Well I guess I should start at the beginning….I was not able to afford an SS when they came out but was reading about them since 94’. When the 96’ model debuted and I found out it was the last year I knew that was what I wanted. Fast forward to 2001 and I’ve started a new job and began the search for my own SS. I knew I liked the DCM most but the DGGM was more unique (less made) and I knew SOB was way too hard to keep clean so that was out.
I found a DGGM 96’ on the net W/69K and took a friend to go look at it. The guy said he was the original owner and it was a Demo model at a NJ dealership, and he leased it and then when it was up purchased it with 6k on the clock. I thought it was perfect and DGGM was growing on me. After the test drive I left and told him I’d be in touch. He was asking over 15k if I recall, we ended up agreeing on 13.9K.
My dad gave me a ride the day I picked it up, it was all waxed up and even had full tank of gas. 8-) It was so easy to hit 80 or 90 on the ride home the car rode so quiet and smooth, I was shocked each time I looked down at the speedo on the way home. I should have took that as a warning…In the first year owning the car I got 3 tickets. In CT that meant I had to goto 4 hours of “Driver Retraining” classes if I didn’t want major problems with the DMV and my Insurance, so I did it.
The first 138K was a lot of fun, didn’t mod it just drove it, and didn’t even know about ISSF until about 2004. Then the real education started. The wife and I were driving home with a friend in the car and we were at a light and I heard the dreaded “ticking” that went away once we started moving again. Long story short it was a spun bearing and the motor was not long for this world. I had the same mech since I was 16 and he couldn’t figure this out, after replacing all the lifters and other useless stuff. After talkin to some local gearheads I found a new mech. These 2 guys left the chevy dealership and opened their own shop and really know there stuff, infact one of them had just sold his SOB 95’ ! To this day they are the only ones I let touch the car. And touch it they have…. Between the Radiator, oil and tranny cooler lines, fuel pump and being on my 3rd motor I’m a regular at their place. ;-)
After the spun bearing I got a Cappy motor with 1yr warranty. Thank God for the warranty. I got hooked up with the Tri-9 club in CT and went to a Dyno Day to see what my car had… BIG MISTAKE !! Word to the wise ONE pull is enough… I was on the third when I toasted this second motor. I told the mech nothing about Dyno Day and said I think something is wrong, long story short I now have a Roady motor in my car that had about 57K on it and the car had about 152K on it. (Oh BTW 219 RWHP) 8-)
Right now I’m up to about 188K on the car except the motor. Over the last 5 years I really got into bracket racing with ECIRS. I have to thank CT-tri 9 for starting that addiction, one member told me it will be the most fun you can have with your clothes on…he was right. In fact, at E-town where the last race of the season was last year, I won my first race, won the 50-50 raffle, and got my first trophy ever. My best R/T was a .007 and I friggin lost to .004 at the tree. My best E/T has been a 15.3 but I typically have bad R/T’s and 60’ times, so I need way more practice to get my car running what it can do.
As far as mods to the car, it’s pretty stock, but I have made a couple improvements. I replaced the shocks with Bilsteins, it was a night and day SOTP thing when I drove it after they were installed. I also did the lower body bushing mod when you could still get them from Dal. Thirty minutes in the driveway and I had another mod under my belt. I also had the Stealth-Brake-Bolt mod done. The latest thing I replaced was the stock side air-dams with the 9C1 shaped air dams, I think It looks better.
Now on to things I’ve REMOVED from the car. I think my favorite will always be the Muff Delete mod. I grew-up near a ¼ mile NASCAR sanctioned track so the sound brings back childhood memories. Not to mention making the car lighter helps my E/T ! Then I looked at the CAI, and first tried First Base Delete and got the “sewer pipe” mod. I definitely felt it in the go-pedal with that mod. Unfortunately I gave-up a little performance and did the Home Base Delete mod next, which really cleaned up the engine bay. This mod got rid of HP, the 1LE elbow, and stock air box. Cosmetically I have a chrome cover on the water pump with a red impala on it, gives it a little Bling Bling. ;-) The interior has barely been touched, only thing I did was rip off the black plastic on the 3 HVAC knobs so now the entire knob lights up on the dash when lights are on at night. For my B-day in 2008 the wifey got the SS professionally detailed. She even sat there and watched them do it knowing I hate leaving the car when it gets worked on.
Well I guess by now you wanna see some pics of this hot rod grocery getter I drool over…..