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1966 Chevrolet Chevelle 300 - Happiness Is A Warm 300

Larry Richardson's Knowledge Of The Internet Helped Him Find This Beautiful Example Of The Chevelle-Almost 3,000 Miles Away

By Thomas J. Lyman, Photography by Mike Harrington

We live in a day and time that if something cannot be bought in the real world, a few clicks of the mouse, and a 3rd-grade knowledge of the Internet can give you the purchasing power of a multi-million dollar corporation. Websites like eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist allow consumers to buy just about anything.

For such a focused group as automotive enthusiasts, the sky is the limit. Looking for that car you've always dreamed of? Just navigate one of the webpages listed above, and you will find that diamond in the rough, or that perfect project car that can immediately begin collecting dust in the garage. Larry Richardson of Clarksville, Tennessee, worked his magic on eBay to purchase this amazing 1966 Chevelle 300 sedan, showing the rest of us just how to go about buying cars on the 'net.

Back in November 2004, he saw the Chevelle on eBay, with a "Buy-it-Now" price of $5,500. The car did have a 327 and 4-speed transmission. Richardson made an offer of $3,500, which the owner declined. Larry made a comeback bid of $3,500, but without the 327 or tranny, and the owner gave in. With a $400 delivery charge, the Chevelle was in Tennessee, and work started immediately on the project. Richardson's theory of "if it fits in the oven, it gets powdercoated" was implemented, and then work started on the powerplant and suspension.

A '99 GM 454 Gen VI was dropped into the engine bay, but not before being bored .030-inch over, and stroked into a 496 by Richmond's Machine Service (Clarksville, Tennessee). The motor was also balanced and blueprinted. The addition of Dart Pro 1 aluminum heads, SRP 10.4:1 compression pistons, and a Bullet cam puts power at a whopping 570hp at 5300rpm and 580lb-ft of torque at 3700 rpm.

Sitting atop the 496 is an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold that's attached to a Barry Grant Mighty Demon carburetor with an 850 cfm rating. The spent gasses are sent out through 1 3/4-inch Sanderson headers and then to a 2 1/2-inch Flowmaster Signature Series exhaust. The valve covers are aluminum GM models, and a MSD electronic ignition system sends the sparks to the plugs.

The power meets the pavement through a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed tranny. The stock '66 driveshaft hooks up to a Currie 9-inch rear end, with 3.50 gears and Traction-Lok.

The suspension setup is something we are accustomed to seeing on these A-body monsters. Up front, GM A-arms are connected to QA1 adjustable coilovers that drop the front about 2 1/2 inches, and help the car hug the roads in Tennessee. The rear gets the same treatment-QA1 coilovers, allowing the rear to drop an inch, which helps the Chevelle really get up and go from a standing start. Rollers are Boyd Coddington Smoothies, wrapped in BFG redwall rubber.

The interior is adorned with the original red '66 sedan material, with all the work done by Kentucky Kustoms. The two-tone black and silver exterior combination creates lots of sore necks for the denizens of Richardson's home state, and the paint comes from PPG. The 2-inch cowl hood from Goodmark is also an addition, giving the massive motor room to breathe.

Hindsight is always 20/20, especially in the automotive field, and surprisingly, Richardson might have chosen a tamer powerplant if he had the chance to recreate the project. He isn't dissuaded by what he considers his finest hour in the car, though. When we asked him what his crowning achievement with the car was he simply stated, "Fifth gear...105mph...2700rpm." Thank you, Tremec, for that high overdrive ratio.

Furthermore, the car looks as if it just rolled off the assembly line. "Every nut, bolt, and screw has been replaced-even the glass is all new and tinted, just as it came from the factory," Richardson said. After finishing the project, he has nothing but feelings of elation for the car.

"I am completely happy-it looks good, runs good. Life is good."

By Thomas J. Lyman
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