On my way to my parents’ house this past Easter, I hit up the local Pep Boys to grab some parts for my ’77 Monza. On my way out, I spotted this restomodded ’70-’72 (?) Chevy Nova, and as is appropriate on a day set aside for celebrating The Resurrection, it only seemed fitting to celebrate resurrected classic rides as well.
Though the large front markers and centered backup lights peg it as a 70-72, so many of these cars have been wrecked, rebuilt, updated, or Frankensteined over the years that it’s almost impossible to tell their exact vintage without reading the VIN tag. But I digress.
Purists (including myself) will undoubtedly disagree with the owner’s upgrades, including the oversized rims and projector beam headlights. Quite often a classic car given the restomod treatment is like sushi or country music–you either love it or hate it. Although I’m not necessarily a huge fan of the “improvements” made on this car, I give the owner credit for its clean and straight presentation.
I tried to get some good shots of the interior, but the sun’s glare made it all but impossible. The inside is just as pimped-out as the outside, with custom silver leather upholstery, a custom full-length floor console complete with ’67-’69 Camaro console gauges, and bucket seats out of a late model F-body. The seats were apparently redone in their original pattern, and the rest of the interior–the back seat, interior side panels, and even the headliner–were all redone to match. The classic GM sweep-style speedometer and all the other gauge faces were refinished with black numbers over a silver face, similar to what you might see on a late ’70s or early ’80s Buick. Someone paid a pretty penny having all that done.
Next up is this 1962 Volvo P1800. As soon as this thing pulled up in the Pep Boys parking lot, the sparsely populated store emptied out. Everyone wanted to take a peek at it. The owner (the burly gentleman standing next to it) was momentarily taken aback by all the sudden attention, but happily opened it up for pictures and told us the story of how he acquired it.
When the current owner was growing up, this car was owned by an older neighbor who used it as daily transportation and took meticulous care of it. He rode in this car many times, always admired it, and looked forward to the day when he could either buy it or one just like it. Many years later, he got his chance. When the by-then elderly neighbor finally passed away, he purchased it from the his estate and has owned and loved it ever since.
I can’t remember what all the current owner has done to it, but from what he told me, it didn’t need all that much work.
I’m rather ashamed to admit that I don’t know anything about these cars as far as horsepower, displacement, etc. (Did you miss our recent P1800 CC?-Ed) But the engine compartment is as clean as the exterior. And it sounded quite healthy as he drove away.
Inside is just as sharp-looking as the outside. The dash is clean and functional, sporty yet practical. Why couldn’t Detroit machines from this period have a dash layout like this?
This car created quite a buzz in the Pep Boys parking lot. An attractive but rather rough-looking young woman who was apparently “working” approached him and said in a heavy ghetto twang “dayum… you gettin’ all the play today. You gettin’ all the play!” Yes indeed.
The final egg in our CC basket is this clean 1975 Ferrari 308 GTC/4. The GTC/4 is a rather odd branch off of the 308 family tree, what with its long wheelbase and 2+2 configuration. Many hardcore Ferraristi have shunned this car, treating it as the unwanted stepchild in a close-knit aristocratic family. Even as a youngster, I had heard about the apparent disdain that owners of other Ferraris have for this car, and I could never quite understand the reason why. It may not have the sheer sex appeal or perceived dollar value of more traditional Ferraris, but standing on its own, it posesses its own unique charm. At the end of the day, it’s still a Ferrari.
Much like the 400i and Mondial that came after it, the GTC/4’s lack of snob appeal could be a boon to a classic car shopper. If you can find one, it’s a relatively inexpensive way to join the cult of Ferrari. Plus, if you’re over six feet tall like I am, it may be the only game in Ferraritown.
My biggest gripe with this car is the rear end treatment. It just looks too dull, generic, and sedanlike, without the sporty flair of other Ferraris. Compared to the others, the rump styling on this one is rather a disappointment. It isn’t ugly, just dull. It’s as if Mr. Pininfarina took the day off and left a Lada stylist in charge. The rear end of a ’75 Toyota Celica has more personality than this one. A shame.
The classic Ferrari interior, with the equally classic long arm / short leg Italian driving position, with the trademark balky Ferrari shifter in view. This would probably be a fun road trip car, but I’m not sure how fun it would be to live with every day in city traffic. I still wouldn’t mind having or affording the opportunity to find out, though. 🙂
Finally, a view of the front. This GTC/4 shares its nose with just about every other mid-engined Ferrari from the mid 70s to late 80s, with only minor variations, including the federally mandated 5 MPH bumpers. While the U.S. spec front ends aren’t as clean or attractive as their European siblings, they’re also a lot cheaper and easier to fix after a mishap.
To those who are wondering, the owner is the guy with the long white hair wearing the black t-shirt. The other guy holding the drink and wearing the sunglasses is my good buddy whose daily driver CC ’69 Chevy C20 threw a mechanical temper tantrum, leaving him stranded at the house until I arrived. A few hours later he was back on the road again. The white Ford Super Duty pickup parked in the background is mine. 🙂
A few hours after those shots were taken, I was over at my mom and dad’s happily stuffing my face with honeybaked ham, garlic mashed potatoes, and chef salad. As my folks and I were saying our goodbyes, a mint ’63 Impala convertible cruised by. I didn’t have time to snap any pics though.