Race Car Fabricator to Show Classic '64 Chevelle
Curran has been a member of the Goodguys Rod and Custom Association for over 15 years and has been working on cars most of his life. Originally from Vermont, the 58-year-old Curran has lived in the Charlotte area for 11 years.
He's worked in Hendrick Motorsports' chassis department for four years, and currently serves as a fabricator on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series cars driven by Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.
Away from work, Curran's most recent fabrication project was a 1936 Chevrolet pickup truck he completely rebuilt.
"We built that from a basket case," Curran explained. "We bought it down in South Carolina and it was just a cab and frame, we built everything."
It took Curran two years to finish the pickup truck and he drove it for three years. Then in March, he decided its cramped quarters were a bit much for his family.
"The pickup was just a little too small for us. So I sold the '36 to a lady in Virginia and bought the Chevelle," he said. "We couldn't take the grand babies in the little '36 pickup, so one of the reasons we picked up the Chevelle was because it had a back seat and we could take the kids."
The Super Sport version of the 1964 Chevelle Malibu was one of Chevrolet's early entries into the muscle-car era. The two-door sedan weighed 3,000 pounds, was available only with a V-8 engine and featured slotted wheels to help cool the brakes.
Official production figures claim that only 67,100 Malibu Super Sports were built in 1964, so it's a bit ironic that Curran's car has North Carolina roots.
"This Chevelle originally came out of Taylorsville, N.C. A 70-year-old man had it and he didn't drive it at all. It was kept in storage," Curran said. "I met him at a rod run in March and ended up buying the Chevelle from him."
Other than a new paint job and a rebuilt transmission, Curran's bright red Malibu SS is still much like the day it rolled off the assembly line 42 years ago. That's what attracted Curran to the car.
"It's all original. It's a Super Sport Chevelle with a four-speed transmission and a 327-cubic-inch V-8," he said. "I really liked the car. It had a good body and I was a little tired of redoing those old rust buckets."
Curran says owning a classic car is always a work in progress, and has future plans for his Chevelle.
"We're probably going to rebuild the engine, redo the front end and I'm updating the drive line as I go," he said. "But I love the car. I drive it to work everyday. The guys at the race shop like going out to lunch in it."
The 13th annual Goodguys Southeastern Nationals will feature more than 3,000 pre-1972 hot rods, street rods, customs, classics, muscle cars and trucks.
Also included in the weekend-the fastest growing show on the Goodguys calendar-is a manufacturer's midway, swap meet, car corral area with vehicles for sale, model car and pedal car show plus a chance to ride around the famous 1.5 mile Charlotte Motor Speedway oval at 130-plus miles per hour in the passenger seat of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race car.
Saturday night will see the return of the popular Cruise Under the Lights, where hundreds of hot rods and customs take to the 1.5-mile superspeedway for several laps.
Tickets for the Oct. 27-29 Goodguys Southeastern Nationals will be available on event days. General admission is $15 for adults with children ages 7 to 12 admitted for $6. Children 6 and under are admitted free.