1966 Chevy Chevelle - Form & Function

Tony Grzelakowski Built One Of The Best Pro Touring Chevelles We've Seen This Year

Cole Quinnell Mar 1, 2010 0 Comment(s)

Under the hood is just as clean and functional as the rest of the Chevelle. The engine is a 427ci big-block, as far as you know. It uses 990 rectangular-port heads with a full roller valvetrain. The attention to detail here is incredible. Everything is either body color, plated, or matte black. The smooth firewall panel came from ABC Performance.

Tony used about 25 pounds of chromed button-head bolts on this car to keep the look smooth and clean. The Superior aluminum radiator bolts in the factory location while a Vintage Air condenser and an automatic transmission cooler are nested in front of the core support.

1003chp_04_o 1966_chevy_chevelle Engine_bay 2/13

Wheels, Tires & Brakes
Baer 13-inch rotors up front wear Foose Nitrous 18x8.5 wheels with 5.75 inches of backspacing. While some people are going for 20s and even 22s, Tony felt the 18s were ideal for street driving with the factory fenderwells and without air suspension. The front rollers are Toyo Proxes P245/45ZR18s.

In the rear, a DTS Ford 9-inch spins a combination of 13-inch brakes, 18x10 wheels with 5.25 inches of backspacing and P285/40ZR18 tires tucked nicely within the factory sheetmetal. Tony says that he'd like to mini-tub the car to make room for P335/40ZR18s, but wants to retain a factory look in the trunk if he does that.

1003chp_03_o 1966_chevy_chevelle Custom_rims 3/13

Take a close look at that frame. Tony boxed it, and he did it so well that it looks like GM made it that way. The ABC Performance rear suspension provides QA1 coilover shocks that bolt right in, giving the car its great stance and control, with adjustable height. The ABC Performance kit also includes adjustable tubular upper control arms, chassis braces, tubular lower control arms, and a 1-inch sway bar. The front suspension is a combination of Global West control arms, B-body spindles, and QA1 adjustable coilovers. One of the key elements of Pro Touring is getting the stance and proportions perfect. Tony Grzelakowski spent a lot of time determining the exact combination to get this '66 Chevelle to look right, and to perform right.

1003chp_06_o 1966_chevy_chevelle Aftermarket_suspension_system 4/13

Modernized Interior
Making a muscle car interior modern is tricky business, and it usually doesn't work out so well. The dash top and passenger-side insert are covered in leather to match the seats, door panels, and console, and add significant class to a family-car interior. The clever A/C vents are from a Pontiac Solstice.

Tony used an ABC Performance dash and gauge panel that bolts to the factory dash top, and is filled with Auto Meter Pro Comp Ultra-Lite gauges. Vintage Air HVAC controls are center stage, with vital control switches and the "start" button just to the right of the Flaming River tilt steering column. The center console that Tony modified to fit and function properly was transplanted from a Cadillac DTS.

The front, reclining bucket seats are from Corbeau. To create a matching look, Tony and his son T.J. started with the original rear bench frame and fabricated two rear bucket seatbacks to match the fronts. Sparco belts were used throughout the cabin. You look have to look close, but there's a 12-point, 15/8-inch rollcage in the car, however the clean installation and satin-black paint make it nearly invisible.

1003chp_08_o 1966_chevy_chevelle Race_car_interior 5/13




subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print