OPGI Employee Car Spotlight: 1969 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 Convertible

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Once again it is time to take a look at another Original Parts Group, Inc. (OPGI) employee–owned GM classic car seen at OPGI’s Seal Beach, California headquarters. This clean red 1969 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 convertible belongs to OPGI Showroom Representative and Huntington Beach resident, David Salisbury. Working in the front showroom, Dave is well-known to many of our local customers. Although he doesn’t drive his ’69 Olds to work every day, he does drive it often enough that most of our Oldsmobile aficionado customers are familiar with both Dave and his car. The car may also be somewhat familiar to Seal Beach residents too, as it was recently pressed into service hauling several local celebrities around in the annual Seal Beach Christmas Parade.

As with many GM classics, Dave’s 4-4-2 has a bit of family history behind it. This car has been in Dave’s family since it was new, and it has always been treasured and taken care of as it passed from generation to generation. Instead of retelling the story we’ve heard, we’ll let Dave tell you about it in his own words:

“I am the proud third-generation owner of this 1969 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 convertible. The car was built in Fremont, California and has been lucky enough to spend its whole life on the West Coast, as it was originally purchased new by my grandfather in 1969 at an Oldsmobile dealership in Los Angeles. It has a 400 engine, power top, power windows, power disc brakes and factory air conditioning. It even came with a cool vacuum operated trunk release that was an uncommon option in 1969.

After many years of faithful service in its original configuration, my grandfather passed away and my father and I inherited it. My father and I then decided to start replacing some things, and first up was a Stage 4 Interior kit from Original Parts Group. With little issue, everything in the interior kit went in and fit great. Next we turned our attention to the exterior and started replacing things like moldings, bumpers, and other trim items along with most of the brake lights and side markers.

This is obviously a numbers matching car, and we wanted to keep it that way. My dad and I went through the engine back in 1990, and when we tore it down, we found that the block was in such good shape, we did not even have to bore it. We had the crank turned, honed the block, put in some new pistons, added a new cam and buttoned her back up. We rebuilt the transmission a few years later, but the rear end has never been touched and is still going strong. The most recent work we’ve done was to replace all the weatherstripping on the car.

Overall, I’d have to say that I’ve been very blessed to be able to work at a business that has everything I need for my car. However, in some ways all those available parts are a temptation that can also be a curse. I do know that my grandpa is smiling down on me for keeping the car as original as possible, though. I have a lot of fond memories of my grandpa and my dad driving this car. It was the first car I ever drove when I was six-years-old sitting on my dad’s lap. It is also the first car I drove by myself when I was 13. Some people may say that a car is just a car, but for me, this car is a family heirloom and will always be a part of me and my family.”
– David Salisbury

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Deluxe 1968-72 El Camino Bed Surround Molding Kit

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Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI) has announced the availability of new RESTOPARTS® brand Bed Surround Molding Kits for 1968-72 Chevrolet El Caminos. Although GM no longer offers replacements for these highly visible El Camino exterior trim components, Original Parts Group, Inc. has come to the rescue with brand new and complete Bed Surround Molding Kits. Each Deluxe kit is identical to the original GM factory equipment and is manufactured specifically for 1968-72 Chevrolet El Caminos.

These ultra-high quality kits include stainless steel rails and die-cast zinc and chrome-plated corner pieces. Factory-style mounting clips and screws are included to make every installation user friendly. The Deluxe kit also includes both the left and right corner-to-taillight moldings. Chrome-plated and polished to a high luster, the taillight moldings are also available in pairs or individually, separate from the Deluxe Bed Surround Molding Kit.

The complete Deluxe 1968-72 El Camino Bed Surround Molding Kit is sold under OPGI part # BK1029 for $439.99. The Corner Tail Light Moldings are included in the Deluxe kit, but are also available in separate pairs under OPGI part # PZ00205-PR for $50.89. (Visit OPGI.com or contact an OPGI Sales Representative for more details on separate Corner Tail Light Moldings part numbers). For more information, visit OPGI.com or call toll free: 1-800-243-8355.

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Posted in Auto Body Parts, Body Moldings & Trim, New Products

SEMA 2016: Exploring the Show

To say there were a lot of cool GM cars at the 2016 SEMA Show would bit a bit of an understatement. It seemed there were nice GM classics of all descriptions everywhere you turned. Many of them were built using OPGI parts, too. Here’s a look at just a few of the many clean vintage GM cars that stood out at the Show this year.

Hector Cisneros (Owner) and his crew at Bill Dunn One Stop Shop, located in Huntington Beach, completely overhauled this 1964 Pontiac LeMans; from exterior to interior!

