TMCP #183: The Chevelle Heads for Body and Paint with Street Metal Concepts….and Rob and Dad Drive 4500 Miles!


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Don Endonino and Zip Simons, owners of Street Metal Concepts in Longwood, FL.

Well, if you’ve been following the Chevelle adventures as of late, the topic of this podcast show will come as no surprise to you. Since our last episode the Chevelle has successfully left Allison Customs in New Mexico and has been delivered to Street Metal Concepts in Longwood, FL (Orlando area) for final finish metal work and the full body and paint treatment!

While I’ll let the pictures below and the podcast show itself tell the bulk of the story of why we chose to go on this crazy adventure, the short-short-short version can be summed up as follows:

1) Our goal of completing paint and body in New Mexico with our time (and budget) constraints to get the Chevelle done for the SEMA show in November were shot. We needed a miracle.

2) I called my friend Danny Giustino, owner of Muscle Express in Jupiter, FL for advice. He knew that we needed access to a show-class paint and body shop that would not only take on the crazy job, but would do it in our time and budget window. He knew just what to do.

3) Danny put me in touch with Zip Simons and Don Endonino, owners of a new paint and body shop in Longwood, FL called Street Metal Concepts. Both Don and Zip have 20 years experience (each) in the industry and had decided a few months ago to go into business together building dream cars. Each had built their own personal cars and were the real deal.

My truck, loaded up with my buddy Aaron’s trailer, heading from Iowa out to New Mexico to pick the Chevelle up. Always have a buddy with a cargo trailer who is willing to loan it to you for 6 months at a time…..because it comes in handy. (Aaron even put new tires on the trailer, added in strap mounts, and cleared everything out of it himself – which required a forklift!)

Zip and I talked on the phone for an hour on a Sunday afternoon, ironically while I was sitting in the driveway at Allison Customs.

Long story short, Zip and Don had done their homework on the project, knew that the car was something special to both my business (and more importantly) and my family, and they decided to make me an offer I couldn’t refuse: they’d take the job, do it as close to my budget as humanly possible, and would crank it all out in 5 weeks – knowing that it would require 16 hour days to pull it off, 7 days per week.

The only hitch was that they’d need the Chevelle ASAP…..which meant I needed access to a trailer and about 7 days to go from Iowa, to New Mexico, to Florida, and then back to home. I asked my dad if he was game for another father-son trip that would involve 12-16 hour days of driving, and he packed his bags.

Dad and I loaded up and rolling. We had a long way to go, and a short time to get there….(cue Smoky and the Bandit music).

In the episode you’ll hear from Don and Zip some of the techniques they’ll be using on the car, but in the end just delivering the car was the beginning. What they also needed access to was everything required for mockup, which meant that we’d need all of the exterior chrome/stainless/aluminum trim for the car there in hand. That would require another miracle…..but once again, one was provided. National Parts Depot stepped in and prepared a package for us in record time, and sent a laundry list of parts direct to Street Metal Concepts for fitment!

Keep a good look out on the Street Metal Concepts Facebook page for daily updates on the car. In addition to Don and Zip you’ll see several others that have come in to make it happen, including Paul Magin, Mike Jones, Joe Ward, and finally, the first full time employee for Street Metal Concepts, Bob Harkness.

In just a few weeks I’ll head back down and pick her up – painted and ready for final assembly back at Allison Customs in New Mexico! It’s getting good….

-Rob Kibbe

The Chevelle loaded up and ready. Jeff Allison looks happy to see the car leaving…..and I just hope he’ll let me come back!
Dad and I, about 4 or 5 days into the trip. We did decided to make one non “business” related stop at the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, FL. We only had about 30 minutes before the place closed….but it’s definitely something I’d like to go back for.
Don and Zip unloading the Chevelle onto a car trailer (I’m in the white trailer pushing). The white trailer is about 18″ off of the ground, and we didn’t have time to find ramps. This was our creative solution around that. Jeff and I used the same technique (in reverse) to load the car.
Unloading off of trailer #2…..
Safe and sound at Street Metal Concepts!
Two days later, we made it home. Total miles was 4664.5 and we burned 380 gallons of diesel fuel.
And last, but not least – returning home is always sweeter with your family ready and waiting. My business travels take a lot of family time away, so I can’t tell you how good it was to hug the wife and kids.
Nuff said.



This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!


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