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This week’s podcast is ready to go, and for the first time in a long time I decided to not have a featured guest on the show, but instead to do a full recap of the trip my son and I took to get the car from Florida and to return it back to Allison Customs in New Mexico. While I’ll let the pictures and show tell the bulk of the story, the trip was a success, was tiring, was eventful, and was something I’ll never forget – mostly because my son Dallas was my travel buddy on this trip. My dad (also named Dallas) had come along to deliver the car, but due to some health reasons could not attend the return trip. I decided that it needed to stay as a father-son adventure, so the two of us spend 8 days together in the big red truck, off for the adventure of our lives. Truth be told, I lied a little bit here – because I do have a featured guest in this show….my 4-year old son, Dallas!
As a little background of the work going on in Florida, the body and paint work done by Street Metal Concepts in Orlando was done, perfect, and flawless by mid September. Zip and Don spent 50 straight 16-hour days (no exaggeration) to make the car straighter and more perfect than it’s ever been! For a full photo documentation of the entire process I suggest you check out their Facebook page. The work, effort, blood, sweat, heart, and physical energy they expended was utterly amazing.
To help get a jumpstart on assembly, before Dallas and I arrived the Chevelle went down to Jupiter, FL to spend a few days with Danny Giustino at Muscle Express for drivetrain assembly – mainly so we could get a jumpstart and shave some time off of our already tight SEMA deadline of November 3. Danny and his team installed the engine, fought the header fitment, installed the radiator and oil cooler, moved the engine forward to continue fighting header fitment, plumbed the brake and fuel lines, fought the header fitment some more, and so on. Then it was back up to Orlando so Don and Zip could install the bumpers (expertly plated by AIH Chrome), glass, hood, trunk, and all of the remaining brightwork.
Now that you have all of that info…here’s a quick recap of the trip.
1) Dallas and I made it to Orlando on Tuesday night and spent the night with Zip and his family. At some point during the night, my truck was towed for not being an approved vehicle to part on the street.
2) Wednesday morning we found the truck. $350 later, truck was pulling the trailer down to Jupiter, FL.
3) Worked on the Chevelle at Danny’s. Danny’s wife Wendy spoiled Dallas rotten, took us to dinner, got Dallas a (no kidding) Teenage-Mutant-Ninga-Turtle-Baloon outfit, made us breakfast, and on and on.
4) Towed the Chevelle back to Zip’s on Thrusday. Front and rear glass were installed.
5) Zip welded up the motor mounts and Don started on the bright work and window felts. By 2am Saturday morning, bumpers were on, it looked like a car, and we loaded it up into Aaron’s cargo trailer. (Side note, loading a car that does not run, does not have functional brakes, and no driveshaft into a tall trailer without ramps in the dark is really hard to do.)
6) Made it to Ocala, FL by 4AM and spent the night with by buddy Kirk from National Parts Depot. He put our truck and trailer into the NPD warehouse, gave us a bed, and his wife made breakfast while D watched a show about mermaids.
7) Made it to Monroe, LA Saturday night. So far, so good.
8) Driving across Texas, Dallas puked in Dallas. Boucy truck, too much junk food, and construction traffic are not to his liking.
9) Made it to NM border and stopped for the night.
10) Got to Farmington NM, dropped the CHevelle off at the exhaust shop (another tricky thing), dropped the trailer at Allison Customs, spent the night in Denver with a college buddy, made it home by 7PM Tuesday night.
12) 5500 miles and we feel fine!
Before I close this out though, if you’re wondering whether taking a 4-year old boy on a long road trip is hard….it is, but it was so very worth it. I loved the time we had together, and I’ve marveled at how creative and thoughtful he is. It’s very clear that the love and time my wife has spent with him has rubbed off – he’s so much like her! I am definitely the luckiest guy in the world.
This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot - your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!