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Coker Tire president and COO Wade Kawasaki’s popular 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge was back at the Show a second time after its debut in 2015. The Coker GTO features a complete restoration using OPGI parts – performed by Bodie Stroud Restorations.

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Chris Ayres brought his OPGI-sponsored “Rogue 66” 1966 Chevelle to be part of SEMA’s Featured Vehicle Presentation.
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Reiss Racing in Escondido, California used OPGI parts to build its very clean and very high-powered 1972 Chevelle SS.

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Dave Harter’s ’70 Chevelle SS is one of a rare few GM pilot cars in existence. A “pilot car” is a car assembled by the factory in front of the regular run of production cars. They were designed for pre-production testing and development and were hand-built, non-numbers-matching vehicles. Dave Harter’s Chevelle SS is one of just 49 pilot Chevelles built for the 1970 model year. It is estimated that out of the 49 cars built, Dave’s is one of a scant dozen that were made available to the public after testing. Some have theorized that Dave’s Chevelle could be the only SS Pilot Car left in existence, and that makes it pretty rare!

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Chevrolet Chevrolet Performance built this clean Chevelle featuring an LT376 engine, which is a crate version of the 2017 Camaro’s LT1. The engine is rated at 535 hp and is backed by a Chevrolet Performance 4L75E four-speed automatic transmission.

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The 1965 Buick Riviera in the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) booth is powered by a Chevrolet 502 powerplant backed by a Tremec 5-speed transmission. Other notable features include an Art Morrison front clip, Currie Enterprises rear control arms and rear end, and Alloway custom 5-spoke wheels by Billet Specialties.

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Justin Carrillo of Vision Rods and Customs in Visalia, CA built this clean, full-custom 2-Door 1960 Cadillac Convertible displayed at the Ron Francis Wiring booth.

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Many of OPGI’s aftermarket vendors and suppliers were also at the SEMA Show this year and had their own displays. OPGI’s General Manager of Operations, Corey Reuter, was on hand to meet with suppliers in the booth. Below Corey is shown with representatives from Restoration Parts Unlimited Inc. (RPUI) discussing the Trim Parts, PUI and SoffSeal lines carried by OPGI.

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Here is a shot of the pulleys, brackets and serpentine systems on display at the March Performance booth.

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Classic Performance Products (CPP) was also on hand and displayed their “Week to Wicked” 1967 project Chevelle that went from stock to a full-on pro-touring car in just one week.

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Posted in Car Shows, Industry News, Uncategorized

SEMA 2016: OPGI Back at SEMA

 

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Celebrating over 35 years in the business of manufacturing and retailing GM restoration parts and accessories, Original Parts Group, Inc. (OPGI) once again made its presence known at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show held each November in Las Vegas, Nevada.

After several very successful decades as a displaying manufacturer, OPGI marked this year’s attendance with an all-new, upgraded presence for 2016 and beyond. OPGI returned to Las Vegas this year with hundreds of the most popular General Motors restoration parts, including dozens of new entries from OPGI’s RESTOPARTS®  proprietary line of ultra-high quality restoration parts. Specifically engineered to meet the growing demands of the automotive restoration market, the RESTOPARTS entries included numerous high-demand interior and exterior components as well as a selection of emblems, mirrors, door handles and other hard-to-find, factory accurate reproduction parts sought by vintage GM enthusiasts.

As befitting the premier retailer and manufacturer of General Motors restoration parts, OPGI showed up in style at this year’s Show with a distinctive 1,200 square foot, two-story display booth in the Main Hall. The display highlighted both the new products and existing inventory inside OPGI’s ten different Restoration and High-Performance Parts and Accessories catalogs that cover everything needed to restore a classic Chevelle, El Camino, Monte Carlo, GTO, Grand Prix, Cutlass, Skylark, Riviera, Grand National, or Cadillac.

Following a long-standing tradition, OPGI always brings along a couple of newly restored classic GM cars to display at the annual Show. All of OPGI’s display cars are known for their extensive use of OPGI parts and they are always completely restored to the highest degree of original authenticity. This year did not disappoint, and an ultra-clean 1968 Cadillac Coupe De Ville and an immaculate 1970 Chevelle SS shared space in the booth.

While the long, Baroque Gold ’68 Coupe De Ville on display was a straight-up, 100% factory-stock restoration, the ’70 Chevelle departed from that formula with a dose of modern performance, power and handling under the skin through the use of aftermarket performance products and accessories from the OPGI catalog. Dubbed “The Executive,” the Chevelle SS was built as a tribute to a similar Chevelle that OPGI CEO Dave Leonard used to drive years ago. Read more ›

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Posted in Car Shows, Industry News

Traffic, Accidents, and Road Rage

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Although recent statistics show the United States does have some very dangerous and crowded highways, the U.S. is not number one when it comes to the most congested roadways in the world. In fact, the U.S. doesn’t even rank in the top ten places with the worst traffic in the world.

