Ol’ Faithful – David Kostenbader’s 1970 Chevelle Malibu

Photos/Story: Tony Colombini

When Dave first bought this car 20+ years ago, he had some crazy visions for it. The 1970-’72 Chevelles have a particularly tough look – something to make any muscle car enthusiast yearn for. Dave is a high-performance guru and building the car up to a competitive racer was option one.

Times got a little rough for Dave (as they often do for many of us), so making the car a dependable daily was option two. He called on his buddy Ron Cambra to help with the stance and style. Three-inch lowering springs, control arm bushings and a rear sway bar set the car nicely on a set of Weld Racing Wheels. Now it was up to Dave to keep the drivetrain dependable. Which he did. He calls the car Ol’ Faithful, as it never lets him down.

Sitting in the lot at an Original Parts Group Car Show, Dave’s Chevelle won a credit at the counter where he picked up a new front bumper and headlamp trim. Far from done, at least the front end is styling nicely! The metallic green and silver pearl striped paint is estimated to be nearly 30 years old and is showing some signs of clear coat separation on the top. At some point before Dave bought the car, the quarter panels were replaced. It doesn’t take a forensic scientist to see where they grafted them on, as the lead is revealing itself. Under the hood sits the original 350, a 700R4 and a 12-bolt rear with 3.73 gears.

Like many of the cars you read about, it’s the people behind the cars that are particularly interesting. Dave is one of those guys who will offer a hand in helping his fellow Underoath Car Club members and other fuel fed fans as well. From detailing cars and bikes to helping wrench high-performing engines, Dave is there to help his buddies get back on the blacktop. Dave is also an avid model car builder and has made many models of his friend’s cars. Certainly gas runs in his veins and he has become one with his car in the moniker of Ol’ Faithful. Although, Dave will admit the Ol’ is him and Faithful is the car.

He grew up with a father who would take him to Costa Mesa Speedways each week and to OCIR on race days. Dave has crewed with a Super Gas racer for 7 years where they won the Autolite Nationals in Sonoma in ’96. Today, Dave and Mike Maxwell are helping their Underoath brother Nick Cuaresma with his racer “Greenbrier longroof” winning 3rd in points for the NMCA series. When you are rolling around Southern California cruise nights and shows you will be sure to run into Dave and his faithful Chevelle.

Shop for Chevelle parts right now at www.opgi.com

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