In the world of hot rodding there are plenty of schools of styling to relate to, especially when you look at the roots of the hobby when trying to dial in a specific era to concentrate on for your build. A lot of this depends if you are looking to re-create a factory, numbers-matching restoration; capture the perfect ’60’s street/drag look; possibly a mile-high gasser; or even the re-creation of a ’70’s-era street freak. Move toward the later decades of the 20th century and the low-slung Pro Street and Pro Touring feel bring it all full circle. What if, though, you grew up in another country far away from any of these influences, which have become a staple of our history?
For George Kouthouridis of Newton, Massachusetts, growing up in the quaint seaside city of Katerini, Greece, his automotive roots sprouted from a completely different set of experiences. Spending his youth near the base of Mt. Olympus and the Aegean Sea, historical culture took precedence. As the years passed he became more in tune with the local automotive scene where plenty of French, German, and British cars flooded the narrow streets—many with lowered suspensions and hopped-up engines. Building scale model kits at the kitchen table while also pouring over as many car magazines as possible to absorb technical and stylistic designs from around the globe fueled his fire.
At 14 years old in the late ’80s, he left school to begin learning metal fabrication at a local body shop. From there, he began working on his own cars, infusing a Euro-look into them. First up was a Renault that he lowered, added a widebody kit, and a custom paintjob. Many cars followed, and by the time he was 18, he joined his family in moving to the U.S. Once here, he enrolled in high school to complete his education with a concentration in auto body repair. Not long after, he started his first collision shop followed by the opening of Far East Customs in Walpole, Massachusetts, in 2008. Over the years George applied his customizing skills to European makes as well as American muscle cars.
Having always been a fan of ’60’s-era Chevy muscle, it was by chance he discovered a torn-down ’67 Chevelle SS at his good friend Peter Newell’s shop, Competition Specialties, located in the same industrial complex. The car had been disassembled and blasted clean for a client who had a number of projects going at the shop. Upon inspection, the original sheetmetal was in great shape and the car was complete and came with a 1967 Chevelle convertible chassis. It was a perfect base for his next build and when George expressed an interest in it, the owner offered it to him for a very fair price.
George hauled the pieces to his shop and got busy. He disassembled it and had the frame blasted clean. Being rock solid, a decision was made to upgrade the front and rear suspension for better stance and handling. A call was placed to UMI Performance for their 1967 GM A-body handling package, which would give the car a perfect 2-inch lowering all around. Out back, a 12-bolt rear was refreshed and packed with 3.08:1 gears suspended in place by a combination of UMI’s tubular upper and lower control arms, 2-inch drop springs, performance-tuned monotube shocks, and solid 1-inch sway bar. Up front, UMI tubular upper and lower control arms meet factory spindles deftly matched to UMI’s 2-inch lowering springs combined with their monotube shocks and 1 1/4-inch sway bar.
Going fast is great but when George has got to stop on a dime a Right Stuff Detailing booster meets a Wilwood dual master to push fluid through steel lines to CTS-V Brembo four-piston calipers and 14-inch discs at each corner. To transfer the goods, George infused some Euro-styling attitude into the mix with a set of dramatic 20-inch Niche Verona M150 wheels shod with low-profile Pirelli P Zero rubber, 275/30 front and 295/35 rear.
Nothing says, “I’m here to make some noise” better than a big-block bolted between the framerails. For plenty of seamless power, George contacted Chevrolet Performance for one of their heavy-breathing ZZ502ci crate V-8s packed with a speed shop full of go-fast goods right out of the box. A cast-iron four-bolt main block was filled with a forged steel crank linked to shot-peened forged rods wearing forged aluminum pistons. A hydraulic roller cam sets the beat while oval port aluminum heads with 110cc chambers are packed with 2.25/1.88 stainless valves.
Up top, a polished Holley Mid-Rise dual-plane intake gets fed through a Demon 850-cfm carb with added gusto from a NOS Pro Shot Fogger system. It all sparks to life thanks to MSD, and spent gasses dump through Hooker headers to a 2 1/2-inch stainless steel exhaust and Flowmaster mufflers. Added details include a Street & Performance serpentine pulley system and enough polish to make you wear shades. A Muncie M21 four-speed links to a stock driveshaft.
When it came time to addressing the body, having it already blasted revealed any issues at hand. While it was very solid, George elected to replace the quarter-panels with fresh units. Once completed, he focused on getting the body prepped and blocked to perfection before laying down a dramatic coating of Lesonal Nassau Blue vibe to bring it all to life.
On the interior side, the car’s all business; pretty much like it was when it rolled off the assembly line way back in 1967 with a refreshed black vinyl split bench accented by factory carpeting. The stock dash and gauges monitor the vitals while shifts move through a four-speed stick and the course gets set with the original, restored steering wheel.
Big-block power, killer suspension, and a bit of “Euro” influence give this ’67 Chevelle a personality all its own.
|Owner||George Kouthouridis, Newton, Massachusetts|
|Vehicle||1967 Chevelle SS|
|Cylinder Heads||GM aluminum oval port|
|Rotating Assembly||GM forged crank, rods, and pistons|
|Valvetrain||GM lifters, valvesprings, and rockers|
|Camshaft||GM hydraulic roller (224/234-deg. duration at 0.050; 0.527/0.544-inch lift)|
|Induction||Holley Mid-Rise dual-plane manifold; Demon 850-cfm carb; NOS Pro Shot Fogger System|
|Ignition||MSD billet distributor, coil, and plug wires|
|Exhaust||Hooker long-tube headers with 2 1/2-inch steel exhaust and Flowmaster mufflers|
|Output (NA)||508 hp, 580 lb-ft|
|Transmission||Muncie M21 four-speed|
|Rear Axle||GM 12-bolt with 3.08:1 gears|
|Front Suspension||UMI Performance Stage 2 upper and lower control arms, 2-inch drop springs, stock spindles, monotube shocks, sway bar|
|Rear Suspension||UMI Performance Stage 2 control arms, monotube shocks, 2-inch drop springs, sway bar|
|Brakes||Cadillac CTS-V Brembo 14-inch rotors, four-piston calipers front and rear|
|Wheels & Tires|
|Wheels||Niche Verona M150 20x10 front, 20x10.5 rear|
|Tires||Pirelli P Zero 275/30 front, 295/35 rear|
|Seats||Stock split bench|
|Upholstery||Black vinyl, stock|
|Hood||Goodmark 2-inch cowl-induction|