OPGI Customer Car Spotlight: 1970-72? Chevrolet Chevelle

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1972 Chevrolet Chevelle

Luis Galeana, Pico Rivera, California

Engine: LS2 6.0L

Paint: Red w/ black SS stripes

Interior Color: Black

Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI), Customer Luis Galeana of Pico Rivera, California is the proud owner of this clean 1972 Chevelle. Our staff first spotted Luis’ car parked at OPGI’s Seal Beach headquarters building, and once they got a better look up close and saw just how nice the Chevelle really was, the decision was made to share the car here on the OPGI Blog.

In the beginning it seems Luis had some decisions to make regarding whether he wanted to own a restored original Chevelle or a modified resto-mod car. Looking at the photos you can quickly see that Luis chose the restomod route. In fact, Luis’ car is very similar to the 1970 Chevelle SS 454 tribute car that OPGI is currently building for display at the upcoming SEMA Show in Las Vegas. A fuel-injected, big-block powered Chevelle riding on Hotchkis Suspension components and wrapped up in a red and black SS paint scheme sounds like a good plan to us.

Of the many nice cars that visit OPGI, this red Chevelle is one of the nicer ones. Take a look at the photos and see if you don’t agree. As for the story behind the car, we’ll let Luis relate the facts in his own words:

“My family and I had been looking for a good 1970 Chevelle for quite some time, however I could not decide if I wanted a 100 % original car or a resto-mod version.  After some thought, we decided to go with a resto-mod since our overall plan for the car was to be able to drive it often as well as take it on occasional long drives.  After some searching, I came across this 1972 Chevelle that was going to cross an auction block back in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Even though the Chevelle was not the exact year I had been looking for, the previous owner had modified the front and rear end a bit to give it more of a 1970 look. The car had the right look, drivetrain and powertrain, so I pulled the trigger on the auction.

Under the hood this Chevelle has a 6.0L LS2 engine with an Edelbrock manifold and a FAST Fuel setup coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It has a 12 bolt posi rear end with an aluminum Perfect Launch cover and has been upgraded to 4-wheel disc brakes with Wilwood components. The stock wheels and tires have been replaced with big Boss wheels fitted with Nitto tires (245/40 ZR 18’s in the front and 285/40 ZR18’s in the rear). Power steering and brakes help make driving this beauty easy work and the Hotchkis suspension components help it handle all types of roads.

The restored original interior is lightly modified with custom Pro-Comp Ultra-Lite white gauges and an upgraded sound system that includes a separate power amp and two 10” subwoofers. The Chevelle has an SS steering wheel, an SS console and a stock shifter between the bucket seats. Perhaps best of all, this Chevelle has a Vintage Air A/C system that should help keep the whole family cool during long drives on hot summer days.” -Luis Galeana

Shop for Chevelle parts at www.opgi.com

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Posted in Customer Car Spotlight, OPGI Customer Car Spotlight

1968-72 Chevelle & El Camino Horseshoe Shifter Assembly

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If you are the owner of a classic 1968-72 Chevelle or El Camino (or a 1970-72 Monte Carlo) equipped with a console-mounted automatic transmission shifter assembly, you know just how important that piece of equipment is. The horseshoe-shaped handle falls right to hand every time you drive your car and being located right in the center of the interior, it is clearly visible at all times. If your shifter assembly is loose, damaged or broken, you will be aware of that annoying fact every time you drive as well. Most Chevy fans also know that they won’t find a new shifter assembly at their Chevy dealer these days, and scouring the salvage yards for a decent 1968-72 shifter assembly is not likely to be very rewarding either. Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem.

Enthusiasts needing a new assembly or those desiring to upgrade a column-mounted shifter to a console unit can now get a brand new reproduction “horseshoe” shifter assembly directly from Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI).  The OPGI console-mounted shifter assembly is factory-exact in every detail and it is priced very affordably as well. The lockout button and springs are pre-installed for convenience and the assembly comes complete with all the features needed for a trouble-free installation in your car. The handle is triple chrome-plated and the injection-molded black plastic grip is indistinguishable from the original GM product. Because the assembly is a RESTOPARTS® brand product, no expense has been spared in making this the finest reproduction on the market. Sold under OPGI part number C210900, the console-mounted shifter assembly is priced at $139.99.

