In the world of high performance street machines, the game of building cars capable of doing everything well continues to evolve. Occasionally, a very special hot rod is built that redefines the genre and sets new standards for real world performance. Much like the athlete whose outstanding performance dramatically changes the momentum and outcome of a contest, Brent Jarvis' immaculate '68 Chevelle SS 427 is a game changer. This car is capable of running with, and sometimes outrunning, dedicated racecars in the various venues of road racing, drag racing, and slalom events. It mixes it up at the track while remaining a fun, well-mannered street car. As a matter of fact, this pristine Chevelle drove the entire 2009 Hot Rod Power Tour without a hiccup.
Jarvis is the owner of Performance Restorations in Mundelein, Illinois, (www.performancerestorations.com). Certainly capable of performing chalk mark restorations, Jarvis and crew also specialize in building high-performance cars that not only retain the iconic muscle car look, but also perform as well as a most modern day automobiles. In his business, Jarvis stresses the priority of creating a custom-tailored plan suited for the customer. Some prefer milder street cars that are basically OEM in looks and performance.
However, there are some customers who prefer just a bit more, and that's when the Performance Restorations team really shines. Jarvis has crafted a philosophy of building street machines that challenge commonly accepted boundaries of hot rod construction. Constantly scrutinizing conventional wisdom yields a harvest of exceptional cars that burst ahead of the pack.
When Brent acquired his '68 Chevelle SS 396 as an abandoned project, plans quickly took shape. "I really wanted a modern day version of a Day 2 muscle car. Key components for creating the look included starting with a genuine SS car, and incorporating all the neat factory options and original exterior signature identifiers like hood scoops, stripes and cool badges," Brent says. "No modern day high tech gadgets or gizmos … skip the custom exterior mods and tasteless bling components that detract from the car. I wanted the bold and mean factory muscle car look that would be fast in any arena."
To be fast, you need serious horsepower. Brent settled on a stroker 565ci big-block variant tailored to his vision for street performance. An Eagle 4340 4.25 forged stroker crankshaft attaches to Eagle 4340 forged rods and JE forged 10.2:1 forged pistons. Proper lubrication is essential for reliability at the racetrack and the street. The short-block is dressed with a Canton nine-quart race oil pan, fully baffled with crank scraper and windage screen. Moroso supplies the dual remote oil separator, and breather systems.
A lot of thought and planning went into the wide range of activities in which the car would be participate, "I worked long and hard with Erson and my engine builder to come up with a cam that would make big power, sound real cool, but be easy on parts and live at a low rpm on the street. We came up with an Erson hydraulic roller cam that sports a 0.657 lift on the intake and the exhaust, split duration, and the 4-7 swap. Comp Cams supplies the hydraulic roller lifters and pushrods, springs, retainers and keepers. The valve train is topped off with 1.8 Jesel Pro Shaft Rocker Arm setup. Cylinder heads are Dart Pro 1 335 heads with the large rectangular CNC ports and 2.30 intake and 1.90 exhaust valves. Intake is an Edelbrock unit custom machined for the nitrous unit, and a Pro Systems 1050 Holley carburetor."
The headers are stainless steel 2-inch primaries into 3-inch collectors made by Stainless works. The pipes are custom made with a cross over and are 3-inch all the way back with Flowmaster 3-chamber mufflers exiting out a set of '69-70 Chevelle style tips.