine myself wrapped entirely in this car. Shoot, they may have to bury me in it.

69 corvette stingray convertible

Photo Credit: CorvetteCentral.com

The question is, Is Corvette a sports car or a muscle car? As far as we’re concerned, it’s both. It has been chosen as the pace car for the Indy 500 twelve times since 1911. That’s four times more than the Camaro. For those who want sport and muscle, an American icon, as well as stand out from the rest of the muscle crowd, the Chevy Corvette is the only choice.

3 Most Popular Old Chevy Pickup Truck Model-Years

December 5, 2014 Posted by Mod-Auto

While Chevy has produced several classic pickups over the years, three stand out as the most popular. Certainly, the Depression put a damper on car and truck manufacturing (and sales), it is important to note that Chevy sells almost as many trucks as cars. In fact, 68% of all Chevy vehicles sold during the month of November 2011 were trucks and SUVs. Here, we briefly outline three of the most popular Chevy pickup trucks of all time.

1948 Half-ton Pickup

1948 chevy pickup truck
Photo Credit: TruckinWeb.com

World War II was over, the boys were home from over there, and the Depression was history. Chevy introduced the 1948 half-ton pickup with a roomier cabin, wider bed, and improved visibility with very few changes over the next five years. The biggest change was the restyled front end on the ’53 model. Chevy trucks were even more popular now than before the Big War. Prior to WWII, the sales ratio of trucks to automobiles was 4 to 1. After WWII, the ratio jumped to 2.5 to 1.

1959 El Camino

59 el camino truck

It’s a car! No, it’s a truck! Created to compete for the market share with Ford Ranchero, this Cowboy Cadillac was introduced in 1959 with the popular “fins” on its rear. It drove and rode like a car yet served to haul light loads for the gentleman farmer. The El Camino was discontinued from 1960 to 1964 at which time it reappeared with the Chevelle body styling. Chevy changed the body of the El Camino to that of the Malibu in 1978. By 1987, Chevy completely ceased production of the El Camino making it more popular among collectors than original owers.

1973 Suburban
79 suburban chevy truck

Photo Credit: KitFoster.com

What has come to be known as the first Sport Utility Vehicle, according to Chevy, the Suburban was introduced in 1935 as the Suburban Carryall – larger, longer, and more powerful than a station wagon, Suburban rode high, was as comfortable as a car while it’s “truck” section was enclosed, keeping light loads dry and wind-free. The ’73 model was the icon of gas hogs with its roomy interior, 4 doors plus tail gate, and capacity to carry up to nine passengers. It is the longest existing vehicle nameplate in the automotive industry.

For all your classic Chevy truck parts, visit ClassicMuscle.com