Bill owns Chevelle Specialists, and this is his shop. Before you go crying foul about our featuring another pro shop in this section of the magazine, you should know that Bill's shop is in the backyard of his house in a quiet Phoenix neighborhood. Bill's been working on cars since he was 14. The first car he built was a Model A. He says that's when he got the passion for working on cars. He spent about a decade building Ferraris-turbo kits, race cars, and high-end stuff for the upper-echelon Ferrari owner. He eventually got tired of that and went to work in an automotive paint store. During that time, Bill began doing side jobs repairing old musclecars. When the paint shop went under, Bill expanded his garage and founded Chevelle Specialists, doing high-quality restorations and updates of classic GM muscle. While on a recent trip to Phoenix, we were led there by one of Bill's customers, who promised us we wouldn't be disappointed with his shop--and we weren't.
A. The sky on the ceiling was painted by a mural artist who owed Bill a favor. Bill says a lot of people don't notice it, but he likes it a lot. It sets a nice mood, and on those 107-degree summer days, he can keep the garage doors closed but not feel like he's stuck inside.
B. The '69 Judge on the lift belongs to the Chevelle owner's brother. Their father, who recently passed away, was the original owner. Bill is fixing a nagging driveline vibration and upgrading the car to be more fun to drive. He did a front-drum-to-disc conversion and added power steering. It's an original Ram Air car with a 400-cid big-block, a four-speed, and factory air.
C. This '71 Chevelle was flatbedded to Bill's shop three months ago in very bad shape. "I recommended that the owner not keep the car. It was going to cost him a lot to restore it," he says. It actually runs and drives now with a new 454 and Saginaw four-speed. There are 4.11:1 gears and a limited-slip diff in the 8.5-inch 10-bolt.
D. That's a '64 Tempest behind the lift. It was originally a 326/Powerglide car. Its owner has had the car for about 10 years and decided it was time to freshen it up. Bill's swapping in a 455/700-R4 combo that is sure to make lots of tire smoke with the help of the 3.55:1 gears in its limited-slip-equipped 10-bolt.
E. This smaller room in the back was Bill's original shop and where he did all his Ferrari building. Currently, he's got his personal cars in there: a '67 Chevelle two-door post and a '66 Datsun 1600 convertible with a Ford 298/Top Loader combination.