Great story and I'm glad to hear that it's a 4 speed. I also see a 64 Chevelle and El Camino in the background of the 1st pic. I bought a 64 Chevelle in 1973 with a 283 2bbl carb. Best car ever.
I wondered how long it would be before someone spotted those! I'm not sure what happened to the Chevelle. Pretty sure that was Mom's car. Dad still has the El Camino.