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story.lead_photo.caption Atlanta High School graduate Jim Garvey, class of 1973, is standing with "America's King of the Muscle Cars" that he has restored, the 1970 Chevelle SS 454. Photo by Neil Abeles / Texarkana Gazette.

Back in the early 1970s, Jim Garvey was a student in Atlanta High School's first automotive class as taught by Freddie Brimer.

"We broke each other in," Garvey jokingly said of his student days recently.

Little did the two of them know they would be meeting almost 50 years later, still talking about cars.

It happened now because Garvey has just restored one of the monster cars of those years, i.e., the 1970 SS 454 Chevelle.

Garvey recently brought his new creation to the Headers Car Club Cruise-In Night in Atlanta, organized by Steve Quinn and Clay Collins and meeting each second Friday evening of the month.

"The SS 454 was the ultimate muscle car, America's king of the road," Garvey said.

If it was in 1970, it may still be so today because Garvey and his son Sean of Texarkana restored every part of the car and especially the engine.

If the engine had 400 horsepower then, Garvey's today has 600.

"Doesn't get any gas mileage at all," he said.

The 1970 Chevelle was found and bought in Avinger, Texas, and then Garvey and his son went on a real project.

"Every evening after work and every weekend for eight months, we took it all apart and put it back together with improved parts," Garvey, now retired from Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., said. "We were on a mission."

Is it possibly for sale?

"No, my son says I can sell any other car I have, but not this one. So I'm saving it for him."

Maybe that's what he was planning back in Freddie Brimer's high school automotive class.

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