“There ain’t no rules around here. We’re try­ing to ac­com­plish some­thing.”—Thomas Edi­son

Chevy High Performance - - Contents - TEXT: Ro McGone­gal | PHO­TOS: Do­minick Dam­ato

“There ain’t no rules around here. We’re try­ing to ac­com­plish some­thing.”—Thomas Edi­son

These days we are con­stantly re­minded of how much we should be do­ing some­thing to sat­isfy a hunger that seems in­sa­tiable. Good enough re­ally isn’t good enough … it must be spec­tac­u­lar. Or at least that’s what the per­cep­tion is. Shoul­ders hunch up in di­rect re­la­tion to stress. Of course, it’s all non­sense. While some folks choose to be sub­jected to that tyranny, there are scores more of us who are com­pletely happy to re­vive and love the mem­ory, re-cre­at­ing and re­mem­ber­ing it with kindly pa­tron­age.

Dave vers chave is one such person. On his tech sheet, he sug­gested we call the story Bud­get Minded. He just wanted to get on with it and go back home a lit­tle where he could rest his mind. Dave didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. He’s been dig­ging hot cars since he went to the dragstrip when he was 8.

That mind-blow prompted him to build things an 8-year-old kid could manage: model cars.

Hav­ing had both feet stuck firmly in the hobby for more than 50 years, he re­counts a Pro Street ’66 Nova that was a Hot Rod fea­ture back in 1994 and the Or­ange Krate ’55 in 2015. You can see the

nu­clear ’55, the one with the lady’s garter wrapped around the Sun Tach, smoke the tires and pull the wheels all day on YouTube.

Luck­ily, his son Al has a sim­i­lar mind­set and, of course, Dave was over­joyed. Al holes up at his AVS Mo­tor­sports in Ocean­side, Cal­i­for­nia, and does high-end ren­di­tions—cars, trucks, or any­thing made out of metal, es­pe­cially if they need a com­plete chas­sis. He ap­proached the dis­dain most people have with the de­cid­edly in­dus­trial ap­pear­ance of the LS en­gine, cer­tainly one of the ruder sights in the busi­ness. Al came up with some smooth com­pos­ite jack­ets to pretty up that ugly stick; the AVS Speed­cover in­cludes rocker cov­ers and an air in­take tract like the one on the LS in his dad’s Chev­elle. In truth, the unit for Dave’s en­gine was sup­posed

to be just a one-off deal. When people saw it they just blurted ‘Why don’t you guys sell this kit?’

Though Dave will likely have the Krate for­ever, he craved a car that he could en­joy every day. He ram­bled around the In­ter­net for a car that was solid and he didn’t mind that it was rough on the eyes. He knew how to fix all that—body, paint, chrome plat­ing, and in­te­rior. He found his lost child in Ne­vada five years back. It was al­ready preg­nant with an LS en­gine, al­beit a not very pop­u­lar one. The 5.3-liter truck en­gine comes with an un­sightly car­ton of an in­take manifold—all func­tion and zero form—but some­where along the line some­one had su­per­seded it with an early LS6 com­pos­ite to breathe in and

shorty head­ers to breathe out. Though Dave likes noth­ing bet­ter than pulling on a shifter while mo­men­tar­ily dip­ping the clutch, in this case he went for mind­less comfort and sanc­tioned a mod­ern over­driven au­to­matic.

While we’re in­side, let’s look at the sanc­tum a lit­tle. No wasted money or ef­fort here. There isn’t any air con­di­tion­ing but there are tunes in stereo. There’s that GM wood steer­ing wheel and the con­sole and shifter from a ’96 Im­pala SS. Dave Schober put the eye on it. Kept the fac­tory-style seats and used re­pro­duc­tion up­hol­stery, car­pet, door pan­els, and laid down the all-im­por­tant tarpa­per roof. ver­schave didn’t mess with the dash­board or any­thing else in there.

Dave drove a con­crete truck for a long time and ran his paint­ing busi­ness on the side. He got busy on the Chev­elle but not too busy be­cause it was crud free and al­ready “smooth,” save for a lit­tle bit of sur­face scurf. The Chev­elle was flat black, some­thing that would pro­mote a headache if you kept eyes on it too long. Dave broke out the PPG Ash Gold and sprayed his mid­dleaged heart out.

Since there would be no teenage an­tics and he would be mov­ing mostly in a straight line, Dave saw no rea­son for big brakes or build­ing a

Pro Tour­ing chas­sis or any­thing like it. What he did sat­is­fied his aes­thetic sense. He wanted to pin­point his ’68 Chev­elle with sev­eral ob­vi­ous old­school cues.

For the chas­sis con­ces­sion, he set the stance with dropped spin­dles and low­er­ing springs in the rear. This, in turn, set the stage for the vin­tage rims and equally an­cient rub­ber wrapped around them, a recipe based on re­stored Amer­i­can Rac­ing Torq-Thrust mag­ne­sium edged with Corky Coker’s BF Goodrich 185 and 275/60 re­pro­duc­tions.

“I’ve been build­ing cars for 45 years and cus­tom paint­ing them for as long. I was al­ways turn­ing one car over to build the next one. My friend Ben Gar­cia lives in Las Ve­gas, looked at the pile and gave it his bless­ing.” Dave forked over $7,500 for the priv­i­lege. “To take a project apart, de­tail it, and then re­assem­ble it is the most chal­leng­ing thing for me to do. I built this car for a mod­ern, depend­able driv­e­train and good fuel mileage.” Pure, simple, and … bud­get-minded. CHP

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