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LS3-powered Chevelle SS – Doin’ ’65 (Part 2)

1/24/2015 8:35:53 PM
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The frame was unsalvageable, and the body needed extensive sheetmetal replacement. As a result, after the car was media blasted, they added new quarters, new floors, trunk floor, fenders, and hood.

From there the laborious task of getting the body straight started. That job was assigned to Terry and Jesse Johnson, who work at His Place. It took them numerous months to get the boxy Chevelle to the point where it was ready for paint. Wanting to replicate the car that Bill saw in Carlisle, Jesse applied numerous coats of PPG Mist Blue basecoat/clearcoat paint.

The interior was another no-brainer. It would be a duplicate of the pricey Carlisle SS. Main Street Upholstery was tasked with doing the stitch work and convertible top on the car. They installed a new power top, and faith-fully reproduced the stunning Medium Blue ’65 vinyl interior which looks factory fresh.

Power for the SS comes from a stock Chevrolet Performance 6.2L LS3 crate engine

The instruments also needed an overhaul. Rick’s Restorations faithfully re-stored them to a factory fresh look. The last details included a full glass replacement from Auto City Classic, and the installation of a Vintage Air AC system.

In order to bring the Chevelle’s handling into the 21st century, Bill started with a solid replacement frame, and cracked open the Global West catalog. The SS now rides on their upper and lower G-plus tubular A-arms, Monroe Sensa Trac adjustable shocks, late model GM spindles, a quick ratio steering box, and a 1 1/8-inch Hotchkis sway bar. For the back end, he installed a 12-bolt GM rear stuffed with 3.73 gears, while Monroe Sensa Trac adjustable shocks, and a 1-inch Hotchkis sway bar keep it all firm.

A five-speed Tremec gearbox handles the transfer of horsepower to the rear. That horsepower does need to stop, so bill opted for the installation of factory calipers at the front with 11-inch rotors. At the rear, Wilwood calipers also clamp down on 11-inch rotors.

Power for the SS comes from a stock Chevrolet Performance 6.2L LS3 crate engine. His Place, which is now run by his son, Bill Jr., has gained a reputation for using the crate GM LS3 mills in various restorations, most notably in C1 and C2 Corvette restomods.

The frame was unsalvageable, and the body needed extensive sheetmetal replacement

“It is such a great motor. It has plenty of power and the gas mileage is phenomenal. With a five-speed and 3.73 gears you can get 28 miles per gallon,” Bill explains.

The other benefit from this combination is the peace of mind from a 24-month, 50,000-mile GM warranty. Allowing the LS3 to maximize its ability to produce power means free breathing at both ends. While the stock intake handles inward air, Street Performance headers mated to a custom stainless steel 2.5-inch exhaust system with Dynomax Performance mufflers insures the spent gases exit freely. Tim’s Garage was responsible for crafting the exhaust system.

In terms of rolling stock, subdued but elegant was the desired look. After careful evaluation of his options, he settled on American Racing Torq-Thrust 17×8.5 wheels wrapped in Cooper Zeon 2XS 255/45R17 tires at all four corners.

The entire project took Bill and the crew at His Place four years to complete. The end result is a civilized and reliable car that is an absolute blast to drive. But if you think he is done with ’65 Chevelle’s, he claims to have just acquired another one.

 
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