There's an old saw about how the shoemaker's kids have holes in their shoes, and one about the mechanic whose own car runs terribly. After working on other peoples' stuff all day, many tradesmen don't want to go home and repeat what they did on the job all day. Fortunately, that's not the case for Bill Jelinek, owner of Route 66 Motorsports, a custom car building shop in New Lenox, Illinois. Bill and his team of craftsmen built Super Chevy's Project American Heroes Camaro and Chevelle—that gives you an idea about the kind of work they do there—and when it came time for Bill to have a toy of his own, this stellar Nova was the result.
Among other things, this '67 Chevy II was supposed to be a rolling promotional piece for the company. Let's face it: This is a lot cooler than a business card, and you can't drive a newspaper ad. The deuce was a local find in reasonable shape, but by the time Bill and his team at Route 66 were done with it, the Nova was one of the finest in the nation.
Bill, son Nick, and lead fabricator Matt Duque left no part unaltered. The engine compartment is so beautiful it ought to have a clear hood. The wiring is completely hidden, the firewall smoothed, and the Heidts front clip completely powdercoated (by Midwest Specialty Coatings, Bill's other in-house company). Eddie Motorsports was sourced for the billet hinges, and a drive-by-wire throttle body makes it look even cleaner.
Bill and Matt built the 2011-vintage LS3 and it uses a custom-ground Comp cam, totally reworked LS3 heads, and a 92mm throttle body on the factory intake. A Billet Specialties front runner system spins the accessories. Street & Performance 1 7/8-inch headers carry the gasses away through a 3-inch exhaust system fabbed by Route 66, which utilizes an X-crossover and Flowmaster mufflers. The combo dyno'd at 560 horsepower. It's connected to a Gearstar Transmissions 4L70E automatic that uses a 2200-stall-speed Yank converter and a 3.91-geared 9-nch.
This was the first car to be fitted with the complete Heidts Pro G front system and uses the Pro-G setup in the rear as well.
As for the body, the gang took it completely apart and blasted it. Before this project, Route 66 did a blue Camaro with a pearl white stripe, and the white stripe theme carried over to this build. The sheetmetal is original except for the fenders and quarters, which are from Dynacorn. Everything was massaged to perfection by the builders. The bumpers, window trim and wheelwell moldings are also from Dynacorn. All the emblems were deleted and the seams filled, but the coolest touch is the fuel filler door on top of the driver's fender (photo next page). We've not seen anything like this before on a Chevy II. Bill and Nick laid down the flawless PPG Torch Red basecoast/clearcoat paint and pearl white stripe.
Complementing the stripe is the white interior. The Pro Car seats are covered in soft-touch vinyl, while Bill did the custom door panels in white with white carbon fiber accents. He also created the slick center console, which houses the Lokar shifter. A Sony CD/DVD/Navigation head unit provides the entertainment when just being behind the wheel isn't enough. Voss Interiors did the re-stitching work on the door panels and sewed all the material on. As you can see from the photos, the dash was completely customized and the switches were relocated.
This was the first car to be fitted with the complete Heidts Pro G front system, and uses the Pro-G setup in the rear as well. It features that company's 2-inch drop spindles, A-arms and shocks up front, plus a 1.5-inch splined sway bar. The rear is a four-link system using a 1-inch sway bar. Heidts subframe connectors tie the two ends together.
Brakes are 12-inch, four-piston Wilwoods at each corner, while rolling stock consists of Billet Specialties "Boost" rims covered in BFGoodrich kdw tires. The wheels are 18x8 with four inches of backspacing in front and 19x10 with 5-inches of backspacing rear. Tires measure 255/40/18 and 295/40/19.
Don't be fooled by the appearance. Bill hammers it on local autocross courses every chance he gets. He has a blast and cone rash doesn't faze him in the least. Best of all is the look on peoples' faces when they see this little show car turn lap times quicker than a late-model Corvette.
All in all, we'd say Bill ended up with quite the calling card. Who cares if it doesn't fit in his pocket?