Special to The Union
Like so many Roamin Angels, Doug Vandenakker spent a lot of time in his youth tinkering with cars and enjoyed it. Like many of them, he also later found that time and money became short with the pressures of work and family. The last time he did any serious “fixing-up” of a car was in 1970. When he retired, he gave up golf and needed a new hobby. So he returned to that love of his youth, performance cars. Having had a ’66 and a ’68 Chevelle Super Sport in years past, he began to search for that model Chevrolet. This time he wanted a convertible. Prices for a restored one were quite high, so when he found one in 2005 at a reasonable price that needed work, he bought it. This ’72 Chevelle SS clone was well on its way to completion, with the drive train and paint already redone. It had a 427 CID engine that mated to the original Turbo 400 auto trans and 12-bolt rear end. The main problem was the interior. The “rag” top was appropriately named and described the rest of the interior as well. Doug found he had forgotten a lot in 35 years since he had last tackled serious automotive work. His Roamin Angel father-in-law had spoken highly of the club, so Doug joined and found a treasure trove of information. With a little help, he redid the seats, console, carpet, dash and top. Now his Chevelle is on the road and racking up the miles. Last year, he and wife Rosanne went with fellow Roamin Angels to Scottsdale, AZ. Although she was never a car person, Rosanne has fallen in love with the Chevelle and enjoys riding in it on club activities. And Doug feels like a kid again when he drives it.
For more information about the Roamin Angels Car Club, go to http://www.roaminangels.com, call 432-8449 or write to Roamin Angels, PO Box 1616, Grass Valley, CA 95945
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