If ever you are in the mood for nabbing a little extra attention in your late-’60’s muscle car, just do what Jim Meyer did with his 1967 Chevelle—paint it orange and add a healthy dose of chrome. Yes, it’s bright and bold but this Chevelle isn’t all show because at its heart is pure American muscle.
Jim’s life in the car scene started back when he was just 15 years old, as did his love for Chevys. His experience tinkering with farm equipment came in handy when he got his first car: a 1960 Chevrolet Impala. To catch you up on the rest of Jim’s story might take a while so we’ll just skip forward about 46 years to the point at which this ’67 Chevelle came into the picture.
By the time Jim got around to building his dream car, he had grown up, married, and raised five children. Once life started to settle down a bit, he decided it was time to pursue his passions again. Jim travels regularly for work, so he started scouring the country for the perfect car to start his build. He looked everywhere, from Chicago to San Francisco, but ended up finding one in Denver, not far from his hometown of Windsor, Colorado.
The car he decided on was a 1967 Chevelle that was reasonably clean but had styling that was largely out of date since it had been “redone” about 10 years before. Jim’s goal with his new muscle car was to try and maintain professional-level build quality, keeping everything clean and modern, but do it all in his garage at a fraction of the price of a major shop.
With the car in generally good condition, Jim didn’t need to waste time and could get to work modifying the car to his liking. Whatever engine was in the Chevelle when he bought it is insignificant in comparison to the Chevrolet Performance ZZ427 crate engine Jim replaced it with. He dropped the brand-new engine in himself and then had the wiring and the tune done by Gooding Performance of Fort Collins, Colorado. The big-block is rated at 480 hp at 6,000 rpm and 490 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm, but factor in the 5,000-foot elevation where Jim had the car dyno-tested and the loss of 25 hp and 50 lb-ft of torque was to be expected.
You might remember that we mentioned chrome when introducing Jim’s Chevelle. Well, most of that chrome is in the engine bay. On the front of the engine, Jim used March Performance’s Revolver serpentine system and a March polished alternator. The stock intake manifold was polished by Mirror Polishing of Waterbury, Connecticut. The headers are long-tubes from Hooker—also chrome—that allow the exhaust to flow freely through 3.5-inch tubes and two Pypes Race Pro mufflers then out dual chrome exhaust tips. Finishing up the engine dress-up are polished stock valve covers and custom-painted with a Billet Specialties air cleaner up top.
Power is transferred from the 427 toward the back of the Chevelle via a TREMEC TKO 600 five-speed manual transmission. In the rear is a limited slip–equipped 12-bolt with 3.55 gears and Moser Engineering 31-spline axles.
Jim opted for Classic Performance Products (CPP) tubular A-arms and QA1 coilovers in the front of his ’67 to achieve the modern ride he was looking for. Out back, he used CPP’s Stage IV adjustable four-link and antiroll bar paired with Viking Performance coilovers. For equally modern braking, Jim installed Baer 14-inch slotted and cross-drilled rotors with six-piston calipers front and rear. The Baer brakes sit behind polished American Racing VN425 wheels, 18x8 in the front and 20x12 in the back, with Michelin Pilot Super Sports keeping the Chevelle stuck to the road.
All the running gear in Jim’s Chevelle is undoubtedly impressive, but where the car stands out even more is the exterior and interior design. In case you didn’t notice, the car is painted bright orange, which certainly catches the eye. But it wasn’t as simple as plainly paying someone and telling them to paint it orange. No, Jim had a very specific color in mind, and to get there he had his brother, owner of Jimmy’s Customs, make a custom mix using PPG paint. Jim calls the paint Bourbon ‘N’ Ice, and it’s a mixture of PPG Tango Mango and lots of pearl.
Pre-paint, Jimmy’s Customs made a handful of key body modifications, which include tighter driprails, fiberglass stingray-style hood, and smoothed firewall. Post-paint, Jim custom handformed a fiberglass rear spoiler and front air dam. He also retrofitted cable releases for the trunk and hood, which are routed to the license plates.
