Written by independent automotive journalist Tom Jensen
In 1969, Chevrolet promoted its Chevelle as “America’s most popular mid-size car,” and with good reason. The Chevelle had all the ingredients buyers wanted, from good looks and a spacious interior to a wide range of body styles and options.
Back then, buyers could order a Chevelle almost any way they wanted, from a tame 6-cylinder sedan to a high-performance SS 396 that was one of the most iconic muscle cars of the Woodstock era.
Flash forward a little more than half a century and, through the miracle of modern technology, you can still get a 1969 Chevelle almost any way you want, only this time it isn’t custom-ordered through a Chevrolet dealer, it’s custom-built with aftermarket performance parts.
Today, a 1969 Chevelle is a perfect blank canvas on which to build a thoroughly modern high-performance car that delivers a combination of speed, style and technology that would have been inconceivable when Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Rolling Stones ruled the radio airwaves.
At the 49th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, Jan. 11-19 at WestWorld in Scottsdale, buyers will have the opportunity to purchase an amazing ’69 Chevelle custom build (Lot #1319) that combines classic Chevrolet good looks with a whole host of contemporary upgrades that make it exciting to drive and compelling to just look at it.
The Chevelle build is absolutely top-notch in every respect, with no expense spared and no corners cut to convert a stock automobile into a contemporary custom with lots of upgrades. What’s been added to this beautiful custom is a long list of performance, technology and appearance items that transform its personality.
The first thing you’ll notice is the sinister flat black paint scheme that covers every inch of the perfect sheet metal on this immaculate Chevelle. Black is the hardest color to paint a car, because it shows off every flaw. That means before the paint is applied, the builder has to make sure every body line is arrow-straight, with the body surface prepared to exacting standards before applying the paint. A close inspection of this Chevelle custom build shows just how painstaking and detailed the preparation was.
As part of the preparation, all chrome trim on the body was removed or painted flat black, resulting in a car that looks great even standing still, with a properly menacing appearance that sets this car apart from lesser builds.
The gorgeous custom interior is finished in bright red, which provides a perfect contrast to the black exterior. Vintage Air, custom bucket seats, custom gauges and steering wheel and a roll bar make the cockpit comfortable, functional and easy on the eyes.
If you’re going to build something that looks like this, it needs to be backed up with performance that matches the appearance, and here the Chevelle shines. Under the hood is a Dart Little M 406ci small-block Chevy V8 engine with ported Dart 220 aluminum heads. Cast from premium high-strength iron and beefed up in all the critical areas, the Dart Little M is designed from the ground up as a true racing engine block that can be used with standard off-the-shelf small block components.
The engine is topped off by a an F1 Procharger supercharger and intercooler, which deliver the boosted air-fuel mixture to the engine through a Holley Dominator electronic fuel-injection system. To dispel spent gases, there’s a set of custom-fabricated headers and an exhaust system designed around Borla mufflers. All that power is transmitted to the rear wheels through a TCI Turbo 400 3-speed automatic transmission.
This custom build rides on a RideTech TQ-Series Autocross suspension with a fabricated Ford 9-inch 3.55 and Detroit Locker rear end to make handling that matches the horsepower, and a massive set of Wilwood disc brakes deliver great stopping power as well.
This 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle custom build has it all – the right look, the right performance and the right build quality. It’s ready to go and ready to make its new owner happy.