The first thing I started on Sat. (3/16/2002) was getting the pedals back in. The last time we pushed it in I forgot to tell Howard that there where no pedals. As where pushing it in Howard feet kept looking for a brake pedal, and almost took out Brantley's Snap-On purple toolbox. Luckily for Brantley, Howard found the emergency brake. ;)

Of course I HAD to see what my shifter stick looked like while I was in the middle of preparation. ;) Damn that looks good.

We pushed that car back in and started working finally. Brantley started the drive shaft while I worked on the starter and filled it up with the 3 quarts of GM Syncro Mesh.

After all of this was done we had to take it for a run. We went through our check list to make sure we haven't forgotten anything. Now you have to remember that we still haven't run an exhaust yet. It's about 9:00pm and I'm antsy. I get in the car after we lower it back down and turn the key. It started right up. I was impressed cause it had been sitting for a month now with no battery hooked up. I shut it back down and started it a couple more times just to make sure that the starter sounded right. Once I knew all systems where normal we raised the car back up a little to get the rear wheels off the ground. I shifted it into first without applying the throttle just to make sure things where moving correctly and things didn't rattle or whine. I put the paces on all five and reverse. Everything seemed good. Down the lift came and into reverse I went. Now I don't know whether it was the sound of a 350 and open headers (never realized the cam was so lumpy :), the fumes coming up through the hole in the floor, or pounding through the gears, but when I got out of the car I was shaking uncontrollably. The adrenaline and testosterone was flowing through my body like I can't explain. Brantley and Howard where laughing at me as I handed the keys to them to take a test ride. I couldn't get the keys to stop jingling with a HUGE smile on my face. I fell in love all over again with my Monte. The gears felt good, the power was there, and man did it just feel AWESOME. Right at the point I knew every cent, bloody knuckle (or in Howard's case missing tip of the thumb from the bench grinder), tear, and hour was well worth it. Both Howard and Brantley proved it would let loose and go sideways in third ;).

After we got the car back to the garage we had Howard's wife take a photo of us three ijits. From left to right; Howard, me, and Brantley. Can you believe I'm going to be related to the knuckle head on the right. ;) j/k.

Brantley, with Howard's help, did an awesome job on my exhaust. It sat a little low before, but when they where done raised it up above the bellhousing. While I was in there I decided that I might as well put a caty in. It smells quite a bit better, and I sure don't notice any power lose.

We got out of there at about 12:30am after we got cleaned up. Luckily I got to drive here home. I put about 75 miles on it that night and LOVED every minute of it.