B. Before The Restoration Begins, A Bit More About The Car

posted Mar 4, 2016, 2:58 PM by Dane Belden   [ updated Oct 16, 2016, 9:18 AM ]
Belden Speed & Engineering, Dane Belden, Belden Speed, 1970 Chevelle


After Belden Speed & Engineering was formed the car that really started my passion for cars came home.  My father was the Shepard of this car from 1984 until 2015.  I cannot state how important he is to me and how important is was to saving this 1970 Chevelle SS.  

After graduating from college in 1980 I started on a career that took me away from seriously working on cars.  While most of my peers sold their cars of their youth, my father willingly held on to both my Chevelle and my 1959 Corvette.  His passion for cars, love of his son and space to accommodate my cars over the years is what has made possible the restoration of this particular Chevelle.  

During the time my father had the car in his care he did more than house it.  In 1999 he decided to restore the mechanical systems of the car which included rebuilding the engine and transmission as well as new exhaust system.  He also had some cosmetic work done on the car to preserve it so that a future restoration could be done.  Well, the future is now.

This is an honest two-owner SS Chevelle, with my ownership approaching 40 years!  It is a no-hit car with matching numbers and is largely a survivor with 115,466.5 original miles.  The plan for the car is to bring it back to how it left the Oshawa, Ontario factory on November 13, 1969.  While there will be a great deal of labor in doing so, chasing of parts isn't an issue as it is complete so the restoration will be faithful.  

The original owner of this Chevelle has been contacted and we have had an opportunity to re-acquaint ourselves.  With luck, if his travels bring him to Williamsburg he will have an opportunity to see it again.  This car was custom ordered for his wife as her "go to work" car - she was a teacher and luckily married to a car guy.  In the world of high-end SS Chevelles this really isn't all that special.  It has the 396/350 engine with the TH400.  It was ordered Shadow Gray Metallic without the factory stripes and it has a bench seat (they were newlyweds after all).  What is special about the car is its known history and how it has shaped the lives of the two owners.

Because this is a Canadian car, its history is easily traced.  You can contact GM Canada and provide them a VIN and a check ($58.30 in 2006) and they will send you the information about the car - you can see that data below.
Belden Speed, Belden Speed & Engineering, Dane Belden, 1970 ChevelleBelden Speed & Engineering, Belden Speed, Dane Belden, 1970 Chevelle
click or each page to see it expanded - use the "back" button to return

So while this 1970 Chevelle SS may not be a highly optioned car, it is very original and its documentation and history is very well known.

The plan for restoration will begin with the obvious rust repair.  As will almost every GM A body car of this period, the rear window is showing signs of rust in the window channels.  While there are rust stains in the trunk, there is no issue with the trunk floorpan.  Is is due mainly to my father's care for those many years.  While it wasn't on the road from 1984 to 1999, it was always in a garage.  When I purchased the car in 1977 there was evidence of this window leak and while I used RTV to try to seal the window (by "used RTV" I mean I literally ran it around the trim on both sides to try to seal it to the glass and body.  Hey, I was a kid - what did I know?).  

There is no other rust visible, but the body will be taken to bare metal and it will  be repainted in the original Shadow Gray Metallic (code 17).  Mechanically both the front and rear suspensions will be completely rebuilt as the original bushings are still in the control arms.  At this point there is no plan to do a body-off restoration as the condition doesn't warrant that, but time will tell when it starts coming apart.  Check back for details as major work will be documented and an abbreviated overview of it will appear on this site.