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July's Cool Ride: Tom's 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle 396

This car has been in my family since 1983. I drove it through high school, took it to prom twice, and raced at the High School Drags at the local drag strip. I drove it through college and on our honeymoon. I drove it more than 100,000 miles with a Maaco paint job and the wrong powertrain.

The frame-off restoration took over 20 years. The powertrain includes a 396 producing 400 horsepower, an M-20 wide ratio 4-speed, and a 3.55 12 bolt positraction rear axle. My brother completed the body and paint, I did upholstery and wiring, my dad fabricated many parts, and we all, including my wife and 2 sons worked on the assembly.

We have a number of air conditioned classic Chevys in our family that have utilized Original Air components in our restoration/134a conversions including a '68 CST K20 PU, '65 Chevelle, 2 '70 Chevelles, and a '72 Chevelle. I knew I wanted to keep the look as original as possible on my '69, so I utilized the Original Air High Efficiency Condenser, Receiver/Drier, half of a barrier hose set (I wanted to keep the factory muffler on the compressor), and a recalibrated POA valve. My brother and I assembled and charged the system and it has provided dependable and comfortable cruising passenger temperatures since completed.

The car has earned trophies at many shows and been photographed for commercial projects as well. The car has been with me for 36 plus years and there are no plans for the car to ever leave the family! Thank you for providing quality parts to the classic car restoration community!

All Original Air Components:

Condenser, hoses, drier, expansion valve, and recalibrated POA valve.

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