According to the Numbeo research firm, Kenya actually has the worst traffic in the world. Numbeo compiled data from 88 countries in order to come up with a “traffic index” used for ranking the time consumed in traffic due to job commute, estimation of time consumption dissatisfaction, and overall inefficiencies in a traffic system. Given those factors, Kenya ranked the highest on the Numbeo Traffic Index with a score of 317. What were the rest of the top ten countries with the worst traffic? Here’s how they ranked:

Worst Traffic in the World –

  1. Kenya 317
  2. Egypt 293
  3. Bangladesh 280
  4. Bolivia 243
  5. Nigeria 241
  6. Jordan 232
  7. Iran 214
  8. South Africa 208
  9. Philippines 202
  10. Thailand 200

However, as any urban American knows, the U.S. does have its’ fair share of clogged roadways. The traffic navigation firm TomTom recently found that of the list of U.S. cities with the most crowded roads is topped by those not-so-lucky commuters driving in Los Angeles. The top ten list of the most congested roadways in the U.S. shakes out like this:

U.S. Cities with the Worst Traffic –

  1. Los Angeles
  2. San Francisco
  3. Honolulu
  4. New York
  5. Seattle
  6. San Jose
  7. Miami
  8. Chicago
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Portland

All that traffic makes for very unhappy drivers, and if they get unhappy enough, their mild discomfort can turn into maximum road rage. More traffic seems to equal more road rage, as a recent  survey concluded that the number-one road rage city in America is Los Angeles. Additional data from the Auto Insurance Center shows that drivers experience the most incidents of road rage during the month of August. As the summer months usually have more cars on the road, July is ranked as the second-most road-ragious month for American drivers, followed by October and March, which tied for third place. Which U.S. cities are afflicted with the most road rage? Here’s the top six:

U.S. Cities with the Most Road Rage –

  1. Los Angeles
  2. New York City
  3. Mount Pleasant, North Carolina
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii
  5. Portland, Oregon
  6. Scottsdale, Arizona

Congested roads full of angry drivers can make driving a dangerous proposition. The danger can easily be seen when looking at the huge numbers of traffic accidents that occur each year in this country. The worst accidents are those that result in fatalities of course, and The U.S. Department of Transportation recently determined that traffic fatalities in the U.S. increased 10.4 percent during the first six months of 2016 compared to the same time period in 2015.

The increase could be the result of lower gas prices and more drivers on the road. However, considering the fact that a recent study found that 61 percent of U.S. drivers use their cell phones while driving, the increase in fatalities is likely due to more distracted driving. Distracted driving is at epidemic proportions in America these days, and it has caused some of our highways to become truly deadly.

Looking at the list of deadliest interstate highways in America (based on fatalities per mile) quickly shows that 132 miles of Interstate 4 in Florida, with 1.41 fatalities per mile in just the past six years, is the most dangerous interstate in the United States. Where are the rest of the most dangerous and deadly highways in the U.S.? Here is the top ten:

Deadliest Interstate Highways in America –

  1. Interstate 4 – from Tampa to Daytona Beach, Florida.
  2. Interstate 45 – between Dallas and Houston, Texas.
  3. Interstate 17 – from Phoenix to Flagstaff, Arizona.
  4. Interstate 30 – from Fort Worth, Texas to Little Rock, Arkansas.
  5. Interstate 95 – from Miami, Florida to Houlton, Maine.
  6. Interstate 19 – from Nogales to Tucson, Arizona.
  7. Interstate 10 – from Santa Monica, California to Jacksonville, Florida.
  8. Interstate 37 – from Corpus Christi to San Antonio, Texas.
  9. Interstate 26 – from Kingsport, Tennessee to Charleston, South Carolina.
  10. Interstate 97 – from Annapolis to Baltimore, Maryland.

While the deadliest interstate highways are also some the busiest and most travelled routes in the country, it is clear that driving, anywhere, is becoming increasingly dangerous. Everyone who drives can take steps to help reduce the number of accidents, road rage incidents and ultimately, the number of fatalities out there on the roads today. So please drive safely and put down that cell phone!

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OPGI Customer Car Spotlight: 1966 Chevelle SS

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In response to the ongoing Customer Car Spotlight series on this blog, Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI), Customer Mark Bernhardt sent in these great photos and a brief history of his own customer car, a stunning 1966 Chevelle SS. As you can see, the car is a clean interpretation of the pro-touring theme applied to a thoroughly restored ’66 Chevelle. The photos show there are many modifications underneath the skin of this numbers-matching SS car that aren’t immediately apparent at a first glance.

