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Kent Lobb, of Dunedin, with his 1963 Chevrolet Bel Air. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Kent Lobb, of Dunedin, talks to Shawn McAvinue about his 1963 Chevrolet Bel Air.

When did you get your Bel Air?

I bought another Bel Air from Michigan about two years ago but it was rusty and I was cut up about that so I put it up for sale. Someone got in contact about a rust-free Bel Air shell they had for sale and I bought it and started a restoration project by stripping back the shell to bare metal and took the Bel Air from Michigan off the market and used it for parts.

Were the two cars the same model and year?

Exactly the same and they are quite rare in a two-door model.

Is the engine original?

No. It originally had a Chevrolet 283cu inch V8 and I put a Chevrolet 327cu inch V8 in.

What brand of sound system did you install?

A Rockford Fosgate to keep with the theme of American-made.

What music do you listen to when driving?

I don’t really listen to music. I prefer the rumble of the engine.

Does it have a nickname?

Not really, maybe the Yankee or the Yank Tank.

Did restoration go to plan?

I originally had it on 100-spoke wheels to give a Mexican lowrider look but it was way too low with those on, so I put 18-inch Ridler wheels on, which lifted it up.

How much did the project cost?

People would expect to pay $100,000 on a big restoration job from bare metal but I managed to keep it under half of that. I could have done it cheaper but I’m happy with the quality.

Would you consider selling it?

I’ve barely taken it out and I’ve had two people ask to buy it. A guy in Dunedin offered me $60,000 and I told him I’m not interested. The other guy from the North Island asked me to name a price and I said, ‘Nah, it’s not for sale’.

If you have a vehicle you’d like to share with “Torque of the Town” readers, email Shawn McAvinue – shawn.mcavinue@thestar.co.nz – or phone 479-3505 ext 8312