Original Parts Group, Inc. is the nation’s number one supplier and manufacturer of classic GM parts and accessories and is committed to maintaining that reputation. For more information, visit OPGI.com or call toll free: 1-800-243-8355.

 

Posted in Interior Accessories, Interior Trim

Mid-Engine Corvette in 2018?

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Although the rumors of a mid-engine Corvette have been circulating for years, General Motors (GM) has recently let new clues slip that point more directly to the possibility of seeing the rumored car become an actual production vehicle by 2018. With the recent revival of Ford’s GT supercar at Le Mans, it makes sense that GM would want to have something that would be able to compete with it in their lineup. Given the Corvette’s very successful racing history so far, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to imagine that GM would want to continue that tradition with a new, faster, and better Corvette.

Just last month the folks at the GM Inside News website (www.gminsidenews.com) noticed that the “Katech Engines website has already made provisions for the “2018+ Corvette ZR1/Zora LT5.” Katech is the performance engine specialist company that used to back the Corvette racing program before GM brought all competition engine development back in-house several years ago.

The “LT5” that Katech references would be a new version of the DOHC aluminum-block V8 developed by Lotus Engineering and built by Mercury Marine. The LT5 was used for a few years in the C4 Corvette platform, yet never made it into production on the C5 platform. Now it appears a Gen III version of the engine is being developed for use in the next generation of Corvettes. Mid-engine Corvettes if the speculation is correct.

The GM-watchers over at MotorAuthority.com also noticed the new landing page for the 2018+ Corvette ZR1/Zora LT5 over at Katech, but the page was quickly removed from the Web after the discovery. Even though the “Corvette ZR1/Zora LT5” page has disappeared, many Corvette enthusiasts are beginning to wonder “What does Katech know that we don’t?”  Some are speculating that the C8 mid-engine Corvette will likely make its debut at the 2018 Detroit auto show, a date that is coincidentally exactly five years after the C7 Stingray made its debut at the same show.

Combine that with the fact that some GM engineers have stated that more power won’t make a better Corvette because they’ve reached the limit of what a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive Corvette can do, and you’ve got a good case for a new mid-engine car on the way. Looking at the many clues supporting the existence of plans for a mid-engine ‘Vette only seems to increase the likelihood that the rumors are true:

* The media has already spotted prototype C8s in testing and they appeared to be mid-engine designs.

* GM’s Bowling Green, Corvette plant has recently doubled in size. The company has also dumped $290 million into the same plant for “upgrades.”

* GM recently trademarked the ZR1 name again.

* GM recently trademarked the Zora name for the first time.

Taking a not-so-wild guess, we would bet that the new 2018 C8 Corvette will be named the ZR1 or Zora (or a combination of both) and it will be powered by a new Gen III DOHC LT5 V-8.

Posted in Industry News

Just Arrived: 1970-72 El Camino & Wagon Tail Lamp Lens

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Everyone knows that a worn or damaged tail lamp lens can really detract from a restoration project, especially if the rest of the car is in near perfect shape. Dull or cracked tail lamp lenses are not easily restored and they aren’t easily replaced, as new factory parts have not been available for a long time. That’s why Original Parts Group, Inc. (OPGI) is pleased to announce the availability of new RESTOPARTS® brand exact reproductions of the original GM factory tail lamp lenses for 1970 through 1972 El Caminos and Chevelle station wagons from those same years that share the El Camino tailgate and tail lamp configuration. (RESTOPARTS® is OPGI’s proprietary manufactured line of ultra-high quality restoration parts).

These new tail lamp lenses are injection-molded on brand new tooling developed from genuine NOS parts. Made of red acrylic for a totally authentic appearance, each lens also features the correct GUIDE, SAE and LH/RH markings on the lens face just like the original equipment from General Motors (GM). Built to exact GM contours and dimensions to assure a perfect fit, the 1970-72 El Camino and Wagon Tail Lamp Lenses are currently sold in pairs under OPGI part # C210038 for $69.99. Original Parts Group, Inc. is the nation’s number one supplier and manufacturer of classic GM parts and accessories and is committed to maintaining that reputation. For more information, visit OPGI.com or call toll free: 1-800-243-8355.

