There’s nothing more rewarding than bringing a cool car out of mothballs and putting it back on the road. Ironically, one of the temptations that we enthusiasts have to fight off is the urge to tear such a garage queen apart and rebuild it from the ground up. That often ends up with the car sitting for an even longer period of time in project jail. A better option is to make that rediscovered gem reliable so it can be driven and enjoyed first, then make updates as time and your budget allows.
Like most cars that have been sitting for an extended period, time had not been particularly kind to the 1964 Chevelle shown here. A number of critical components have deteriorated over the years and will have to be replaced to ensure reliability. Typically, those parts are starting, ignition, and cooling system related. Fortunately, installing any of those items isn’t difficult to do and they are readily available from Duralast.
Unlike many over-the-counter replacement brands, Duralast parts meet or exceed OEM specifications. That means you can count on them to fit and perform as they should, and for extra peace of mind all Duralast parts are warrantied. Duralast’s vast array of components can be found at duralastparts.com as well as autozone.com and autozonepro.com.
One of the first things we inspected was the cooling system. While the radiator was sound, it needed to be thoroughly flushed and as expected all the hoses, thermostat, and radiator cap were due for replacement. It was no surprise that the battery was also junk, however, even after a Duralast replacement was installed, the original starter still wasn’t up to the task of spinning the small-block. A new Duralast mini starter cured that problem and we were rewarded with the sound of the engine turning over with a twist of the key.
Next, we turned our attention to the ignition system. It’s a sure bet any car sitting unused can benefit from a complete tune-up. Sometime in the Chevelle’s history an electronic ignition conversion replaced the points and condenser, so that would remain. However, the distributor cap and rotor along with the old and brittle spark plug wires and a questionable-looking coil were tossed out and replaced with new Duralast components to bring the ignition system back to like-new condition. To make sure the electrical system would have all the juice needed and the battery will always be fully charged, a new alternator and drivebelt were added to the list of Duralast parts used.
Finally, new fuel, air, and oil filters were put in place, fresh coolant was added, and the engine was topped with oil. With affordable, quality parts from Duralast, along with some time and TLC, our 1964 Chevelle is out of the garage and back on the road again. That’s where it belongs.