Mark modified his Chevelle from top to bottom starting with rebuilding the original-to-the-car 396 big-block and punching it out to 402 cubic inches. The rest of the drivetrain, as well as the suspension, exhaust system, and the wheel/tire selection all reflect the pro-touring approach, while the paint, body and interior were restored in the more traditional factory-stock way. We’d have to say that it looks like the results of Mark’s 10-year restoration project turned out absolutely perfect. The attention to detail and obvious high quality of his one-man, at-home restoration also proves that you don’t need a giant shop and a huge staff to build the car of your dreams.

Here is the story of Mark’s Chevelle in his own words:

My car is a numbers-matching 1966 Chevelle SS. I bought it in January of 2005 from a guy in Georgia and had it shipped out here to California. I am the third owner; the previous two owners lived right by the original dealership that first sold the car, Welborn Chevrolet in Rome, Georgia. The car had been parked since 1986 and was very badly rusted out.  On the plus side, all the parts were there and all the numbers matched.

This was my first build, and it took me around 10 years from start to finish, but I’m proud I did most of it on my own. With the exception of the paint and body work, I did the complete restoration and rebuild at home in my garage. Due to rust issues, the body prep was extensive and I had American Rod and Auto in Los Banos, California do all of the body work. In fact, the only original sheet metal left now is the passenger fender, passenger door skin and the roof from the top of the sail panels up. All the other metal is new from OPGI.

I am still running the original 396 block, but it has been bored out to 402 cubic inches. Dave’s Performance in Fresno, California did all the machining on the engine. Dave’s a great guy, and as this was my first motor build, he let me come down and watch it get bored out and I got to help put one of the heads back together too. The heads were ported and polished and all new internals installed; roller rockers, hydraulic lifters, big Erson roller cam, Speed Pro pistons and a Billet Specialties Tru Trac serpentine pulley set up to finish it off.

Other modifications include:

Drive train – Muncie M20 wide ratio 4-speed transmission, 12-bolt rear-end out of a ’70 Chevelle. I cut the rear-end down 2-inches on each side, refabricated the shock mounts and rotated the caliper mounts down. I also installed Moser axles and Strange gears (4.32).

Suspension – In front in I used McGaughys upper and lower A-arms as well as 2-inch drop spindles along with QA1 adjustable coil-over shocks. In the rear I used McGaughys 1-inch lowering springs. There are no wheel tubs or frame mods.

Exhaust – The exhaust system is Stahl 2-piece, 1-7/8-inch headers stepped up to 2-inches and followed by a Pypes 3-inch polished stainless X-Change System complete with Pypes HVE10 electric cutouts. The system exits through Violator mufflers.

Wheels- The wheels are by Intro, in front -19×8 with 5½ inches of backspacing. In back – 20×10 with 4-1/4 inches of backspacing.

Tires – Nitto Tires 235/35 R19 in front and 285/30 R20 in back.

Interior – I restored the entire interior as close to stock as possible using better materials. The original bucket seat frames were wrapped in new TMI Sport seat covers and new foam was installed.

Other Notable Mods – Spectre Performance Air intake / Be Cool aluminum radiator & fan / American Autowire complete wiring harness / Classic Performance Show Stopper Hydraulic Brake Assist Kit / Dynamat from the firewall to the trunk, including the doors, roof and quarter panels.

Timeline –

January 2005:  I bought the car and started tearing it down
April 2015:  I fired the engine for the first time
August 2015:  I drove her for the first time!

– Mark Bernhardt

 

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Posted in Customer Car Spotlight

OPGI Customer Car Spotlight: 1969 Buick Riviera

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Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI), Customer Frank Nagle is the proud owner of this clean 1969 Buick Riviera. This Riviera is obviously another example of the many really nice cars we see here at OPGI’s Seal Beach, California headquarters building. We asked Frank if we could share photos of his car here on the OPGI Blog and he not only said “yes,” but also added that he would write up the history of the car to share with our viewers as well.  Without further delay, here is the story of how this 1969 Buick Riviera came to be restored, written in Frank’s own words:

“I’ve always loved old cars and the idea of restoring an old forsaken bucket of bolts to its original glory, but it had never crossed my mind to venture into such a project myself until a friend asked if I’d be interested in buying the 1969 2-Door Buick Riviera Hardtop he’d recently picked up. It was an impulse buy, to say the least, and I handed over $1,000 and said, what the heck, I’ll give it a try.