 

Posted in Body - Electrical, New Products, Tail Lamps

Just Arrived: 1980-1987 Chevrolet El Camino & 1970-1972 Buick Skylark GS Rocker Panel Moldings

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Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI) is pleased to announce the availability of new RESTOPARTS® brand Rocker Panel Molding sets for the 1980-1987 Chevrolet El Camino and 1970-1972 Buick Skylark GS. Dented, scuffed or damaged rocker panel moldings that are clearly visible on the lower side of your GM classic can really detract from an otherwise excellent restoration. OPGI has addressed this problem with brand new, bright rocker panel sets reproduced to original GM factory specifications.

The 1980-1987 El Camino rocker panel moldings are beautifully crafted reproductions made to exact GM specifications and appearance. Sold in pairs for $163.99 under OPGI Part Number # KMR0873, each set is made from bright, anodized aluminum just like the originals. Installation requires ten GM-specific rocker molding clips sold separately for $14.99 under OPGI Part # L24004.

The 1970-1972 Skylark GS rocker panel moldings are precisely manufactured of bright anodized stainless steel and feature the correct red pinstripe across the entire length just like the original Buick GS components. However, these moldings can also be used on 1970-72 Skylark and GSX cars (that came from the factory with black stripes on the rocker panels) if the red stripe is sanded off (carefully!) and repainted black before installation. Sold in pairs, the Skylark GS moldings also include all of the hardware necessary for installation. The Skylark GS rocker panel moldings are sold for $242.99 under OPGI Part Number # S240649.

Original Parts Group, Inc. is the nation’s number one supplier and manufacturer of classic GM parts and accessories and remains committed to maintaining that reputation. For more information on these new RESTOPARTS® brand rocker panel moldings visit OPGI.com or call toll free: 1-800-243-8355.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Body Moldings & Trim, New Products

Polymer Power

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For the past century automobile engines have mostly been made of iron, aluminum and steel. However, these days, many new lightweight materials like carbon fiber and thermoplastics are finding their way into new cars. For some, the ultimate use of those weight-saving, yet strong plastic materials would be the ability to build an internal combustion engine almost entirely out of plastic. Now, it looks like that milestone may be rapidly approaching.


Composite Castings LLC and Solvay Specialty Polymers have teamed up to build a functional engine with plastic and carbon-fiber composite components, and they have big plans for it. To say it has taken a long time to develop a durable plastic engine would be an understatement, as Composite Castings along with the AMOCO oil company began working on the project back in 1980. They were able to develop the first composite/plastic engine at that time and it was called the “Polimotor,” or Polymer Motor.


The original Polimotor of the early 80’s incorporated reinforced plastic for the block walls, piston skirts, connecting rods, oil pan and portions of the cylinder head. Of course, the crankshaft, camshaft, piston crowns and combustion chambers still had to be made of iron or aluminum. Matti Holtzberg, president of Composite Castings, wanted to prove the concept worked and purchased a Lola T-616 GT Championship car and went racing with the first Polimotor. The car not only ran well, it scored two third place finishes during the 1984 and 1985 seasons, with only one breakdown recorded. Although the Polimotor generated interest from engineers and the media, the US market was more interested in big V8 engines at the time, and interest (and funding) for the Polimotor faded.


Fast forward to 2016 and Composite Castings along with Solvay Specialty Polymers have declared a renewed interest in the plastic engine project. Holtzberg says the time is right for a plastic engine that offers increased corrosion resistance, less noise and vibration, and of course, a lot less weight. He also claims there is now growing interest from several large automakers. “Our goal is to demonstrate the durability and performance of a plastic engine by using the latest in thermoplastics technology,” says Holtzberg. “At the same time, we want to showcase CO2 reduction technologies, such as turbocharging and electronic water pumps.”


