Silver
Black
502 V8
6 Speed Manual

If you go to local car shows, you probably see some pretty nice cars. We go to car shows all the time and sponsor our own now and again as well. But cars like this amazing 1966 Chevelle are so nice that they stand above the regular car show crowd. The details shine through, the level of workmanship makes even nice amateur cars look shabby, and, well, when you show up with this car you can pretty much expect to take home the big trophy. It's just that nice.

The silver bodywork is perfect for this low-profile rod, because it allows all the details to really shine through. That isn't to say the paint and sheet metal aren't exquisite, because they are, but it means that onlookers aren't blown away simply with color. This is a car that invites people to look closer and spend some time admiring everything it has to offer. Laser-straight panels, excellent and even gaps, and crisp detailing like the character line that runs through the quarter panels all make this a car that will stand out in a crowd no matter what color they're painted. Subtlety is an art, and the guy who built this car is a master of it. Note how there are no distortions in the reflections, no orange peel in the paint, and no breaks in the flow of the bodywork; that doesn't just happen by accident. It's the difference between assembling a car and crafting a car, and the two are miles apart in terms of time, money, and effort. When it's done right, as it has been here, the payoff is huge. You'll recognize it when you finally see this car in person, I promise.

This car isn't a custom, not a radical one anyway, and that means all the original trim remains in place and finished to the General's specifications. Chrome on the bumpers has been refinished and it's show-quality, the stainless has been buffed, and details like the brushed aluminum panel on the trunk with CHEVELLE block letters have been expertly restored. A blacked-out grille, correct hood inserts, and Super Sport badges give it a fresh-off-the-showroom-floor look, but look closer and you'll see that those SS badges also say '502,' a very cool trick. If the factory were building Chevelles with 502 cubic inch big blocks in 1966, this is exactly how it would have looked.

Under the hood, well, it's a different story. You already know there are 502 cubic inches living there, but the surrounding cast members do their part to make this a show-winning engine bay. The inner fenders and firewall have been smoothed and finished to the same high standards as the body, providing the ideal canvas for the industrial-strength engine. With black valve covers and plenty of brightwork, this engine isn't shy about advertising its presence. Modern upgrades include a billet accessory drive system that uses a serpentine belt for reliability, along with power steering, power brakes and modern A/C. A massive aluminum radiator with a custom stainless shroud keeps all 502 cubic inches ice cold no matter what you're doing, and it rumbles through a set of beautifully crafted ceramic-coated headers. And yes, that's real braided stainless feeding the heater, not that cheesy sleeve stuff that the kids use on their ratty Camaros. The other guys will be ashamed to open their hoods once this car shows up at a cruise night, I'm afraid.

Underneath, it's still a Chevelle, but there's a lot of new stuff, including a 6-speed manual transmission feeding a beautifully finished 12-bolt rear axle. The front suspension has been heavily reworked, now using coil-over shocks and polished A-arms, along with a massive sway bar. In back, it's largely stock, but boxed control arms, heavy-duty springs, another big sway bar, and a set of adjustable air shocks effectively put down the power without adversely affecting ride quality. Baer supplied a complete set of disc brakes fore and aft, including 2-piston PBR calipers along with vented and cross-drilled rotors that look dazzling behind those gorgeous American Racing wheels. You can also tell that this car was a full frame-off restoration, because the floors are as nicely finished as the fenders, and the silver finish makes the beautiful black frame pop. A complete ceramic-coated exhaust system uses Flowmaster mufflers and polished stainless tips under the rear bumper for a unique sound and look that I really like. Rolling stock is comprised of 235/45/17 front and 255/55/17 rear Goodyear RS-A radials that give it the perfect stance.

The interior is a superb blend of original, restored components and custom pieces that work like the exterior to create something new. The seats and door panels have been upholstered in reproduction covers that match the OEM design, and the center console remains in place, albeit augmented by a 6-speed shifter and the appropriate pattern engraved on the console's surface. A rare factory clock is framed by a trio of auxiliary gauges, as well as a “knee knocker” tachometer just to the right of the steering column. The controls for the Vintage Air A/C system replace the originals in the dash, and there's a powerful AM/FM/cassette stereo system in the original location. Sharp-eyed Chevelle experts will also note that this was originally an A/C car, so nothing had to be cut or modified to accommodate the new system. Power front windows were also added during the rebuild, along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The trunk uses correct spatter finish paint and a new mat, and the battery has been relocated for better weight distribution. There's also a matching spare aluminum wheel and tire, necessary to clear the larger brake rotors in case worse comes to worst.

And while this car is pretty far removed from stock, it does come with its original 1966 Chevelle owner's guide, which is always a fun thing to have stashed in the glove box.

So I feel sorry for all the other guys with their nice cars that will show up next to this one at the next cruise night. Cars like this redefine the scale, and even a novice can see how nice this car really is. On the other hand, it will be you behind the wheel and going up to the podium to accept the trophy, because this is one killer Chevelle. Beautifully executed and wonderfully subtle (if a 502 big block can be such a thing), this is a great car for the guy who wants the best of both worlds. Call today!

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