The Chevelle came with aftermarket wheels and tires, but they were in terrible condition. The tires had huge tears in the sides, and the wheels were rusty, dinged up, and had peeling chrome. They were too wide, and they rubbed whenever we hit a bump or turned a corner. We had four still-in-good-shape tires lying around (mounted on stock steel wheels), so we bolted them onto the Chevelle until we had more time and money to get a nicer set. Even after cleaning them up they didn't look perfect, but at least they were safe to drive on.
The front and rear part of the headliner was on the shabby side. It hung down so far that we couldn't see out of the rear window and parts of the windshield. We didn't have the money to replace the headliner, and we didn't necessarily want to tear it out, so we bought a 59-cent box of ladies' hair pins to hold it up. It wasn't pretty, but it worked.
Obviously the interior has seen better days. We didn't particularly care for the hashed-out looking seat nor the spring-in-the-butt feel, so we stuffed a few towels in the hole and covered it with a near-new bath towel. Custom, eh?
With the car running in top condition (sort of), we were off to the smog station. With all of the fresh engine parts, including an oil change and fresh coolant, we were curious to see how many poisonous toxins the engine would belch. The smog guy seemed to be laughing as he stuck the infamous "tailpipe sniffer" into our monstrous 17/8-inch single exhaust outlet.
The smog guy at the local "Pass or Don't Pay" wasn't exactly impressed by the power of our mill. However, it didn't stop him from flogging the engine during the test.
Zealous Associate Editor Miles Cook was obviously excited that our mean machine passed smog inspection. Even though the car was near the bump for legality, Miles kept spouting, "I told you it would pass!" So much for all the clunker bills stating that we'll be cleaning the air by removing old cars from the roads.