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It may be showing signs of a little wear and tear around the edges, but just like an aging family member, John Williams loves his ’67 Chevelle 300 Deluxe unconditionally. And the Drag Radial entry is probably as close to a member of the family as a car can get, as Williams, 37, can remember being chauffeured around in it as a pre-schooler.

“It was pretty bare bones back then, bench seats, no air, six-cylinder, two-speed Powerglide car; it had an AM radio, but that was about it as far as luxury items go. I don’t even think it had carpeting, just rubber mats,” Williams recalls of the car purchased new by his paternal grandfather, John. It was later inherited by his parents, Doyle and Jackie, in 1986 before finally transferring to him as a 1991 high school graduation present.

Williams says he drove the car in all its six-cylinder glory for just a few months before youthful exuberance prevailed.

“We put a 375 horse, 396 four-speed in it and I drove it for about two years like that. I wrecked it a few times, too; nothing too serious, tore a couple of rearends out of it, a couple of transmissions, just knocked the fenders off it a couple of times and that’s about it,” he says. “And then I wanted a truck, so I just put it aside and started doing other things.”

The car sat broken and neglected for more than a decade at Williams’ Brookland, Arkansas, home before he decided at the end of 2004 to turn it into a Pro Touring-type street cruiser.

“I took it all apart and got it to where I was actually going to have it media blasted and painted and ready to redo all the interior,” he says. “But basically I decided that was going to be too much work and too much money. I had another race car at the time, a late-model Camaro that I got pretty in depth with, but I didn’t really like it and that’s when I decided I’d rather race this car instead.”

So the Chevelle was taken to TYDO Race Cars in Seymour, Missouri, where late in 2007 they installed an SFI 25.5 roll cage that’s certified to 7.50 in the quarter mile and stuffed a 468 cubic-inch, big-block-Chevy nitrous motor between the fenders, backed up by a Powerglide transmission.

By April 2008, Williams was hitting the track in this configuration at Memphis Motorsports Park and Ozark International Raceway in Springfield, Missouri, where he continues to race once or twice each month. Late in 2008, however, Williams traded his Camaro race car for the engine currently residing in the Chevelle, a fuel-injected, 632 BBC with 14-degree Big Duke heads.

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