Driver's Impression - On the Street
If you're looking for fancy race seats, a nine-speed transmission and modern ergonomics, the DSE is not the car for you. A bench seat, lap belts, Powerglide two-speed automatic and gauges in a glove box will not win you that trophy wife who craves a 3-series BMW convertible and a platinum Amex card. On the other hand, if you're after for a first-class driving experience, slot-car handling and miles of smiles-trophy wife be damned-well, have we got a car for you.
On the streets of SoCal, the DSE A-body behaved like a new car. The steering ranked right at the head of the class. It was very linear, direct, with no sloppiness on center and a quick 2.5 turns lock-to-lock. Brake feel was stellar and the throttle response was instantaneous. "Geez," said the log book, "it feels like fuel injection it's so good."
Like any fine automobile, the DSE Chevelle was devoid of strange suspension noises, even over uneven pavement and railroad tracks. The cornering was flat and the ride sublime. Nothing upset this old car or its passengers. The words "wow" and "amazing" popped up repeatedly in the test log. All we kept wishing for was a day at Road Atlanta or Watkins Glen International with this car.
No, this manila Chevelle was not the sexiest car at our event, but it sure got the job done.
DSE '65 Chevelle Specs
Type: Gen I 383 small-block
Fuel Delivery: Holley 4150 650 cfm Ultra HP carb
Transmission: GM two-speed Powerglide automatic
Rearend: Stock 12-bolt with aftermarket Positraction
Steering: Detroit Speed 600 steering box
Front Suspension: DSE
Spindles: DSE forged 2-inch drop
Front Shocks: DSE coilovers with "Detroit Tuned" valving
Front Sway bar: DSE splined
Rear Suspension: DSE
Rear Shocks: DSE coilovers with "Detroit Tuned" valving
Rear Sway bar: DSE tubular
Front Brakes: Baer Pro 6 Plus, six piston calipers, 14-inch slotted & drilled rotors
Rear Brakes: Baer Track System, single piston caliper, 13-inch slotted & drilled rotors
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Budnik Ice Wheel - 18x8 front/18x9 rear
Tires: Nitto NT05 Front - 245/40ZR18; Rear - 275/40ZR18