As they say, “the only thing constant is change.” And for the most part they’re right. Something that you like today eventually falls out of favor to be replaced with something else. Such is the case with the ’72 Chevelle SS owned by Dennis Carrillo. You see, this Chevlle started out as a fully restored ride that Dennis, owner of Foothill Auto Body in Rancho Cucamonga, California, had massaged and painted for a customer. The finished car was beautiful and completely stock. Well, the owner’s tastes soon changed and before long custom bits began finding their way onto the Chevelle. You see, while the owner liked the restored look, he wasn’t all that fond of how the Chevelle drove. Pretty soon a full Global West suspension found its way under the car along with a close-ratio steering box and quartet of Wilwood brakes. But we guess that wasn’t enough since the car soon went up for sale. Dennis jumped at the chance to scoop up the A-body he had spent so much time painting.
The Chevy was already heading in a direction Dennis liked, but his tastes leaned a bit more to the custom side so he hit up his neighbor Tim Lee, of Don Lee Auto, to up the performance a bit. The non-numbers-matching mill was yanked and replaced with a 496 big-block wearing aluminum heads and backed up by a 700-R4 from Toy Shop Transmissions out of Pomona, California. The spent gasses are evacuated through Hooker headers and a stainless exhaust system. Dennis wanted a driver so Tim swapped the carb for a complete FiTech EFI system. Lastly, the 12-bolt rear was rebuilt with a fresh posi and a set of 3.73 gears to get the heavy Chevy up and moving a bit quicker. Dennis wanted to modernize the looks a bit as well, so 18x9 front and 19x10 rear Forgeline RB3C three-piece wheels were chosen to envelop the upgraded, larger Wilwood binders.
The stock interior wasn’t cutting it either so the Chevelle was sent to Mark Lopez, owner of Elegance Auto Interiors, in Upland, California, for a custom makeover. Yards of black leather gave the interior and trunk an updated, but still classic, look. While there, Carlos Rodriguez, owner of Art of Sound, also in Upland, stopped by to upgrade the Chevy’s audio system. The interior was finished off with a set of custom gauges along with a slew of billet parts from Eddie Motorsports to dress up the engine bay and trunk with billet hinges and valve covers.
The combination of classic and modern parts makes for a ride that still gives off that classic Chevy vibe that makes these cars timeless. And, thanks to the aftermarket, the Chevelle drives and handles like a new car, or at least close enough to make Dennis a very happy guy.
Photos by Jorge Nunez