My Classic Car: Reunited after 40 years

I grew up with my head under the hood of a car. I wasn’t the best looking kid on the block, and a fast car made me popular with the guys and the right girls. Pinnacle of that time in my life was my 1965 Malibu SS. My relationship with that car culminated with my ability to have the motor out in an hour and back in it in less than three. Mid-12 seconds at the drag strip, which was fast for that time, made it a feared car in a street race. I was never beaten by a daily driver competitor, and my Friday nights were all about looking for a race. I sold the car in 1978 so I could afford to go to college, yet it never left my mind.

Images courtesy of William Phillips

Fast forward to 1998, with enough money to buy it again, I found it. The small group of towns where I used to race had maintained most of the same residents their whole lives, which helped me track it down. At the last minute of sealing the deal to get my Malibu back, the seller admitted the car had a major issue: a knocking rod. I was already draining my savings with the money for the car and shipping, so I just could not afford to do the motor immediately as well. I sadly passed on the car, and it continued on to another owner.

Here we are in 2022 and I once again got the itch to find it, but this time my purchase chest was ready. Through much effort (and begging) I was able to get the number of the guy I sold the car to originally. With some luck he knew exactly the location of the car, however there were some difficult circumstances surrounding it. The owner had passed away within 10 days of my initial contact. His wife was not ready to let the car go at this time, so I stayed in contact. For the sake of the length of this story (which contains many other details that make this an unusual and unique set of events), I’m giving you the abridged version. I finally got the call.

The car is now in California with me after almost 40 years. I have purchased a Schwartz chassis, new LS7 427/570 and TREMEC 5-speed. I’m personally restoring my old friend to be the best it can be. Calculated final weight will be 2,700+ pounds, 625 HP, and a crazy nut behind the wheel. Who knows what my old friend and I may find on Friday nights again.

-William P., California

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