It was a piece-of-junk-car I referred to as a “basket case,” meaning you could pretty much carry all its parts in a basket. It hardly resembled its original beauty, but by enlisting help from experts, my new found hobby would, in time, change all that. With a rotting radiator, a non-existent exhaust system, a mess of an engine covered in oil and grease, a completely trashed interior, and a landau top rotted through to a rusted out roof, my work was cut out for me.  It didn’t end there. Needless to say, the air conditioning didn’t work with its decaying hoses, and when I opened the trunk it was completely rusted out with a decomposing 40-year old tire inside that nearly disintegrated before my eyes just by touching it. Still intact, however, next to the heap of decomposed tire was a jack, the original jack, and still in good shape.

I enlisted help from the best to resuscitate this deserving old car. I was fortunate to find people who could do the work or assist me in the restoration.  The owner of Frank’s Radiator and Muffler in Huntington Beach was very instrumental in prefabbing and forming the exhaust pipes. It was the only shop I found in the area that could do this. Frank’s shop replaced the radiator as well.

I had the interior completely redone to match its original contour and color, gold. Air conditioning repair came next. Although A/C wasn’t too common in cars in the ‘60’s, it was an option offered for the Buick Riviera, and this one had it. The dashboard had to be removed to replace the A/C hoses, and when all was said and done, it worked great and still does. That is, it works great for a refurbished 50-year old air conditioning system of its time.

Next, it came time to tackle the engine and I contemplated adding a dress-up kit (chrome valve covers, chrome oil filter top, chrome generator). After consulting with a mechanic, I was presented with two choices: dress it up or bring it back to factory condition, the way Buick made it, with nothing added and nothing different. I chose to go with restoring it back to its original condition. With help from different businesses (including Original Parts Group Inc.) the project continued. OPGI was invaluable helping to locate all the parts needed to get the Buick back to its original state, and I credit a gentleman named Dave Salisbury at OPGI, who really knows old cars, for much good advice. Through him, I learned of a cleaner that helped bring the engine back to its original, pristine condition, free of a lifetime of grease and oil. With Dave’s help I was also able to obtain parts I wasn’t able to find through any other source.

Finally, it came time to put the icing on the cake and complete the paint and body work by getting rid of several body dents and rust spots and refreshing the original gold paint color to bring the beauty back to life.

Now that the car is complete, it sure is nice going out for a spin every now and then on occasional Sunday drives. The 430 cubic-inch engine and 4 barrel carburetor (430-4), help explain why the car only gets 8 miles to the gallon. I figure I can either make a house payment or fill the tank, thus the reason I only go for an occasional spin, maybe 50 miles every month. As far as I know, the Riviera has 144K original miles on it and no evidence of major accidents. All the engine parts match and everything has been restored to  original condition. However, I must admit that you never really completely finish restoring a classic car.  There always seems to be something like a nut or a bolt or some other little item that’s hard to come by and difficult to find, that you are on the hunt for. It’s a never-ending process and a never-ending love at the same time. I’ve had several offers for the car, but it’s a part of me now, like an old family friend.” – Frank Nagle

 

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OPGI Employee Car Spotlight: 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

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It is time to take a look at another Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI) employee–owned GM classic car. This 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo belongs to OPGI Customer Service Representative Robert Fernandez. When Robert is not spending his time working at OPGI, he calls Anaheim, California home, and that’s where he found his Monte back in 1989. Because we know that Robert has about a half-dozen nice cars in total, it is not surprising that his Monte Carlo would be such a clean example. What is a bit surprising however, is that despite owning the car for over a quarter of a century, Robert really didn’t have a lot to say when we asked him about the history of it. As Robert told us, “My car has led a boring and unremarkable life.”

What we did learn about it was that the car was in good shape when he purchased it and Robert spent about $5000 over five years working on it to get it in even better shape. He only drives the car occasionally today. Robert said his car still has the stock 245hp 350 Chevy motor in it, backed by the standard TH350 automatic transmission. The stock drivetrain does breathe and sound a bit better than stock thanks to a MagnaFlow dual exhaust.

The car was already optioned with power windows, power seats, power steering and factory air conditioning, so none of those features had to be added during the restoration. The interior was kept in mostly stock configuration, although it did receive a full refresh and restoration performed by Krystal Koach Inc., an Anaheim-based manufacturer of limousines back in the ’90s when that business still existed (now closed). Robert’s Monte did require some new restoration parts including new trim and moldings, a new vinyl top and new weather stripping all around prior to paint and body work. To complete his Monte Carlo build, Robert sent the car to RJ’s Customs (now in San Diego) for the final body prep and silver paint job. For a car that Robert said “has led a boring life,” it looks like it could be a pretty exciting ride for most fans of classic Chevy iron.

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Decoding General Motors Body Style Designations

*Back by popular demand: This article is a re-post from May of 2013. It seems that some of our readers are confused by General Motors’ use of alphabetic codes to designate the many different GM vehicle “families,” so we thought it would be a good time to present this information once again.