Holtzberg says the new “Polimotor 2” engine will be a turbocharged four-cylinder, double overhead camshaft design that will produce 350 hp at 7,000 rpm. It will also weigh 90 pounds less than a similar metal engine. The polymer chemistries used in Polimotor 2 were not available 30 years ago and today’s new plastics allow many more metal engine components to be replaced with plastic ones.


Along with a reinforced plastic block, the water pump, oil pump, water inlet, throttle body, fuel rail, cam sprockets and other parts will be made of thermoplastic materials in Polimotor 2. Polimotor 2 will not be completely made of plastic of course, as current technology dictates that metal is still used for the combustion chambers, cylinder bores, crankshaft and flywheel. Interestingly, the use of plastic allows epoxies and other types of adhesives to be used to assemble many of the components and Holtzberg says “I see a day in the near future when cylinder heads will be bonded onto engine blocks.”


Currently, Composite Castings and Solvay Specialty Polymers have plans to install the Polimotor 2 into a road racing-style car and compete at Daytona, Sebring and other road racing circuits later this year. If all goes well, the team hopes to participate in the LeMans 24-hour race in 2017 or 2018. If the lightweight plastic engine concept proves viable on the racetrack, it is probably only a matter of time before thermoplastic engine blocks and other plastic engine components begin appearing on production cars.

 

 

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Posted in Industry News, Motor

Chevrolet’s Small Plans

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It is no secret that General Motors (GM) recognizes the need to cultivate the next generation of automotive enthusiasts as covered previously in this blog (GM Works to Ensure the Future of Restoration), now the Chevrolet arm of the company is directly engaging those younger buyers with the launch of a new website focused on the three smallest cars it offers. The website is called ChevySmallCars.com, and it highlights the virtues of the Spark, Sonic and Trax subcompact cars while presenting them in a variety of content aimed at first-time buyers.

The ChevySmallCars site offers videos for each vehicle as well as web-episodes featuring the Sonic, Spark, and Trax produced by “Funny or Die” comedian Al Madrigal. The site also includes a feature called “Sonic Sessions,” consisting of various musical acts performing inside a Sonic (sounds cramped). Another feature is a quiz called “Find Your Smallmate” that attempts to match cars to visitors’ personalities based on their quiz answers. Chevy has plans to add more content throughout the year, including a “Car Customizer” that displays customization ideas, as well as custom podcasts and other content described as “A celebration of everything small.” Chevrolet is obviously hoping the new website will engage younger consumers and help them discover the brand’s smallest vehicles on their own terms.

Chevrolet’s director of cars and crossovers, Steve Majoros, said in a press release that ChevySmallCars.com is aimed at “a younger, more socially savvy buyer… and the new website is a great way to expose a portion of our portfolio that not everyone knows about.” Majoros added “Sonic, Spark and Trax customers are most likely to be first-time new automobile purchasers and typically are more likely to stick with the brand as their needs and way of life changes and they have to go up to a larger sedan or SUV.”

Whether or not GM will actually sell small cars in big numbers this year remains to be seen. Gas prices have been low and more people of all ages bought SUVs last year. Just last month the supplies of small cars on dealer lots were at their highest level in seven years and some manufacturers have begun discounting prices and improving lease deals in order to move their small cars. Time will tell whether sales of the Spark, Sonic and Trax improve for Chevy this year. In the meantime, the new website sounds like it will be quite entertaining, if only for the younger demographic.

 

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Posted in Articles, Industry News

2016 edition 1963-76 Riviera Restoration Parts Catalog

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The Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI), 2016 edition of the 1963-76 Riviera restoration parts catalog is now available and contains everything you’ll need to restore your Buick classic. From interior and body parts to engine parts, sheet metal, bright trim and everything in between, it’s all inside this 184-page free catalog. Remember that all OPGI restoration parts catalogs are comprehensive automotive resources. Each catalog is packed full of valuable information, helpful tips and insights that help make it a valuable restoration tool in its own right.

