As the 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS roared to life, it honored the death more than 30 years ago of Cpl. William R. Young Jr.
The Byesville area resident, a member of 3rd Battalion Co. M of the 5th Marine Corps, was killed in Vietnam on Sept. 16, 1967. He earned several medals, including a Purple Heart.
In September, Young’s son, Monty, with a strong push from his wife, Diana, took the car to Murphy’s Classic Restorations at Dover. The car had been stored for years, gathering layers of dust. The last license plates bore the year 1974.
Monty, now 41, was only about 10 months old when his father died.
“Words can’t explain it,” Monty said of seeing the car. “It was the ultimate, to bring back something of my dad’s and to have the rest of my family there when they delivered it.”
“They greeted us in a parking lot waving American flags, and were very excited to see the trailer door come down,”said Julie Murphy, whose husband, Mark, owns the company. “They all have been watching the progress from our Web site. But to see it in person, they said was definitely not the same.”
Mark oversaw the restoration efforts assisted by employees Larry Green and Bob Bitikofer.
The whole family took turns going for rides in it. First, Monty’s uncle, Jeff Young of Barnesville, took Monty for a ride.
“As soon as he stepped out from driving the car, he was in total tears, he could barely walk,” Monty said.
Diana then took Monty’s mother, Patricia Anderson of Belmont and Patricia’s mother, Thelma Froehlich of Barnesville, for a ride.
“When Monty finally got to drive it – with a little help and coaxing from his uncle and Mark – he did a burn out,” Julie said.
Monty was enjoying the power of the 327 block engine bored out to 375 horsepower, which he had restored with the help of some friends. The car boasts an original Muncie four-speed manual transmission.
Although Monty’s mother knew her son was getting the car restored, she didn’t know it was being delivered Saturday.
“She was in tears,” Monty said. “She told us she was proud of us for doing this, that it means a lot to her.”
Everyone then went to Monty and Diana’s house for a meal.
“More friends and family kept arriving, and everyone loved the car,” Julie said. “It was really bittersweet to see the car go. We get attached to the cars, but its nice to see them go back home where you know the owners will treat them with TLC.”
Murphy said Monty Young was in Dover on business and went to the shop to talk about restoring his dad’s car.
“We copied the original with all components restored and repainted it to the original standards,” he said of the process called frame off restoration.
He said the 1964 model is reminiscent of the Chevrolet Nova II.
“It’s a Malibu SS,” he explained. “What makes it so special is the SS option – the trim package. It has a lot of bright moldings on it. And, they upgraded the interior to two-tone. It has white vinyl seats, with red carpet and a red dash.”
The Interior was totally redone by D.J.’s Auto Upholstery of Dover.
Otherwise, Murphy’s put more than 600 hours into the project, finishing it up last week so that it would be ready for delivery on Saturday. Despite the number of hours involved, he said, “It all went really smooth. Eight months from start to finish is one of the quicker ones we’ve done.”
The final touch was applying a base coat of paint, clear coat and then sanding and buffing it to a “show quality finish.”
“I want to drive it, enjoy it and take it to local car shows,” Monty said, including one at Dover this summer.
“We’ve done some other cars for veterans,” Mark said, “and although I’m not a veteran myself, it was important to me to get it finished by when he wanted it and to make it right.”
Pictured: Monty & Diana Young, and Mark Murphy