"I found the car in Los Angeles about 10 years ago," Tim King says, when we asked how long he's been tweaking his 'bagged A-body. "I purchased it from a sports radio announcer. He was a Harley-Davidson rider but had crashed and bought the Chevelle to appease his need for speed." After getting bored of racing from light to light on the way to work, the previous owner put the 'Velle on the market in hopes to get back into bikes. Along came Tim as an enthusiastic young gearhead and the transformation began.
The car was purchased in running condition with a 454ci big-block and a four-speed Muncie transmission in tow, but it wasn't at the level you see it at here, Tim made sure to apply his style to the car over the following decade. "It's safe to say I have gone through this car from bumper to bumper," Tim says. "While I was working at a resto shop called True Connections in Riverside, California, I stored away parts so once I had the car painted I could bolt on all the new parts to make the car what it is today." Besides spraying the actual paint and applying interior stitching, Tim was able to build the entire car in his garage in Moreno Valley, California, which included even rebuilding the engine, installing the transmission, and cutting and welding on new sheetmetal where needed.
We spotted Tim's slammed Chevelle at the Run to the Coast event last February, and we just had to get it in our magazine for a few reasons. One, Tim built the Chevelle with his own elbow grease and determination. Two, this car gets driven regularly. And three, the stance on this thing is just killer. "I built the car to be a clean cruiser that can showcase TMI's products and can go anywhere. The engine was built to be very mild so it can idle in traffic without being obnoxious, and at 9:1 compression I can run inexpensive fuel," Tim says. But don't be fooled by his modest claims because we rode in the 1966 on the way to the photo shoot and trust us, it has plenty of power.
The killer stance we mentioned comes from a combination of drop spindles and airbags, which means Tim has the ability to modulate the ride height, thanks to a custom setup from BioKustumz in Winchester, California. And when it's lowered over the large NewGen wheels and SSBC brakes at all four corners, it really makes this stand out from your typical Chevelle. The other thing we really like about this car is the shimmering white seats from TMI. Instead of going with your typical black vinyl, Tim chose a unique color combo for his project that we feel is like the cherry on top of the sundae. "I originally had just black buckets in it, but once I started working for TMI, I was able to look into some of GM's other materials and decided on Pearl Parchment, which came in the 1968 Chevelle.
"Originally, my whole goal with the car was to do something old school, yet new school," Tim says, while he showed off pictures of how the car used to look. "Something that would appeal to younger people, as well as those who drove these cars new. I felt like I really achieved that goal when it was satin black on five-spokes, but then the Pro Touring bug bit and I went with a more modern style and haven't looked back."
Under the hood is a 454ci big-block that was bored 0.060 over and stuffed with Keith Black pistons that provide 9:1 compression. Tim chose a camshaft from Holley's Voodoo camshaft line, which is a mild flat tappet designed to sound mean and make great torque. An Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold directs the air/fuel into the cylinders, while a Holley 4150 with 750 cfm sits atop the combo providing large gulps of fuel and air. Erson roller rockers articulate the valves, while COMP Cams locks, pushrods, and springs round out the valvetrain. The ignition is an HEI setup from Performance Distributors and Taylor spark plug wires are loomed over the wide valve covers. Ceramic-coated Doug Thorley headers route spent fumes through Flowmaster American Thunder 3-inch mufflers, while Maradyne dual cooling fans and a heavy-duty, dual pass radiator make up the cooling system. Other upgrades include Undercover Innovations' core support cover, Eddie Motorsports hood hinges, and a K&N air filter.
The stick in the 'Velle combined with a torquey big-block makes this car a blast to drive on the street. Tim chose to ditch the old Muncie gearbox for a T56 six-speed transmission from a 1999 Camaro, and instead of the sloppy stock shifter, he went with Hurst Nitro Stick II model for those gear change punches. The car is also equipped with a 12-bolt rearend with 3.11:1 gears and a Positraction differential. A driveshaft from Inland Empire Driveline connects the two pieces.
The interior of the Chevelle features a shaved dash, Sport-R Series interior from TMI Products in Pearl Parchment, Trim Parts Cut-Pile Carpet, Eddie Motorsports Racer steering wheel, and Dakota Digital VHX gauge package. Because the car is a hardtop (no post), the Chevelle easily shows off the custom TMI interior. The trunk features two Odyssey batteries, two Pioneer 10-inch subs, two Pioneer amplifiers, two Viar 480C air compressors, and one five-gallon air tank. It sounds like a lot to be packed into a trunk but Tim did a great job of hiding everything. A Painless Performance dual battery isolator, Dakota Digital LED taillights, and an M&H Wiring Harness from True-Connections complete the interior.
The paint Tim chose is BMW Sparkling Graphite and he also shaved all emblems and radio antenna before bolting up a steel 2-inch cowl induction hood. Tim also had to perform some surgery on the car, replacing both rear quarter-panels and the trunk floor. A partially blacked-out grille and powdercoated black bumpers add a custom touch.
Wheels & Tires
The unique-looking rims come from NewGen Wheels in Corona, California. Tim opted for the Descendant series for his Chevelle and wrapped them in Nitto NT555 tires. They measure 19 inches in the front, and 20 in the rear.
Brakes & Suspension
For the front suspension, Tim went with an SC&C Stage II Kit with adjustable upper control arms and taller ball joints; the taller ball joints help correct the steering geometry on lowered cars. The rear suspension features a Tubular-Poly Kit from UMI Performance/www.Code510.com, a custom airbag system from BioKustumz, and Viking adjustable shocks at all four corners.