Chevrolet’s first generation Chevelle is a timeless design that, no matter how it’s built, remains fresh and alluring. Stock, modified, race, pro-touring, whatever; the clean lines and balanced stance on these tough muscle machines mix classic swagger with the perfect platform for serious modification. And best of all, the Chevelle line’s universal appeal and high production numbers mean it has one of the largest aftermarket support networks in the entire collector car hobby. Born from that awesome combination of appeal and support, this killer Chevelle resto-mod is so far over the top it’s actually down the other side! If you’re shopping for a choice cruiser that puts a 21st century spin on an old school favorite, you’re looking at your next car!
Originally assembled at GM’s Baltimore manufacturing facility, this fully sorted Super Sport wears an exceptionally solid body under a brilliant layer of Intense Blue Pearlcoat. During the car’s rotisserie restoration, that body was completely disassembled, massaged into a laser-straight canvas, and expertly detailed to provide a show stopping appearance. Once the builder’s attained better-than-factory panel alignment, carefully sprayed pigments of attractive DuPont two-stage were buffed to an incredible shine. And presently, this drop-top carries a super clean finish on top of a high quality restoration that’s simply stunning.
As a solid car that’s been converted into one of the sickest rides around via choice customization, this red-hot Chevy is a picturesque magazine centerfold that’s just waiting to be discovered. At the front of its body, clear halogen headlights flank a black Super Sport grille, which centers a prominent “SS396” emblem between a fresh “CHEVELLE” header script, new chrome bumper and bright amber parking lamps. At the top of that grille, a familiar ‘twin-scoop’ hood founds like-new glass beneath mirrored stainless trim, matte-finished wipers and a fresh power roof. At the sides of that hood, “396” fender emblems and quarter-mounted “Super Sport” scripts hint at the true nature of the big block’s personality, while traditional door handles and a snazzy bowtie mirror perfectly complement straight fender lips and Super Sport rocker guards. And at the back of the car, a traditional black valence hangs finned tail lights and a second “SS396” emblem over a showroom fresh bumper and crystal clear reverse lamps.
Glance under this Chevelle’s mirror-slick hood and you’ll find a correct, 396 cubic inch big block V8 that’s been polished far beyond typical factory fodder. At the top of the Jet Black mill, a chrome, freshly decaled air cleaner feeds oxygen to a coated Holley Street Avenger that’s centered on polished stainless fuel lines. That air/fuel mixture travels into an Edelbrock Performer 2.0 intake, which rides between cast iron heads, and polished and milled valve covers. At the bottom of those heads, coated Hooker Competition headers send spent gases into high performance, true-dual pipes. At the back of those headers, an aftermarket HEI distributor shoots spark through loomed MSD Street Fire wires. And in front of those wires, a big aluminum radiator makes good use of an electric puller fan and a high quality Stewart water pump. Aesthetically, the spotless big block’s Jet Black paint contrasts well to the car’s Intense Blue engine bay. And everything from the chrome brake booster to the polished front runner system has been professionally installed and completely detailed.
What good would a killer engine be without a tough drivetrain and solid suspension to back it up? Behind the car’s thundering 396, a rugged 700R4 4-speed utilizes a proven 12-bolt rear end to spin an Eaton posi-traction differential around 3.55 Richmond gears. That road-ready drivetrain is held off the ground by a fully rebuilt chassis, which features factory power steering, boxed rear control arms, and rebuilt power front disc and rear drum brakes. At the center of that chassis, aluminized exhaust pipes run from the aforementioned headers to aggressive Flowmaster mufflers, while fresh fluid lines run from the aforementioned Holley to a new stainless fuel tank. At the corners of the car, 17-inch Ridlers twist modern 235/45 front and 255/45 rear Nitto NT555 Extreme ZRs around liquid-smooth spokes. And overall, the bottom of this awesome A-Body has been restored to the same high standards as its solid exterior panels and clean engine compartment.
Naturally, this Super Sport’s comfortable leather interior is a masterful blend of both form and function. The custom, “SS” branded seats are restoration-fresh attire that, along with custom, speaker-equipped door panels, present clean and crisp. Between those seats, a factory console props a Pro Tach tachometer in front of a familiar T-handle shifter. Below that console, rich gray carpet floats color-keyed floor mats under brightly dressed pedals. At the front of that carpet, a stainless-trimmed dash hangs a straight pad above horizontal gauges, controls for a Vintage Air climate system and a stealthy, MP3-capable radio. In front of the driver, a polished steering wheel spins a thick gray rim around a patriotic horn button and fresh M&H wiring. And behind the passengers, a tight convertible cowl snaps over a custom-upholstered trunk.
With its awesome motor, incredible body and pristine interior, this killer resto-mod is an attractive, well-done muscle car. And best of all, being a first generation Chevelle convertible, its likeness isn’t nearly as prevalent as Chevy’s more famous, and too often duplicated, second generation SS454. If you’re in the market for a no excuses classic with an unbeatable combination of style and performance, this Chevy is your kind of car!