When Chevrolet released their Chevy II in 1962, it was designed as an economic commuter car. Despite its humble origins, hot rodders have always seen it as the perfect platform to build a high-performance machine.
We caught up with Kevin Fielder, the shop’s owner, to hear about the plans the customer has for this muscled bruiser.
Island Lake hot rod shop, Nostalgic Autobody, gets a lot of cool and custom cars through its bay doors. While you can never be quite sure what they will have in, you can always count on a couple examples of American muscle, like this 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. It’s in the garage now getting a drivetrain upgrade after the owner decided the factory 396 powerplant wasn’t enough and opted to bolt in a worked-over 540ci V8.
Shop owner, Kevin Fielder, gave us a quick video update on the project.
Earlier this month, we checked in with Nostalgic Auto Body, in Island Lake, Illinois, to see what wild, custom machines they were currently working on. In addition to an LS3-packing 1956 Chevrolet 21o, they also have been building a Surf Green 1969 Dodge Charger for its 18-year old owner.
We caught up with shop owner, Kevin Fielder, who gave us a quick run-down on this Mopar muscle machine.
It’s not uncommon for automakers to seek inspiration from previous models for their current offerings – especially when it comes to performance vehicles. What is a bit more rare is for the owners of the modern machines to seek out those earlier versions their high-tech cruisers were based on. One such enthusiast is Cliff Steif, who nabbed a 2003 Chevrolet SSR and then realized he had to have its predecessor – a 1947 3100 pickup. After both received a thorough going-over, the rolling result is a pair of custom haulers whose subtle decades-apart differences are hardly ever noticed.
No matter what automotive brand’s flag you fly, every true hot rod and classic car enthusiast can admire and appreciate a skilled and well-executed restoration and build. Nothing garners respect and deep admiration as the recognition of hard hours of labor and special craftsmanship poured into these rolling works of art.
That’s why we’re launching a new section on Classic Recollections, designated to finding these future trophy and track winners while still in progress to give you a unique behind-the-scenes look – before you come across the finished car at a cruise night, or show floor podium, near you.
To kick things off, we headed over to Nostalgic Auto Body, in Island Lake Illinois, to catch up with shop owner, Kevin Fielder, to get the scoop on a custom 1956 Chevrolet 21o that his shop is currently working on. When completed later this summer, it looks to be one wicked street machine, packing a modern LS3 powerplant and drivetrain, while still maintaining its vintage exterior vibes.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that jaw-dropping cars don’t just come together overnight and that’s definitely the case with Kevin Callahan’s killer 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge. We caught up with him, as well as Irving Park hot rod builder, Mark Klopack, of Hot Rod Auto Body, at the 2011 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, held this past November at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, in Rosemont, IL. We featured the restomod last winter and even included a video interview with both the car owner and builder, highlighting some of the trick components and bodywork on the car.
While the candied Planet Green Goat in its final form was a sure eye-catcher on the crowded show floor, the majority of those ogling spectators never had the chance to fully appreciate the year and a half’s worth of time, talents and energy that went into the labor intensive project.
Before Mark and Kevin ever rolled their polished creation into the packed convention center last fall, Classic Recollections had the chance to stop by Hot Rod Auto nearly a year before that weekend to check in on the progress of the custom Pontiac. When we laid our eyes on it, the still-primered body had been smoothed and prepped to go back into the paint booth but only the interior wore a coat of the mile-deep, glossy hue. Interior pieces and bucket seats of the donor 2005 Pontiac GTO had been fitted but not yet fixed in the cabin and the big block 455ci V8 was underhood, waiting to be started.
Fast forward twelve months and you get the amazing show-spectacle that stopped enthusiasts in their tracks.