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This Pro Touring 1963 Chevy II SS Blossomed from a High Schooler's First Project Car

Low (And Anything But Slow): Jeremy Fogleman’s Killer Chevy II Has Deep Roots

Tommy Lee Byrd May 14, 2015
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There’s something to be said for a car that has been in the family for a while. Whether it was handed down by a family member or just a high school project car, it takes a sentimental car guy to hold onto a car for a number of years. It’s easy to get bored with a project or lose interest all together, but for Gibsonville, North Carolina, resident Jeremy Fogleman this 1963 Chevy II Super Sport has been at the top of his project car priorities for many years. The end result is a lowdown cruiser with good looks and lots of power to back it up.

1963 Chevy II Nova SS Red Bags Rolling 2/32

Jeremy’s first interaction with this car happened at the age of 14. His dad, Steve, brought the car home and gave it him as his first project car. Jeremy drove this car throughout high school and took his girlfriend Leah out on dates in the car. Over the years many things changed, including Jeremy and Leah getting married and having a baby girl (Layla), but one thing stayed the same: the Chevy II. Even though the car remained in Jeremy’s possession, it certainly went through some changes of its own. An 8-year rebuild consisted of a complete overhaul, and Jeremy gave the car a modern Pro Touring look without taking away from the originality of the body and all of its Super Sport trim.

Starting with the front suspension, Jeremy replaced the original subframe with a TCI unit, which features a Mustang II-based suspension. Tubular stainless steel control arms articulate according to the air pressure inside the Firestone airbags. Jeremy built the air-ride suspension system, but retained the TCI sway bar and rack-and-pinion steering setup. The air suspension allows Jeremy to slam the car to the ground when it’s parked and easily pump it up for comfortable driving. He installed a set of GM disc brakes, which are visible through the spokes of the 17x7 Billet Specialties SLC65 wheels, wrapped in Nitto 555 rubber, sized at 205/40R17.

1963 Chevy II Nova SS Red Bags Grill Badge 3/32
1963 Chevy II Nova SS Red Bags Wheels 4/32
1963 Chevy II Nova SS Red Bags Tail Quarter 5/32

Out back, the tire and wheel combination offers a nice raked stance. Matching Billet Specialties rollers measure 18x10 and wear Nitto 555 tires, sized at 275/40R18. Normally, a Chevy II would be limited to a much smaller tire and wheel combination, but mini-tubs and a TCI rear suspension package provide adequate real estate for wide rubber. The TCI suspension package includes the necessary mounts for the four-link bars, as well as subframe connectors and a crossmember to mount the shock absorbers. The rear suspension features RideTech ShockWaves, which are operated by Jeremy’s homebuilt air suspension setup. The stainless steel four-link bars bolt to a Currie 9-inch rearend housing, which has been narrowed to fit the compact Chevy II platform. It’s packed with 3.70 gears, a Positraction differential, and Currie axles.

In terms of horsepower, Jeremy goes about it in traditional fashion with a tried-and-true small-block Chevy. Starting life as a ’70s GM 400ci small-block, Apple’s Engine Rebuilding punched the block 0.030 over and assembled it with a GM forged crankshaft, Scat 6-inch connecting rods, and Probe flat-top pistons. In combination with the GM Performance Parts Fast Burn aluminum cylinder heads, the final compression ratio is near 11.0:1, which is at the threshold for 91-octane pump gas. The cylinder heads have been ported and polished, and they’re finished off with a set of Comp Cams valvesprings and PBM 1.5:1 roller rocker arms. The camshaft is a Herbert Performance hydraulic flat tappet unit, with 231/236-degree duration at 0.050-inch lift and 0.520-inch lift.

1963 Chevy II Nova SS Red Bags Engine Sbc Side 6/32
1963 Chevy II Nova SS Red Bags Engine Sbc Chrome 7/32

Atop the small-block is an Edelbrock RPM Air-Gap intake manifold, fit with an Edelbrock Thunder Series AVS carburetor rated at 800 cfm. Ignition is controlled by a Procomp Electronics small-body distributor, complemented by an MSD Blaster 2 coil and MSD 8mm plug wires. A Performance Rod & Custom aluminum radiator and SPAL electric fan cool the small-block, while a Billet Specialties Tru Trac accessory drive offers an attractive serpentine belt setup. A Powermaster one-wire alternator fills out the accessories. The headers are ceramic-coated shorties, which lead to a set of Hooker Aero Chamber mufflers through 2 1/2-inch tubing. Behind the small-block is a Tremec TKO-600 five-speed manual transmission, which features a Ram clutch set and a Hurst shifter.

1963 Chevy II Nova SS Red Bags Side Front 8/32

One look at Jeremy’s Chevy II tells you he knows a thing or two about bodywork. He makes his living doing paint and bodywork, so he took extra care to make his Chevy II laser straight before the PPG Deltron materials were laid down. Jeremy patched the lower quarter-panels and replaced the passenger-side doorskin due to rust, but the remaining panels are original GM steel. Contrary to many Pro Touring cars, Jeremy kept all of the original trim and emblems, giving the Chevy II Super Sport a unique look. Moe’s Polishing restored all of the original stainless steel trim. The Torch Red paint is flawless—Jeremy spent countless hours getting it just how he wanted it. Even the engine bay is sanded, buffed, and polished to perfection, which is a testament to Jeremy’s attention to detail throughout the build. The only piece of the body that isn’t Torch Red is the rear taillight panel, which offers a nice contrast with charcoal gray paint.

1963 Chevy II Nova SS Red Bags Interior Front 9/32
1963 Chevy II Nova SS Red Bags Steering Wheel Interior 10/32

Inside, Jeremy kept it simple by retaining the stock seats, door panels, and dash. Dean’s Upholstery handled the stitchwork on the Saddle-colored interior, while Jeremy spent lots of hours detailing the interior with more red paint. The dash is fit with an underdash Vintage Air vent setup, allowing the heat and A/C to flow freely. The Classic Instruments gauges mount in a billet panel, and offer much more information than the original cluster. Also in the dash is a Custom Electronics stereo, which fits in the original bezel. We especially like the Classic Instruments tachometer mounted in the “knee knocker” position below the dash. A chrome-plated ididit tilt steering column and Billet Specialties steering wheel finish off the interior.

Overall, the Chevy II has undergone a huge transformation during Jeremy’s ownership. It has gone from a high school project car to a high-end Pro Touring build that runs and drives better than Jeremy could’ve ever imagined when he first got the car. The small-block and five-speed transmission offer lots of fun factor, while the flawless paint reminds you that this isn’t your average build. Jeremy says he got lots of help through the years from folks like Steve Fogleman (father), Gary Fogleman (uncle), Brad Taylor, Scott Kirkman, and Steven Pegram. And of course, support from his wife, Leah, and daughter Layla went a long way in completing this project. It’s a relationship that goes back many years, and the bond between Jeremy and his Chevy II is stronger than ever, now that the car is on the road and the entire family can enjoy it.

1963 Chevy II Nova SS Red Bags Front Quarter 11/32
1963 Chevy II Nova SS Red Bags Rear Quarter 12/32
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