Publish date: 2016-08-03 10:22:47
Jimmy Page has spent his lifetime around cars and made it into a business. He started working for his dad and eventually had his own several dealerships scattered throughout the East Coast. Although he retired from the business and now lives in Boca Raton, Flordia, he still continues to buy and sell cars. He is known among his friends as “the world’s highest paid lot boy.” Jimmy might have bought and sold a lot more awesome cars every year than most of us will own in our lifetime. Although most of Jimmy’s collection are rare and very expensive Porsches and Ferraris, he prefers to drive his GM muscle cars the most. His daily ride is an upgraded 5th generation Camaro but Jimmy has also added a lot of miles to this 1971 Chevelle. He bought it for the sole purpose of using it as a regular cruiser.
“I built this car with the idea that if you wanted to get in it and drive 500 miles you wouldn’t feel like someone beat you to death after you got out of it,” Jimmy said. It is not surprising that he enjoys restomod cars and he is not fond of the extremely modified bodies that a lot of builders have been famous of. He prefers to have an original exterior but with the modern internal comforts. The exterior of this Chevelle is mostly original steel panels that have been restored and finished in a single-stage urethane coat done by Page Customs. Jimmy has 10 other siblings and one of them has a restoration shop located in Oilville, Virginia. When he saw this 1971 Chevelle being sold on eBay, he saw the opportunity to have his sibling restore it and show the world their talents.
“It was a blue plate California car. For a 1971 vintage to have a blue plate meant that it had been continually registered since new. All the gaps looked like normal GM. It looked like a no-hit, rust-free car and it damn near was. There were just two little [rust] spots near the rear/back window and the left taillight. The hood is original. We just wiped the grilles off the backside of it. It was Richard James’ idea to do a single-stage paint. There are two colors you can get slick with single-stage: white and black—and black was never an option. I think guys get carried away and cars are too shiny. It’s like lipstick on grandma,” said Jimmy. The Chevelle’s finish was then matched with navy striped with red lines that were based from the Old 4-4-2.
The exterior design was a memento to his past when he owned an Oldsmobile dealership and the interior is inspired by the present. The Italian carpet used is the same one that was installed in Jimmy’s most recent restored Ferraris that was done by Anthony Danis. The Italian carpet is then matched by Alcantara headliners and navy Garrett leather.
Bruce Crawford from Hardwood Classics created the custom birdseye maple and ebony steering wheel with Aniline dye to add a blue shade. Because Jimmy intended this Chevelle to be a daily driver, it has Corbeau front sits and the dashboard is fitted with custom Vintage Air and Auto Meter gauges. Lizard Skin insulators were used to help regulate the interior temperature. Although the interior has been fitted with modern parts, Jimmy still wanted to have a classic feel to the interior. “I wanted to leave a ‘trail of breadcrumbs.’ I don’t like custom consoles made of wood with leather and carpet in the trunk. I wanted it to be straightforward. I wanted people who are knowledgeable about automobiles to be intrigued and curious. They’d pull on the thread and see what else is there,” he said.
When you see the 19-inch custom wheels designed after Pro Touring wheels then you’ll know that this Chevelle is no longer a stock classic. The front and rear Budnick Spyder forged wheels measures 19×9 and 19×13, respectively. They are then fitted with the best Michelin Pilot Sports radials, measuring 225 and 345 mm. Brembo brakes with 6-piston for the front and 4-piston for the back.
The Chevelle sits on a complete Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis that provide a very modern ride that features CNC-cut and TIG-welded 10-gauge boxed rails, large control arms, C6 spindles, and 9-inch independent rear-end. “When I saw the Roadster Shop’s IRS I knew I had to have it because of the technology involved in it,” Jimmy said.
Jimmy contacted Redline Motorsports to build the heart of his Chevelle. Jimmy became close friends with Redline’s owners, Howard Tanner after Redline upgraded several of his Corvettes and 5th Gens. Jimmy wanted to make have a simple engine that will be perfect for a daily cruiser and feels natural for the Chevelle. The engine features Callies 4.100-inch stroke crankshaft and matched with forged rods and Diamond 4.130-inch pistons to make a total 440 cubic inch displacement. The engine is then controlled by an E38 engine computer that has been calibrated by Redline Motorsports. The engine is then matched with a TR6060 6-speed manual transmission built by Liberty and a Mcleod twin disc clutch.
The build took 18 months to complete but the inspiration was taken from Jimmy’s 50 years of life spent around the automobile industry. This 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle is certainly a great example of a Restomod and it is great to know that it gets a lot of love from Jimmy.
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