NCR proprietor Kevin Coyle with a 1966 Chevelle SS entered in his show. DON RICKERS

It was a scorching hot afternoon last Saturday at 2136 Allanport Road in Thorold, as bodyshop owner Kevin Coyle of Niagara Custom Refinishing (NCR) held his inaugural car show, which featured 30 vintage vehicles. Prizes were awarded, and all makes and models of cars, trucks, and motorcycles were eligible.

His company has a wide variety of automotive spray applications for vehicles, golf carts, off-road vehicles, and pretty much any miscellaneous part or item which requires custom painting.

Coyle plans to make the car show an annual event.

Wayne Zezela entered his 1966 Chevelle Malibu SS in the show. It originally came from the factory with a 327 cubic inch engine, but Wayne swapped it out for a 350.

“It’s got a Hurst shifter with a Muncie four-speed tranny, and a 12-bolt rear end with four-eleven gearing for swift acceleration off the line,” he said. “I’m running Mickey Thompson tires on the front and back. Disc brakes on the front, drums on the back. No power steering. Everything’s manual. The body panels are all original, as is the light blue interior with the exception of new skins on the bucket seats. The exterior colour is Danube Blue.”

Zezela is the original owner, having purchased the car in 1966 with his father’s help. He eventually got married and went on to other projects, and the car was put into storage for almost 40 years.

“I finally brought it out about seven years ago, and got all the running gear redone,” he said. “I had a wax undercoating applied decades ago, and there was no rust underneath, so I didn’t have to sandblast the frame as part of the restoration.”

The Chevelle only gets out for a spin on sunny days.

“I never drive it in the rain,” said Zezela. “After today’s car show, I’ll take it home and let it cool down in the garage. Tomorrow I’ll dry wash it.”

It’s hard for some people to understand the bond between a man and his classic machine.

“I’ve had this Chevelle longer than I’ve had my wife,” said Zezela with a laugh, “so I guess you could say that this is really my first love.”