The interior of Jim’s ’67 is equally as stunning. He fabricated a custom dash insert, which surrounds Marshall Comp II LED gauges while the dash itself is a clear anodized brushed aluminum piece. Instead of a key, Jim added a modern touch to his classic by installing an entirely keyless ignition and locking system with pushbutton start. Billet Specialties vents blow ice-cold air from the March A/C compressor controlled by a Vintage Air control panel located in the glovebox. The seats are stock ’67 Chevelle buckets, but Jim custom-designed the leather and stitching the seats are wrapped in.
Jim is all about the modern details, and another innovative feature he built into the Chevelle is a completely Bluetooth-controlled audio system. He used a Pioneer amplifier and Infinity speakers, but instead of a traditional head unit he wired in a Bluetooth receiver so he can connect his iPhone and play his tunes directly from the phone. Why didn’t we think of that?
After the two-and-a-half-year build was complete, Jim is able to look back and be pleased with the whole process, “I really enjoyed the design, engineering, and the build. Working with my brother and a couple friends’ shops makes it all worthwhile.”
Lucky for us, he might grace us with another custom build. “Maybe a hot rod or a 1970 Chevelle?” says Jim. Whatever he decides on, we are always in support of cool, home-built rides like Jim’s 1967 Chevelle and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
|Owner:||Jim Meyer, Windsor, Colorado|
|Type:||Chevrolet Performance ZZ427|
|Cylinder Heads:||Aluminum oval port, 110cc combustion chamber|
|Valvetrain:||1.7:1 aluminum roller rockers|
|Camshaft:||Hydraulic roller (224/234-deg. duration at 0.050; 0.527/0.544-inch lift)|
|Induction:||Stock 427 intake manifold polished by Mirror Polishing (Waterbury, CT), Holley 770-cfm carburetor|
|Ignition:||Stock HEI distributor|
|Exhaust:||Hooker long-tube headers, 3.5-inch collectors, Pypes Race Pro mufflers, 3-inch system|
|Ancillaries:||March Performance Revolver serpentine system and polished alternator|
|Output (at 5,000ft altitude):||454 hp at 5,900 rpm, 438 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm|
|Transmission:||TREMEC TKO 600|
|Rear Axle:||12-bolt with Moser cover, 3.55 gears, limited slip, Moser 31-spline axles|
|Frame:||Stock, narrowed 2 inches per side and boxed|
|Friont Suspension:||CPP tubular A-arms, Unisteer Performance rack-and-pinion, QA1 coilovers|
|Rear Suspension:||CPP Stage IV adjustable four-link and antiroll bar, Viking Performance coilovers|
|Brakes:||Baer 14-inch slotted and cross-drilled rotors, six-piston calipers front and rear; CPP master cylinder|
|Wheels & Tires|
|Wheels:||American Racing VN425 18x8 front, 20x12 rear|
|Tires:||Michelin Pilot Super Sport 245/35 front, 335/30 rear|
|Upholstery:||Auto Weave Upholstery|
|Material:||Berkshire leather and Chatham leather|
|Seats:||Stock with added bolstering|
|Steering:||ididit column, Billet Specialties wheel|
|Dash:||Custom brushed aluminum with clear anodize|
|Instrumentation:||Marshall Instruments Comp II LED|
|Audio:||Pioneer amplifier customized with Bluetooth capabilities, Infinity speakers|
|HVAC:||Vintage Air, March compressor, Billet Specialties vents|
|Bodywork:||Jimmy’s Customs (Wellington, CO)|
|Paint by:||Jimmy Poole and Leslie Scott of Jimmy’s Customs|
|Paint:||PPG custom mix of Tango Mango and pearl named Bourbon ’N’ Ice|
|Hood:||Stock with custom fiberglass stinger hoodscoop, Eddie Motorsports hinges|
|Bumpers:||Stock front and rear with bolts removed and exhaust flares in the rear, chrome by Ogden Chrome (Ogden, UT)|