General Motors vehicles have long been produced on shared platforms with each platform or body type fitting into designated GM vehicle “families” that use alphabet letters to separate them. The alphabetic codes used were always single letters and way back in 1946 GM began using a standard set of body style codes consisting of just the four letters A, B, C and D. Four different letter designations were all that was needed at the time because GM’s assortment of vehicles was relatively small in the years prior to World War II. At that time, the alphabet letter codes also corresponded to the 4th letter of each car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). In those early years, GM also began using the standardized alphabetic body style designations to identify parts and accessories for each body style as well as applying the codes to service manuals, owner manuals, and other vehicle-specific publications.

The simple, four body style codes worked as intended, and GM continued to use the A,B,C and D designation system all the way up until 1960 when things started to get more complicated. At that time, GM began creating new cars with many different body styles and the alphabetic code system had to grow and change with the passage of time. What began as a simple four letter code system eventually grew to contain many different alphabet letters and it became increasingly difficult to identify the different GM body styles correctly. In the years following 1960, the year of a vehicle’s production started influencing the alphabetic body style codes and some cars changed designations from one letter to another, making both year and body style interdependent when attempting to identify a GM body style correctly. From 1961 to 1965, GM added three more letter designations (E, X and Y) and some cars, like the Buick Special, that were “B body” prior to 1961, became “A body” cars in the mid ‘60s.

In the years that followed, the once simple alphabet codes became far less simple and some cars changed codes after major redesigns, and some did not, like the “E-body” Oldsmobile Toronado that retained the “E” letter designation even though it was heavily redesigned four times from 1966 to 1992. In the years from 1966 to 1970 GM kept the codes to eight letters, but the letters changed. The “Y” code was dropped and “F” and “G” were added, transforming the code letters to A, B, C, D, E, F, G and X. In the period between 1971 and 1975, GM added an “H” code as well as a new “K’ code.

The code continued to grow and between ’76 and ’80 GM added a “T” code for the Chevy Chevette compact. Things got more complex in the first half of the ‘80s when GM added the letters J, K, N, R, S, and T. More confusion came in 1982 when GM transformed the entire “A body” line from rear-wheel drive cars to front-wheel drive versions. At that time GM also decided to re-designate the remaining rear-wheel drive cars to the “G” code.

For those GM car owners who are uncertain as to exactly which code matches their classic car, the individual models are listed by year and body code up to the year 1985 below:

From 1946 to 1960 –
The “A-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: 150, 210, Bel Air, Del Ray, Biscayne, Impala, El Camino. Pontiac: Chieftain, Star Chief, Super Chief, Bonneville, Catalina, Ventura.
The “B-Body” cars include – Buick: Special, Century, LeSabre, Invicta. Oldsmobile: Eighty-Eight, Ninety-Eight, Starfire Ninety-Eight.
“C-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Series 60 Special Fleetwood, Series 62, Eldorado, Deville. Buick: Super, Roadmaster, Limited, Electra, Electra 225.
“D-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Series 75 Fleetwood, Series 6700 Fleetwood.

From 1961 to 1965 –
“A-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Chevelle, Malibu, Malibu SS, El Camino. Buick: Special, Skylark, Sportwagon. Oldsmobile: F-85 Cutlass, Vista Cruiser. Pontiac: Tempest, LeMans, GTO (’64-’65).
“B-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Biscayne, Bel Air, Impala, Impala SS. Buick: LeSabre, LeSabre Custom, Invicta, Wildcat. Oldsmobile: Eighty-Eight, Starfire, Jetstar.  Pontiac: Catalina, Star Chief, Bonneville, Ventura, Grand Prix.
“C-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Series 60 Special, Fleetwood, Fleetwood 60 Special, Deville, Calais, Eldorado, Series 6200. Oldsmobile: Ninety-Eight. Buick: Electra, Electra 225.
“D-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Fleetwood 75, Series 6700.
“E-Body” cars include – Buick: Riviera.
“X-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Chevy II, Nova, Nova SS.
“Y-Body” cars include – Pontiac: Tempest (’61-’63), LeMans. Buick: Special (’61-’63), Skylark (’61-’63). Oldsmobile: F-85 (’61-’63), Jetfire (’62-’63).

