Dave Sherer and his crew at DNA Restorations in Oakdale, New York, build cars with a passion and craziness that embodies the way they live. When Dave and his right hand hitman Ralph Ciccio brought their '69 Chevelle from Long Island down to Florida for our shoot, he made no bones about going all out with the car.
"I'll smoke the tires right off the car to get this thing in the magazine!"
Dave and DNA co-owner Anthony Musilli started building the '69 back in September 2008. The original frame was fully boxed for added strength, smoothed, painted, then upgraded with full Global West suspension, including front and rear control arms, QA1 coilovers, Currie 9-inch rear end, and Wilwood 13-inch brakes with six-piston calipers for plenty of stopping power.
While the chassis was undergoing gene splicing, the Chevelle's body was treated to the works, all its panels smoothed, straightened, and precisely aligned so the body is mirror-smooth from any angle. The hood was custom made, as were the billet emblems, and the bumper bolts shaved off. The interior was given a similar treatment, with everything custom built by DNA. A Painless Performance wiring harness connects everything. Auto Meter gauges keep tabs on the engine, while Kenwood Exceleron series equipment was used to build the car's full sound system.
For power, Dave wouldn't accept anything less than spectacular. B&B Machine in Lynbrook, New York, started with a Dart Big M block, stuffed it with an Eagle crank and rods, Mahle 10.5:1 pistons, and topped it with Trick Flow heads to make a 582 cubic inch monster that made 760 horsepower on the engine dyno. Sending that power to the Currie 9-inch is a Kiesler 5-speed transmission with dual disc clutch, aluminum flywheel, and scatter shield in case things go bad.
By June 2009, the Nitto-wrapped Schott wheels were bolted on, and the '69 headed for the Hot Rod Power Tour and the car's debut. DNA only builds drivers, not trailer queens, so Dave long-hauled the A-body on the Power Tour to prove it wasn't all show and no go. The custom-built radiator with dual electric fans kept the big-block cool the whole way, and the Southern climate control system kept everyone nice and comfortable no matter how high the outside temps got. At one point the car went down the quarter, posting a 11.23 at 119 mph on the timing board.
Post Power Tour, the Chevelle went to the Goodguys show at Pocono Raceway. After a little on-track fun that involved running at 150 mph and passing the pace car, the Chevelle went back to the parking area to hide out for a while.
For our shoot, Dave didn't quite smoke the tires off the '69, but he did show us he's never afraid to push one of DNA's cars to the limit.