Mcmillan Rod and Custom

Personal Projects

If there was any doubt to our commitment to the hobby, here are some pictures of some of our inhouse projects/obsessions.

Here's a little history on my "survivor" car. First off if you haven't figured it out, it's a 1966 Chevelle Convertible. It's a true SS 396 car. It's somewhat rare as it came with a 360 HP 396 and a factory 3speed manual transmission (factory 3spd console). The car was originally bought in southeast WI and the owner was a doctor in the military and was transferred to CA (when I bought the car the original convertible top was on it and a small rip was patched/sewn up with surgical suitchers.) The car returned to WI in 1972-73 and that person sold it to the person I purchased it from in 1974.

In the fall of 1974 as a junior in high school I sold my 64 Chev Belair and purchased this 66 Chevelle ragtop for the then premium price of $700. Shortly after buying it the clutch went south and forced me to spend a little more money on it.

It might help to mention that I worked part-time in a gas station/garage (yeah we really pumped gas for people back then) and also worked on a farm to help subsidize my car hobby. My parents were NOT car people and said (hoped) that I would outgrow this obsession.
The motor smoked a little but that was a cheap fix with valve seals. I never drove the car in the winter so the body stayed very nice, not your typical WI car. In the spring of 1976 I had a local body shop repaint the car in 1976 Corvette Yellow, at the time no one painted anything this bright and it was the talk of our small town (some thought it was great, some laughed.)

After high school it was my summer driver, not much was done to it other than general maintenance for lack of funds. After attending a year of tech school to become a welder I got my first good paying job and proceeded to make some changes. First thing I did was trade the 3 speed for a four speed (fortunately I kept the 3 speed shift handle and linkage and never changed the 3 speed console). Then the motor came out, rebuilt with a mild cam, intake and headers. That was followed by a set of 3:73 gears and a posi unit and it was off to the races, literally. I first raced it at Amber Green Drag Strip west of Eau Claire WI. It ran mid to low 14's in street trim. Later on it ran 13.6 with 4:88 gears and slicks (way to much gear). I ran it on the drag strip occasionally until 1984 when life (marriage and kids) took over. From then on it was strictly a "for fun" vehicle, went to car shows, tire burning, and a little street racing.

In 1983, I had it repainted black, while attending shows I became tired of the so called experts telling me it wasn't a true SS because of this or that so it was driven less and less as I transitioned into street rodding. Along about 1994, I took it out one day and it ran like crap so out came the motor. Shortly there after (thanks to the suggestions of several friends) the body came off the frame. At first things moved along at a brisk pace the motor was gone through, frame was stripped down, blasted and repainted and partially reassembled. Then things kind of stalled out. With street rods taking the bulk of my time, the Chevelle and its parts were pushed into a back corner. I managed to pick up a few parts over the years but no real progress was made until about 2009 when I had a spurt of energy and finished the chassis. Then business took over big time and it was pushed back into its corner. That brings us to present day when on Saturday, August 20, 2011, I rolled it out into the sunlight for the first time in 17 years to see what was left. After washing it up and cleaning the interior it's not in the worst of shape. A couple of chips in the paint is about the only damage I could find. As for the future, I have hopes of getting the underside of the body prepped and painted so it can be mated to the chassis yet this year.

When straight line winds leveled our storage building in May 2017, the 1941 Studebaker was rebuilt by great crew at Draxler's Service in Hewitt, WI.
Carol's 1948 Studebaker pickup truck was sold in 2018 and she MISSES IT!

Carol decided to turn the pink Sweet n Low into bright YELLOW with a lot of feedback from friends!!

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