22 April 2010

Our Cars: 1966 Chevelle SS396

Hagerty employee Davin Reckow’s 1966 Chevelle SS396 is practically part of the family: It had a starring role in his wedding.

"My wife and I had a deal that the car would be in our wedding procession ... I spent the day before and morning of our wedding assembling the interior and installing the exterior trim – just in time to pickup my groomsmen."

Employee: Davin Reckow is Hagerty’s parts supply specialist. He’s been with the company for 19 months.

Car: Reckow has owned a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS396 for 19 years.

Car background: “My fascination with cars started very early with Hot Wheels and model cars. I had many feet of the orange race track and spent a lot of afternoons finding the fastest car in the collection. It was always a Chevy! My interest in building and restoring cars started with models that have to be painted and put together. They’re also great opportunity for some custom upgrades!

Why a Chevelle? “To me, a ’66 Chevelle is the perfect muscle car. Every inch has Mojo. It goes 100 mph sitting still.”

Repairs and Modifications (planned or completed): “I started a full frame-off restoration in the fall of 1994 and had it back on the road in the fall of 1996. The restoration included installation of new floor pans, rockers and quarters. The frame and suspension were fully stripped and refinished both aesthetically and mechanically. The motor, transmission and rear axle were refurbished and upgraded, with street/strip modification, such as forged pistons, Comp Cam, stall converter, shift kit, 3:73 gear and four-corner disc brakes. The paint is two-stage urethane with clear coat; it was my very first attempt at automotive painting.

“I personally rebuilt every component on the car with exception of the steering box, which has never been apart. The interior is a custom creation by my wife Tanya and me, with the talent of my father. So at the end of the day all successes and failures are mine.”

Hobby activities (clubs, events etc.): “I am an active member of ACES (American Chevelle Enthusiast Society) and attend the National Chevelle Show in Nashville if my work schedule permits.”

Interesting Details or Stories: “I purchased the Chevelle from a high school buddy that let me borrow it a few times to cruise the beach in Manistee, Mich. A few months after I took ownership, I found out that the car was a real SS and Regal Red; the only icing would have been a four-speed!

“I started the restoration at a rental home with a one-car garage. The body was removed from the home-built rotisserie just in time to be mated to the frame and transferred to our first home with a two-car garage.

“Tanya and I had a deal that the car would be in our wedding procession along with three other classic cars. To accomplish the goal, I spent the day before and morning of our wedding assembling the interior and installing the exterior trim – just in time to pickup my groomsmen.”

Favorite Drive: “Driving through the countryside of Tennessee (Nashville) during Chevell-a-bration with some 400 other Chevelles.”

Best and Worst Moment: “It’s hard to have a “worst” moment, but there was one time coming back from Chicago on the 1997 Hotrod Power Tour when one of the bolts holding the right front caliper came off, making for some hairy noise on I-75. I owe a big thank you to the local Belle Tire for letting me borrow a jack and bolt to make the repair.

“My best moment with the Chevelle was coming home with my new bride and the “just married” streamers on the car. Now it’s the request from my 7-year-old daughter asking if we can go for ice cream.”

 

1 Reader Comment

  • 1
    Harold Bass Andalusia, Alabama March 1, 2014 at 09:35
    I like the story of your 66 and am in the process of insuring mine with Hagerty. I have recently bought a 1967 chevelle SS396 convertible. I had a 67 coupe in 1968. The coupe was a 4 speed but I am now 66 years old and wanted an automatic in this ragtop.

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