July 2012 Ridez Winner Selected!

Each month, Covercraft Industries provides one lucky winner with a custom patterned WeatherShield HP cover in gray or taupe color ($245 to $644 value) with a Motorz logo. All you have to do is submit a photo of your ride for our Ridez Page and the staff here selects a monthly winner!

As always, selecting just one winner when there are so many great entries is one tough job. This month, we’ve chosen another Chevelle, a 1969 this time around owned by Mike and Renae Loeffler of Apache Junction, Arizona. The story is one that’s sure to pull at a few heart strings, but in the end – the results, and story are amazing.

Read on to check out their awesome ride, and an example of the cover you could win next month!

We’ve had quite a few Ridez winners now, July is our eighth – and each month the stories that come in get better and better. Every vehicle comes along with some sort of background story, be it a current late-model or that rusted out classic rusting away in a barn or empty lot. But this month, Mike sent us his story and deep down we just knew between the level of work completed and how much love and passion were put into the vehicle that the story needed to be shared!

Mike and Renae were not the original owners of their 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle, it belonged to Mike’s cousin, and best friend Gene – who passed away unexpectedly. Gene’s sons had given Mike the Chevelle, which had been sitting idle for 28 years. Removing the car from where it was sitting, brought back memories of Mike’s childhood as he had helped his cousin work on the car when he was 14 years old. In Mike’s own words “We had to remove this car out of Gene’s backyard with a backhoe. As we were removing it, we found that all four Weld Drag Rite wheels were literally buried in the dirt!” You’d never be able to tell by looking at Mike’s pictures, but he tells us that the car still sports those very wheels (after hours of elbow grease)! That’s just a hint of the story behind this car.

The Details

When Mike started out with this project, it was literally half a car – as it did rust away for 28 years after all. Mike stripped the body from the frame and had the interior and exterior media-blasted down to the bare metal. He also completed all the metal work on the body, including installing a piece of metal he removed from a donor car and cut and removed a piece of metal from the outerskin of the drivers side wheel well. After he was done with the metal work, he used body filler to get it ready for paint. It took the couple a full year to find the right body shop, but once they did they did the final prep of the vehicle for custom paint.

While the body was being worked on, Mike got to work on stripping the frame, and sent it off for powder coat with a handful of other parts. Once everything was complete, Mike assembled his frame and all of the suspension parts. He installed a 2 inch disk brake spindle drop with tubed upper A-frames, all new ball joints, new tie rods and bushings, close ratio power steering box, and converted the brakes to disks in all four corners. Mike stalled his differential with a new style four link anti hop bars, then went ahead and mounted his 383 cu-in Stroker engine he built himself along with a 700R4 transmission built by his friend Kenny Burns at K&B Transmissions. The tranny is actually out of a 4×4 and had to be retrofitted for a car’s driveline, which was then custom made extra heavy duty due to the vehicles power.

The cars electrical was also done by Mike, from the headlights to the taillights he tells us – 21 circuits in all. He purchased a wire harness from EZ Wire, which made the job that much easier because it was almost OEM. Moving inside the vehicle, his interior was done by Escobedo’s Upholstery where he dropped off some bucket sears from Summit Racing and had the shop contour his rear seats to match the fronts. He also chose all of his own custom colors and went with a Chevy Bowtie embroidered on the seat backs and door panels. He took everything home and did the install himself, as to not scratch his one off custom blue paint job – that features traditional racing stripes on the trunk lid, and a custom flamed racing stripe on the hood.

Mike also removed the factory air conditioning and installed an upgraded Vintage Air system that uses 134a refrigerant. He finished off his interior by installing a Dakota digital gauge cluster in place of the OEM – bringing the car a touch of upgraded electronics with the repaired or replaced OEM materials. The results are amazing, the car came out absolutely beautiful in the end.

Mike also sent us this video, along with his many photos:


By completing this project, memorializing his cousin and best friend Gene – Mike fulfilled his promise to his Aunt and Gene’s sons that he would finish it. Mike tells us it’s taken him a lot of sweat, tears and years – but he and his wife enjoy taking the car out to as many shows and benefits as they can!

Congrats again to Mike for submitting his vehicle for Ridez and for winning the Motorz-branded car cover from Covercraft.

To enter your ride for this month’s contest, click here.

Check out more photos of Mike’s Chevelle below!


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