Story: Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography: Andrew Link
The Chevelle is to muscle car heritage as OG Air Jordans are to the shoe game. Purists don’t like seeing them altered, and if a retro version comes out, the scheme better be on point. That being said, restoring and customizing a Chevelle is a task not to be taken lightly. From the jump, you’re under a microscope due to the Chevelle’s strong heritage, and one wrong move will have you crucified by classic car purists and clowned by haters. And regardless of whether parts are still available at the local scrap yard, it’s still far from cheap to assemble a Chevelle in the proper manner. In short, half-steppin’ ain’t an option.
Matthew of Racine, Wisconsin, has had his fair share of custom cars, but this particular Chevy was a long time coming. “I’ve always wanted a Chevelle, ever since I was a kid,” explains Matt. “I had the opportunity to get this one, so I jumped on it.” Admittedly, Matt didn’t plan to take it to the lengths he did, but as with most builds, it snowballed. “I didn’t have any real plans for it; I just wanted to build a clean car.”
Matt began his project by scrappin’ the original power plant for a worked 468 big block. A laundry list of upgrades was added to the equation, including a Demon 850 carburetor, Brodix heads and some serious bottom-end work, producing an estimated 660 horsepower. Not stopping with the brawn, the engine bay also received an aesthetic makeover, incorporating a serpentine setup, shaved firewall and neatly routed hoses and wires. And when his horsepower increased, Matt also upgraded his brakes to a Wilwood front and rear big brake kit to bring the heavy Chevy to a hurried halt. And to keep the ride planted on the pavement, a full Hotchkis suspension system was installed, another element many tend to dismiss.
For the sounds and shoes, Matt turned to ’Dullah of Elite Electronics in nearby Greenfield to get him acoustically appealing and to tie in the sun-kissed Chevy’s clean theme. ’Dullah’s crew at Elite installed a JL-exclusive system that includes a pair of JL W7 13.5s in a Plexiglas enclosure, powered by JL amps for a crystal clear yet thunderous sound. For the shoes, ’Dullah hooked Matt up with a set of staggered 20-inch front and 22-inch rear Vellano wheels, custom painted to match the body.
Now that the car is complete, Matt enjoys cruising in his vivid ’Velle, turnin’ heads, getting props and, of course, drawing comparisons to his competition, which Matt is quite fine with. “Mine is more balls-out custom than everybody else’s,” proclaims Matt. “I think other folks didn’t go as far as I did on the details.” He continues, “I get a reaction from everybody—old, young, it doesn’t matter. They all like it and respect it.”
Spec The Technique:
Performance: 468 big block; Billet hood hinges; aluminum radiator and electric fans; high-torque mini starter; billet air cleaner; 660hp; Brodix heads; Edelbrock intake; Demon 850 carburetor; MSD ignition; billet pulleys and power steering pump; MSD alternator; CSR electric water pump; 400 turbo transmission; full-length headers; full Hotchkis suspension; Wilwood big brake kit
Interior: Custom leather and suede bucket seats; new door panels, dash and carpet
Exterior: Lamborghini orange pearl paint
Ice: Two JL 6x9s and one 6.5-inch in each custom kick panel, four speakers in the dashboard, custom Plexiglas-sealed box with two w7 13.5 subwoofers, two 1000v2 amplifiers and two xd400.4 amplifiers; two Stinger spv70 batteries; Dakota Digital dash; all wiring and installation by Elite Electronics in Greenfield, Wisconsin
Wheels/Tires: Vellano VSU wheels, 20×9 front, 22×10 rear, with color-matching centers; Falken tires