From 1966 to 1970 –
“A-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Chevelle, Malibu, Malibu SS, Monte Carlo, El Camino. Buick: Special, Skylark, Sportwagon. Oldsmobile: F-85, Cutlass, Vista Cruiser. Pontiac: Tempest, LeMans, GTO.
“B-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Biscayne, Bel Air, Impala, Impala SS, Caprice.  Buick: LeSabre, Wildcat. Oldsmobile: Eighty-Eight, Starfire, Jetstar. Pontiac: Catalina, Star Chief Executive, Bonneville, Grand Prix (’66-’68).
“C-Body” cars include – Buick: Electra, Electra 225. Cadillac: Fleetwood, Fleetwood 60 Special, Deville, Calais. Oldsmobile: Ninety-Eight.
“D-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Fleetwood 75.
“E-Body” cars include – Buick: Riviera. Cadillac: Eldorado. Oldsmobile: Toronado.
“F-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Camaro. Pontiac: Firebird.
“G-Body” cars include –  Pontiac: Grand Prix (’69-’70).
“X-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Chevy II, Nova, Nova SS.

From 1971 to 1975 –
“A Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Chevelle, Malibu, Laguna, Monte Carlo. Buick: Skylark and Century, Regal, Sportwagon. Oldsmobile: F-85, Cutlass. Pontiac: Tempest, LeMans, Grand Am, GTO (’71-’73), Grand Prix.
“B-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Biscayne, Bel Air, Impala, Caprice.  Buick: LeSabre and Centurion. Oldsmobile: Delta Eighty-Eight, Pontiac: Catalina, Bonneville, Grand Ville.
“C-Body” cars include – Buick: Electra 225. Cadillac: Fleetwood, Deville, Calais. Oldsmobile: Ninety-Eight.
“D-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Fleetwood 75.
“E-Body” cars include – Buick: Riviera. Cadillac: Eldorado. Oldsmobile: Toronado.
“F-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Camaro. Pontiac: Firebird.
“H-Body” cars include – Buick: Skyhawk. Chevrolet: Vega, Monza. Oldsmobile: Starfire. Pontiac: Astre. Cadillac: Seville.
“K-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Seville.
“X-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Nova. Pontiac: GTO (’74).

From 1976 to 1980 –
“A-Body” cars include – Buick: Century, Regal. Chevrolet: Malibu and Laguna, Monte Carlo. Oldsmobile: Cutlass. Pontiac: LeMans and Grand Am, Grand Prix.
“B-Body” cars include – Buick: LeSabre, Riviera (’77-’78). Chevrolet: Impala, Caprice.  Oldsmobile: Delta Eighty-Eight. Pontiac: Catalina, Bonneville, Grand Ville.
“C-Body” cars include – Buick: Electra 225. Cadillac: Fleetwood Brougham, Deville, Calais. Oldsmobile: Ninety-Eight.
“D-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Fleetwood 75, Fleetwood Limousine (’77-’80).
“E-Body” cars include – Buick: Riviera. Cadillac: Eldorado. Oldsmobile: Toronado.
“F-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Camaro. Pontiac: Firebird.
“H-Body” cars include – Buick: Skyhawk. Chevrolet: Vega, Monza. Oldsmobile: Starfire. Pontiac: Astre, Sunbird.
“K-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Seville.
“T-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Chevette.
“X-Body” cars include – Buick: Skylark. Chevrolet: Nova, Citation. Oldsmobile: Omega. Pontiac: Ventura, Phoenix.

From 1981 to 1985 –
“A-Body” cars include – Buick: Century, Regal. Chevrolet: Malibu, El Camino, Monte Carlo, Celebrity. Oldsmobile: Cutlass, Ciera. Pontiac: LeMans, Grand Prix.
“B-Body” cars include – Buick: LeSabre. Chevrolet: Impala, Caprice Classic. Oldsmobile: Delta Eighty-Eight. Pontiac: Catalina, Bonneville, Grand Safari, Parisenne.
“C-Body” cars include – Buick: Electra. Cadillac: Fleetwood, Fleetwood Brougham, Deville, Fleetwood Limousine. Oldsmobile: Ninety-Eight.
“D-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Deville, Fleetwood Brougham, Fleetwood Limousine.
“E-Body” cars include – Buick: Riviera. Cadillac: Eldorado. Oldsmobile: Toronado.
“F-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Camaro. Pontiac: Firebird.
“G-Body” cars include – Buick: Regal. Chevrolet: Malibu, El Camino, Monte Carlo. Oldsmobile: Cutlass. Pontiac: Bonneville, Grand Prix (’82-’85 all).
“J-Body” cars include – Buick: Skyhawk. Cadillac: Cimarron. Chevrolet: Cavalier. Oldsmobile: Firenza. Pontiac: J2000, Sunbird.
“K-Body” cars include – Cadillac: Seville.
“N-Body” cars include – Buick: Somerset, Somerset Regal. Oldsmobile: Calais, Calais Supreme. Pontiac: Grand Am.
“R-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Spectrum.
“S-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Nova.
“T-Body” cars include – Chevrolet: Camaro. Pontiac: T-1000.
“X-Body” cars include – Buick: Skylark. Chevrolet: Citation. Oldsmobile: Omega. Pontiac: Phoenix

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OPGI Employee Car Spotlight: 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

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Although we usually feature Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI) customer–owned cars in these “spotlight” blog posts, many of OPGI’s employees also own, work on, and drive some really nice classic cars too. Many of the interesting classics in our parking lot are daily-driven by employees and yet are also nice enough to be on display at a cruise or a show. They are nice enough that we thought you might like to see a few of them too.

