Frame Off Restored Chevelle 502/502 HP V8 5 Speed 3.55
In a world full of awesome numbers matching Chevelles and very well done SS tributes, it's always nice to see something different. And it takes some serious skill to pull off a car that is TRULY different without being either too extreme to honor its original attributes or a blatant pro-tourer. After a $75K restoration, this 1968 Chevelle 300 received 147 out of 150 points at the 22nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Chevelle Show/ACES Northeast Regional and took home the 2010 Directors Choice Award. But here's the best part, it isn't just another 'me too' show car which is full of obsolete technology and garage queen gimmicks. It's a GM Performance Parts powered big block sleeper that's been equipped with an outstanding body, an NOS interior, and just this year received additional show detailing to rack up those final three points.
Built at GM's Fremont, California manufacturing facility in February of 1968, this unassuming 1968 Chevelle 300 sedan wears an all original California body under a cool coat of Island Teal and correct gloss black paint. During an extensive 2010 nut and bolt restoration the car was completely disassembled, placed on a rotisserie to ensure maximum straightness, and expertly detailed to provide a show winning body which displays better than factory panel alignment throughout. Once the body was fully prepped, layers of Island Teal and gloss black paint were applied between extensive color sandings and topped with a thick clearcoat that has been thoroughly wet sanded and buffed to the excellent shine you see today. Presently, this Chevelle is much, much nicer than any mass produced original car from the 1960s; and it carries a super clean finish on top of a high quality restoration that is simply stunning.
At the front of the car, clear T3 headlights flank an anodized, body-width grille that centers a prominent red and blue Chevrolet emblem between bars which look as straight as the day they left the factory. At the bottom of that grille, a new chrome bumper is equipped with clear parking lights, and at the top of that grille, a showroom fresh “Chevelle” script occupies the driver's side of the cars header panel. On top of the car, new stainless trim traces both the gloss black top and original date code correct LOF windows, while accents like new stainless windshield wipers and great looking chrome drip rails add a nice, finished look. On the front fenders, new “Chevelle” scripts combine with “427” branded marker lights to hint at the brasher side of the cars split personality, and on the doors, new chrome door handles perfectly complement a new chrome driver's side mirror. At the rear of the car, clear Chevelle 300 exclusive tail lights hang over a new Chevelle 300 exclusive chrome bumper; and a second red and blue Chevrolet crest is centered beside a bright, attention grabbing Yenko emblem.
Glance under this Chevelles mirror-slick teal hood and you'll find what appears to be an accurately restored and highly detailed L72 427 V8. Linger a little longer, and niceties like GM Performance Parts aluminum heads, a modern HEI distributor and red GM Performance Parts plug wires begin to unravel the cars biggest secret; you're actually looking at a 502 cubic inch GM Performance Parts crate motor which creates 9.6 to 1 compression, and makes 502 horsepower and 567 lb./ft. of torque! At the top of the motor a chrome air filter which is topped by a pristine 427 Turbo-Jet decal, feeds air into an 850 Holley carburetor which receives fuel from a high performance electronic fuel pump. That air/fuel mixture then travels into a CNC port matched dual plane aluminum intake which sits between GMPP aluminum heads that are fitted with 110cc combustion chambers, stainless steel valves and stamped steel rocker arms. Once inside the block, the mixture is compressed by forged aluminum pistons that are connected to forged steel and shot-peed rods which are spun by a forged steel crank. The resulting gases are then sent through fully restored cast iron exhaust manifolds with the help of a hydraulic roller cam and GMPP dyno tuned induction and ignition. At the front of the engine, a fresh V-belt spins a correct fan and modern alternator between a correct radiator and an aluminum short style water pump while reproduction GM hoses combine with correct tower clamps and a correct reproduction Delco Energizer battery to provide a completely authentic look. The big GMPP block is covered in a traditional coat of Chevy Orange paint which contrasts well to the car's flat black engine bay. And everything under the hood has been completely show detailed from correct overspray, correct chalk marks and correct decals to correct gray hood hardware and a trick set of finned aluminum Yenko valve covers.
What good would a killer big block be without a great chassis and suspension to back it up? Behind the thundering 502, a tough M21 Muncie 4-speed transmission sends power to a tried and true GM 12 bolt Posi-traction rear end with stout 3.55 gears. That strip-ready drivetrain is held in by a correctly rebuilt suspension which features correct spiral shocks, correct power brakes and correct manual steering for that raw, vintage street racer feel. In the middle of the car, a mandrel bent, reproduction exhaust system runs from the gray GM manifolds to factory replacement mufflers which are equipped with turn downs, and fresh fuel lines run between the big Holley carburetor and a new stainless fuel tank. The bottom of this Chevelle has been over-restored to the same high standards as its exterior panels and engine compartment. Accordingly, the frame was sanded and completely repainted, the floors were layered in the same glossy Island Teal as the exterior, and a slew of correct chalk marks and correct stickers adorn the components from front to back. To complete the look, date-code correct 14 inch steel wheels were fully detailed in Island Teal basecoat/clearcoat and wear a pristine set of dog dish hubcaps inside of authentic looking G70 Firestone redline tires.
During restoration, this Chevelle 300 was equipped with a great looking NOS black interior that, despite being sparse by even 60s standards, is comfortable and well designed. The vinyl bench seats are in excellent shape and show little to no signs of wear, and the upper dash exhibits no fading or warping. In the middle of the dash, you'll find a NOS AM radio, and below the dash, a durable rubber mat frames a black and chrome Muncie shifter. The striped Chevelle 300 door panels are free of nicks and feature bright chrome handles for the doors and windows, and correct armrests for the front seat passengers. At the top of the car, a tight, fade-free headliner frames a functioning dome light, and in front of the driver, a retro-fitted GM rally wheel features a bright wood rim, spotless satin spokes and a bright, colorful horn button. In the cars fully restored trunk, you'll find a correct mat, correct decklid decals and fifth fully restored Island Teal wheel that's complete with a fifth Firestone redline tire.
Documentation for this Chevelle is substantial and includes a binder of restoration photos, paperwork for the GM Performance Parts 502, a stack of era correct books and manuals, a showboard, a copy of the Chevelle World magazine in which it was featured, and judging sheets from the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Chevelle Show where it won Director's Choice.
With a stunning motor, an incredible paint job and a pristine interior, this '68 Chevelle was built by an experienced car builder who stuck to his vision and took detailing to a whole new level. The result is a no excuses show car which looks and performs better than when it left the factory. If you're in the market for a unique muscle car with an unbeatable combination of style and performance, this '68 300 is your car!
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