Cortez Silver
Black
396 V8
4 Speed Manual

Built for pro football player Ma'ake Kemoeatu, this 1969 Chevelle SS is a very nicely finished piece with a bunch of custom upgrades. Pro athletes are famous for building cost-no-object machinery, and this is no exception. The workmanship is over-the-top nice, the engine cackles with horsepower, and a few custom touches make it more than just another SS. This car unquestionably cost twice the asking price to build, and comes with a pedigree that most garden-variety Chevelles just can't match.

Originally Fathom Green, this gorgeous Chevelle now wears a coat of elegant Cortez Silver with a black top. The bodywork is simply amazing, with the only replacement panels being the rear quarters that were installed during the rotisserie restoration. Everything else has been straightened and aligned to show standards, and the car fits together with a precision usually reserved for trailer queens. The paint is lustrous and deep, with just the right amount of metallic in it so that it looks appropriate on the 42-year-old sheetmetal. A black tape stripe was added from front to rear, and it compliments the fresh black vinyl top perfectly. There are no radical modifications, and even the hood is the original flat piece and not the ubiquitous cowl induction piece that seems to end up on every restored Chevelle, whether it was original or not. For the money, there aren't many straighter Chevelles than this one.

All the original SS trim was restored, including the proper grille and blacked-out tail panel. Chrome is excellent, with beautiful front and rear bumpers, and correct emblems on the nose and trunk. The glass is new throughout, with a subtle tint that beautifully accents the Cortez Silver paint and gives the car a subtle custom look.

The engine is a correct L78 396 rated at 375 horsepower, although it wears 425 horsepower decals on the chrome air cleaner. Beautifully detailed, the engine bay is a great combination of original equipment and aftermarket upgrades that really make it sparkle. The engine was fully balanced during the rebuild less than 200 miles ago, and runs beautifully. With Chevy Orange on the block and heads it looks factory fresh, although I don't think the guys at the Baltimore assembly plant ever installed an engine that looked this good. Upgrades include a Holley 4-barrel carburetor atop an aluminum intake, an MSD 6AL ignition system, billet distributor, and high-output coil. There's also a ton of eye candy, including the factory style air cleaner lid and chrome valve covers, which match the chrome alternator, billet pulley system, and radiator shroud. An electric pusher fan has been added to the original heavy duty cooling system, which ensures that this big block stays cool under any conditions. Ceramic-coated long-tube headers manage the spent gasses, exhaling through a 2.5-inch exhaust system with welded Flowmaster mufflers.

There's only one transmission you can put in a car like this, a sturdy Muncie 4-speed manual, which has been fully rebuilt. Out back there's a 12-bolt hanging on original leaf springs, with a 3.73 positraction unit feeding the rear tires. The suspension and brakes have been fully rebuilt, there are new lines and hoses throughout, and fresh bushings at all the critical points. The original floors have been undercoated to make this car low-maintenance underneath, and a fresh gas tank hangs in back. Wheels are beautiful polished 17-inch American Racing Torque Thrusts wearing 235/45/17 front and 255/50/17 rear Riken radials.

The stock interior has been beautifully restored, including fresh seat covers on the buckets, new carpets, and a new headliner. Correct SS door panels and a restored console have been installed, and the wood-grained steering wheel is a spectacular addition. The gauges have been rebuilt, and Ma'ake Kemoeatu's number 99 has been added in the original clock's location in the center of the dash. And keeping in character with the rest of the car, the entertainment system is a slight upgrade that doesn't go overboard, merely a simple AM/FM/cassette unit that fits in the original location. Also present is a brand new tach and a set of gauges measuring oil pressure/temperature/voltage. The trunk carries a replacement mat, full-sized spare and a jack assembly.

And just in case you have any doubts about this car's pedigree, you'll find Ma'ake Kemoeatu's name on the title.

This is one of those rare cars where someone sweated all the details, spent a ton of money, but didn't go overboard with modifications. Keeping it close to stock, but by making every component exceptional, this Chevelle's beauty is in the details. With more than twice the asking price spent on the build, this is a lot of car for the money, and if its presence in our showroom is any indication, it'll get a lot of attention on the street, too. And when anyone asks about the number 99 on the dash, you can explain its history, which is a cool footnote on an awesome car. Call today!

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