The car you see here today is a 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe owned by OPGI employee Keith Scovil of Anaheim, California. Keith drives his classic Cutlass to work every day and after 16 years of ownership he is still in the process of restoring and improving it. Although his Olds is obviously a clean classic muscle car, Keith says “It is not a show car by any means, it’s a driver with personality.” It is also a car with a pretty cool back story, but we’ll let Keith tell you that part in his own words:

“After I first got my driver’s permit at age 15 back in 2005, it didn’t take but a few weeks before I began searching for a suitable candidate car to become the basis of my long-dreamed-of classic car restoration project. I found a decent 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe that I really liked on Cardomain.com and quickly called about it, but unfortunately the seller lived in Lancaster, California (which is a long way from Anaheim when you’re only 15 years old). Needless to say, I was disappointed that we were not able to meet due to the distance.

I next learned that there would be a car/parts swap meet held in Pomona the following Saturday, so I enlisted my father and older brother to help me get there to see what might be available. At the swap meet we quickly came across another nice 1969 Cutlass S that I liked very much. The car was in very good shape and had a 2 barrel 350, auto trans, power steering, power brakes, A/C, and a vinyl top. Although the car was advertised at $3600, we were able to strike a deal at $2500 and on August 28, 2005, I became the new owner. While we were finishing up with the sale paper work at the meet, the owner stated that he thought my voice sounded familiar. In a bit of a nice coincidence, I learned that the guy I had first called about the ’69 Cutlass on Cardomain.com was the same gentleman that was standing in front of me at the swap meet. It was the same car!

Once we got home and had the new steed in the stable, a father and son restoration project began. The first objective was to get the chassis cleaned up and squared away. As a result, new front and rear suspension was installed along with all new steering components as well as a CPP disc brake conversion kit. Back at school, my auto shop teacher was also an Oldsmobile enthusiast and he ended up giving me a W-31 spec camshaft to use in the car.  We did install that camshaft, but with the stock low compression heads, it wasn’t as aggressive as it could have been. I knew the previous owner had performed a budget rebuild and the block was bored out .030” for a typical 355 ci engine. It also had standard cast dish pistons and factory connecting rods along with a stock “N” crankshaft. Initially we left the stock #5 heads alone, but it wasn’t long before the valve guides started showing wear and we had the heads serviced.  During this time, my father and I decided it was time to change the camshaft to a more modern profile as well as a more street-able grind. We decided on a Comp Cams XE268 and went with full, roller pedestal mount rocker arms. As the car sits today, the engine has roughly 9.25:1 compression, along with the mild cam, headers, 2.5” exhaust, 650cfm carb, and an RPM Performer intake manifold.  The engine has never been dyno’ed, but I imagine it’s good for 330hp and maybe 380-400 ft. lbs. of torque. Behind the engine we installed a 2004-R Overdrive transmission and 10” non-lockup torque converter. The rear end is a Chevy 12 bolt unit with Eaton limited slip differential and 3.42 gears.

Moving inside the car, the entire interior (along with a lot of R-Blox sound deadener) was purchased from OPGI.  The majority of the interior work was performed in our home garage aside from the unassembled rear side panels and rear seat upholstery. I also went with Pro Car bucket seats up front. These days I am in the process of restoring a factory ’67 to ‘69 center console and shifter, along with upgrading the carpet from standard 80/20 Raylon Loop to the more modern Essex style of carpet.

Believe it or not, the exterior of my Olds was painted by Earl Scheib near my home in Anaheim. The paint is of the California-friendly, water-based variety. It has 3 coats of base color white along with 3 coats of clear. The vehicle was color sanded to a smooth 1500 grit prior to buffing and I think it turned out very well. Remember that this car received a body-on restoration, not a body-off.  It’s a daily street car and is the only vehicle registered in my name. The car was involved in one accident a few years back when another driver attempted to make a right turn from the center lane and put me into the curb (see “Oldspowered69” on YouTube for a video/slideshow depicting the damage of said accident), but it’s a driver, not a show car. It did win a plaque from the one and only show I have ever entered it in (Main Street Car Show of Garden Grove, California), but its true purpose is be utilized and enjoyed as my daily-driver.” – Keith Scovil

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