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