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This Restored 1969 Chevelle 300 Is A Sleeper Hiding ZL1 Power

Published January 17, 2017

Some people, like Albert Galdi, appreciate the stock factory exterior of the vehicles they love. In this case, he was aiming to build a power street racer hiding inside the body of a sleeper.

Finding the Right Donor Car

Albert is no stranger to restorations and has done many of them in his lifetime. In that life, he developed a passion for Chevy’s top performance classics in the ZL1 and COPO lines. After restoring a COPO Chevelle, he decided it was too valuable to risk damaging it.

He settled on doing it all himself and basing it on the A Body using his ground up building skills. The 300 Deluxe Chevelle hit the right mark for the look he was aiming for so he got to work. From there, a friend found him a used model in great condition and only 38,000 miles on the odometer.

Exterior

The donor car was rust free so he was able to save many of the original parts. The tail panel, tub and doors, as well as a factory SS hood paired with N.O.S. fenders. Even the small details were in the right condition to keep so the grille, handles, and trim were all restored.

After a two year wait on his paint job, he got the car’s body back but with damage done in transit. The rotisserie had let the car rock in the truck leaving strips of fresh paint reduced to bare metal again. He settled on building his own paint booth in his garage and giving it a coat of Alien Green himself.

Interior

With the different style of the the 300 Deluxe, parts don’t transfer easily from other Chevelle models. N.O.S. supplied vinyl and cloth to redo the seats as well as material for a new head liner. After no luck in finding mats that fit the car properly, he ended up installing carpet throughout the floor sections.

Era correct gauges give the right look and feedback that the 1969 would have originally had. From there, the rest of the trim inside just needed a clean and polish to look brand new.

Engine and Drivetrain

With the car prepped inside and out, Albert was ready to give his 300 Deluxe sleeper its power. The big and small blocks optioned in the sixes and V8s wouldn’t give him what he wanted. That’s where the ZL1 block started its life in his Chevelle, before being rebuilt to give even more.

Its rebuild went from bottom to top with new cranks and rods as well as pistons and headers. Some of these are aftermarket while others came from other crate engines. The Autogear M22 transmission sends the power to the 15×7 steel wheels wrapped in G70 Wide Oval rubber.

Now the car draws attention at every show Albert takes it to. Not only is the 300 Deluxe a limited model but Albert’s packs power. In his mind, GM should have taken this route to make the midsize a contender in its second generation.

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James Murrell
About James Murrell

I love to research and admire all sorts of vehicles from restored classics to top shelf supercars, monstrous offroaders to weird concept vehicles. I absolutely adore any vehicle I can get behind the wheel of.

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