FEATURED CAR: A De-Stress Machine
Car - 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle
Paint - Porsche Red
Engine - 498 C.I. Big Block
Transmission - TH 400 with a 4500 stall converter
Rear - GM 12 Bolt Posi with 4.10 gears on Moser axles
Tires - Mickey Thompson 255/60 r15's out back & Cooper 215/60 r15's up front
Weight - approx 3500lbs
Best Pass To Date - 10.91 @124mph
Years Owned - 4 years
Our Featured Car this issue is a super clean 1966 Chevy Chevelle owned by Brad H. from Mt. Bethel, PA. Brad purchased this ultimate sleeper four years ago after getting the itch to reclaim his youth and love for Chevelle's. His first car was a 1969 Chevelle that never left his heart. Brad searched the web for just over six months before stumbling across this beauty. It was love at first sight, and it wasn't long before this stunning, red classic was sitting in his driveway.
Brad drove the car as is for two years enjoying the stock 396 big block and 700R transmission. He would take the Chevelle for a ride through the PA countryside just to relieve some stress. As we all are too aware, if 396 cubic inches can relieve the stresses of life, then 498 cubic inches could certainly relieve a bit more. Brad did exactly that and put in a 700 horsepower 498 cubic inch big block. He also got rid of the 700R transmission and put in a custom-built Turbo 400 to handle the new found stress-relieving power. Brad admits that no matter what was going on in his life that day, when he returned home after taking a cruise in his new beast, a smile from ear to ear took over his face. For those of you who don't understand the simplicity of this type of stress therapy, I can take that one step further. I can simply sit in my car and thump the throttle a few times in my garage and have that same smile. If more people knew this trick there would be a lot of therapists out of work.
The Chevelle's first run down the drag strip did not turn out the way Brad wanted. He teamed up with one of his friends, who is a very experienced drag racer, for its maiden voyage. Unfortunately, the journey didn’t last too long, as the stock rear end exploded just as the Christmas Tree turned green. Needless to say, the De-Stress Machine got rid of the old axles and 3:30 gears and replaced them with a new set of Moser axles and 4:10 gears that would hopefully handle the newfound power the 498 makes.
Speaking of the 498, did I mention it makes right around 700 horsepower on pump gas? At the base of this engine lives an Eagle crankshaft and Eagle rods connected to Diamond pistons pushing 10.5:1 compression. On top of the mighty big block is a pair of AFR heads. A Pro-System 830cfm carb sits on top of a Dart intake. Hooker headers help get rid of all of that combustion which was sparked by an MSD ignition system.
The interior is virtually stock with the exception of an Auto Gauge tachometer and a Hurst shifter. The stock dash and seats help complete this classic sleeper image. Since Brad purchased the Chevelle in its current condition less the new drivetrain, the interior was also fitted with a modern Pioneer stereo system. When you open the trunk, beware that you will not find a remote battery or fuel cell. To further add to the sleeper look is an assortment of power amps and a sub-woofer. Brad admits that he is not a stereo kind of guy, as he prefers to hear the roar of his big block. After witnessing this car in person at the track, I am not too sure you would be able to hear anything but the roar of 498 cubic inches.
The Chevelle rolls on a set of American Racing Wheels with Mickey Thompson 255/60/r15s on the back and Cooper 215/60/r15s on the front. Imagine running a 10.91 at the track with that combo. This car is capable of running big numbers with a few minor upgrades, but Brad says, "I just like to go for a cruise after a long day and let the stress go away." He attends a few cars shows and cruise nights and drives it to the drag strip only a couple times a year.
When I asked Brad if he had any future plans for the Chevelle, he told me his wife had requested that he completes the exhaust system to go all the way to the back of the car so she could drive it without getting sick from the fumes. He also mentioned that if he plans on bringing it to the track again, he has to install a roll cage and safety harness, because his time slips have found him guilty. Whatever Brad decides to do with his classic beauty, you can be certain that the smile on his face after a de-stressing cruise was well worth any expense he incurred along the way.
Until next month,