Story: Tony Colombini, Photos: Brokken Images
I saw this Chevelle while cruisin’ on Instagram. The pics from Brokken Images caught my eye and my heart as I remembered the ’68 Chevelle I owned before the owner of this particular Chevelle was even born.
Cassie Nunes is a young lady who has been wrenchin’ in the garage with her dad Ernie since she was able to wrap her fingers around a wrench. She recalls that it was never a chore but good times that she thoroughly enjoyed. It was like watching a master at his craft and great father/daughter bonding time. Ernie has been working on cars since he was 15 and owns Conejo Auto Repair Services (C.A.R.S.) in Southern California.
The 1968 model year marked the third redesign of the Chevelle and featured a newly sculpted body with tapered front fenders and a rounded beltline. It had a long hood and short deck with a “kicked-up” rear quarter. I really dig how they incorporated the now mandated side markers in the tail-lights and how, in the ’68s only, the tail lights fit in the rear molding along the beltline. The semi-fastback was also a new feature of this model year. The nose has a forward moving high brow with distinctive angled trim falling down and back along the rockers, exposing the grille on the sides. The bumpers fit well in the body line – a nice design characteristic that carried through to the Malibu and El Camino models.
This isn’t the first ’68 Chevelle this young lady has owned. Her previous car was rear-ended and totaled. She liked the design so much that she searched for another to replace it. This one was originally “Ocean Teal” and after a front-end fender bender Cassie had a special emerald green mixed to “make it hers”.
This car is a numbers matching unit with the original 327. The trans was recently swapped for a Turbo 350. The steering wheel was replaced with a Grant Classic Series drilled three-bar design. The seats were re-upholstered and covered with the original design vinyl. The radio was upgraded to a classic looking RetroSound system.
The top showed some of the ubiquitous bubble found under the original vinyl so the top was removed and the sheet metal repaired with a new vinyl top laid back down. She made a good choice as vinyl tops seem to be making a comeback these days. Rally wheels with beauty rings and raised white lettered tires complete the muscle car look.
Chevy A-Bodies are common in Cassie’s family. Her mom has a completely customized black ’72 Chevelle that was her inspiration to get one of her own. Dad specially built a 500 cid big-block for mom’s car. Her brother owned a ’71 El Camino for 15 years and sold it recently to help pay for his wedding, and her uncle owns a ’69 SS Chevelle, packed with a 454. Cassie’s sister is a bit of a rebel with a ’64-1/2 Mustang, but we won’t put her down for that.
Future plans for the vehicle include a new dash pad, door panels, and wheels. Eventually, she plans to build it up as a pro-street style replacing the small-block 327 with a 396 big-block. It’s great to see a 20-something interested in these classic cars, and a young lady at that. You can follow Cassie on Instagram @68ChevyBeast. Keep up the good work and never quit wrenching!
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