Con­tin­u­ing our se­ries of reader restora­tions, it’s the turn of Paul Whyte to show us his hand­i­work, and his very dis­tinc­tive Chevette

Performance Vauxhall - - CONTENTS -

Your restora­tion sto­ries.

One sunny day on a visit to Al­ton Tow­ers my phone rang. A friend of mine owned a Vaux­hall Chevette, and it had lived in his garage for about six years. I’d tried many times to get him to part with it, and to­day was the day he fi­nally re­lented.

Af­ter a brief dis­cus­sion we made the deal. It in­cluded the car as it stood, and a set of al­loys (the ones it cur­rently wears). I was so keen on the car as it had a gen­uine 53,000 miles on the clock, two sets of orig­i­nal keys and amaz­ingly, full ser­vice history! I know there were other low mileage ex­am­ples around but I knew this one was vir­tu­ally rot free due to the science of ‘Ziebart’ and one of the pre­vi­ous owner’s de­ci­sions to coat it in the stuff. I made the deal just prior to em­bark­ing on the ‘Obliv­ion’.

I quickly de­cided that the car would no longer be red, and had to be changed. Vaux­hall Polar White was cho­sen and I set my­self a dead­line. The plan was to take it to VBOA Billing and meet the Chevette Own­ers Group (COG) when we would show the ar­ray of Chevettes and Che­vannes to the pub­lic.

On top of this the birth of my first beau­ti­ful baby daugh­ter was loom­ing, so time really was an is­sue, but thanks to my pa­tient wife and my daugh­ter, born 6 months prior to the show, I man­aged to crack on with the project. Many a late night was had plan­ning then chang­ing the plan with fa­ther and son team of Bob and Bob Sloan in their work­shop. I knew what was in my head and how I wanted it to look so we just got on with it!

The car went to VBOA Billing and came away with the Trea­sur­ers Tro­phy, its next out­ing was to the Viva Vaux­hall show at Crail where it won Best Retro in show. So what’s next? Well a new project is on the hori­zon, so sadly, the Chevette may have to make way for a new Grif­fin-flavoured resto…

1 De­liv­ery Day! This is the car Paul dragged back home on a trailer to be­gin the mon­ster project.

9 The first coat of stonechip went on un­der all the arches to pro­tect it prior to paint­ing and be­yond.

3 A sea of black ‘Ziebart’ had cov­ered the bay for 30 odd years, which, al­though messy, had pro­tected it well.

8 It didn’t really need full outer arches but rather than do a patch job, Paul did a ‘proper job’ to make sure all was sound.

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