Enthusiasts who already have an earlier Riviera catalog will still need the 2016t edition to keep up with all of the new parts and accessories added within the last year. Order your new 2016 catalog today and don’t forget there are also many more great catalogs to choose from! OPGI also offers free restoration parts catalogs for the following classic GM cars:

1954-76 Cadillac

1964-77 Chevelle & El Camino

1978-88 El Camino, Monte Carlo & Malibu

1961-72 Skylark, Special, GS & GSX

1964-73 GTO, 1961-73 Tempest & LeMans

1961-77 Cutlass, F-85 & 4-4-2

1970-77 Monte Carlo

1962-77 Pontiac Grand Prix and 1959-76 Bonneville/Catalina

As always – All OPGI catalogs are completely free and available by mail, phone (1-800-243-8355) or through the OPGI website at OPGI.com.

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Posted in New Products, Parts Catalog

OPGI Customer Car Spotlight: 1965 Chevelle Malibu

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1965 Chevelle Malibu 4DR

Dick Eytchison, Cortez, Colorado

Engine: Chevrolet ZZ383 Crate Motor with Holley 670 CFM Avenger, Hydraulic Roller, Stock Chevy rotating assembly, Hooker Super comp 1 3/4″ headers

Transmission:  Muncie 4-speed wide ratio M21

Wheels: CCW – 9 x 17 – 9 1/2 x 17

Tires: Bridgestone Potenza RE71R – 255/40 x 17 front and rear

Interior: New reproduction interior with Kirkey aluminum driver’s seat, roll cage and 5 point Crow 3″ harnesses

Paint: Mist Blue

Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI), Customer Dick Eytchison of Cortez, Colorado is the proud owner of this 1965 Chevelle Malibu that he has restored and modified as a purpose-built autocross competition car. Born in Indiana and raised in California prior to moving to Colorado, Dick always had a passion for Chevrolet vehicles.

After restoring several classic Chevys (with parts from OPGI) over the years, Dick met John Hotchkis of Hotchkis Suspension fame in 1990 and a friendship developed. Dick quickly became very interested in Pro-Touring car setups and modified the suspension of his ‘65 Chevelle to improve the handling. One thing led to another, and ten years later in 2010 Dick and his Chevelle entered an autocross event at a Goodguys show in Del Mar, California.

By 2012 Dick was an accomplished autocrosser and was entering (and winning) events across the country. His current goal is to be able to move up into the Pro Class for the 2016 race season. Although the definition of the term “Pro-Touring” is evolving and open to interpretation, we’d say Dick Eytchison’s street-driven Chevelle that he races on the weekends definitely meets the spirit of the genre.

*Be sure to click on the video below to see Dick’s Chevelle in action at the Goodguys 16th Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals last month where he took 2nd place in the Street Machine Class.

 

Posted in Articles, Car Shows, Customer Car Spotlight, OPGI Customer Car Spotlight

2016 edition 1970-77 Monte Carlo Restoration Parts Catalog

2016-Monte-Carlo

The much anticipated Original Parts Group Inc. (OPGI), 2016 edition of the 1970-77 Monte Carlo restoration parts catalog is now available. This 320-page free catalog contains everything you’ll need to restore your classic Chevy. From interior and body parts to engine parts, sheet metal, bright trim and everything in between, it’s all in this catalog. Remember that all OPGI restoration parts catalogs are comprehensive automotive resources. Each one is packed full of valuable information, helpful tips and insights, making it a valuable restoration tool on its own.

Enthusiasts who already have an earlier Monte Carlo catalog will still need the latest edition to keep up with all of the new parts and accessories added within the last year. Order your new 2016 catalog today and don’t forget there are also many more great catalogs to choose from! OPGI also offers free restoration parts catalogs for the following classic GM cars:

1954-76 Cadillac

1964-77 Chevelle & El Camino

1978-88 El Camino, Monte Carlo & Malibu

1961-72 Skylark, Special, GS & GSX

1964-73 GTO, 1961-73 Tempest & LeMans

1961-77 Cutlass, F-85 & 4-4-2

1963-76 Rivera

1962-77 Pontiac Grand Prix and 1959-76 Bonneville/Catalina

All OPGI catalogs are completely free and available by mail, phone (1-800-243-8355) or through the OPGI website at OPGI.com.

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Posted in New Products, Parts Catalog