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Shaun Carnahan is the second-youngest of six boys.

His father told him the same thing he told all of his sons growing up: “If you keep your nose clean, stay out of trouble, play sports, do good in school, and go to college, we will build a car and you will get to keep it.”

Six generous offers to six boys.

But Shaun was the only son to take advantage of dad’s special incentive package. Carnahan got the car and started building the 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS with his dad when he was 14 (you can get your driver’s license at 15 in Montana). At 30, he has now had the car more than half his life.

“I am the only one of six boys total that actually finished my car and got to keep it,” Carnahan said. “My other brothers were kind of a wild bunch! I owe a lot to them though for all of the help they gave me while building the car and how they taught me what not to do in life!”

Carnahan’s Chevelle was voted by Summit Racing’s Facebook fans as the March Ride of the Month. Not hard to see why. All the gorgeous Montana scenery in the background of Carnahan’s photos complements the beauty of the car itself.

Of course, the Chevelle is anything but all-show-and-no-go.

This bad machine cranks out 405 horsepower, courtesy of its 454 with a 11.5:1 compression ratio; a 4L80E transmission with “Fast EZ-TCU” 3:43 12-bolt with an Eaton Posi differential. The Chevelle also features Moser Engineering axles, Cadillac CTS-V front bucket seats, rear seats and center console.

He chose Boyd Coddington’s Smoothie II wheels—18-inch in the front, and 20-inch in the back—wrapped in Kumho Ecsta tires.

Carnahan’s father chose Viper red with “Mopar white” stripes—because, according to Carnahan, dad is a huge Mopar fan.

Carnahan spoke about the build as being so much more than just a build.

“The amount of lessons I learned while we built my car are unimaginable,” he said. “It taught me how to be respectful of other people’s belongings, because you never know how much love and passion someone has put into their own possessions.”

You gotta love passion.

Carnahan has it in spades.

And because of it, we have this valuable addition to the automotive world.

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Author: Matt Griswold

After a 10-year newspaper journalism career, Matt Griswold spent another decade writing about the automotive aftermarket and motorsports. He was part of the original OnAllCylinders editorial team when it launched in 2012.