Driver's Impression - On the Street
What is it with the Suspension & Handling Challenge contestants and station wagons (Newman Car Creations brought a '57)? Or should I ask, what's with the tan '65 Chevelles, as DSE had one too? Either way, we had a blast driving them all. Who knew a plain-Jane '65 wagon could be so much fun or so nice to drive?
This entry got top marks in the comfort category. Tilt wheel, power windows, and custom-stitched bucket seats got my attention at first, as they were somewhat unexpected, but it was the ride quality that left a lasting impression. Simply put, it was outstanding. Maybe it was heavier than a Chevelle hardtop or sedan, but we wrote in the test log, "BMW ride quality. It doesn't float. It just soaks up the bumps." It's hard to fathom that a 45-year-old car with large 18-inch/35-series rolling stock could deliver such an impressive combination of ride/handling.
Also getting good grades were the Baer brakes, which had very reassuring pedal feel. Hit the whoa pedal and the long A-body stopped quickly and straight.
There was a big numb spot on center with the steering, but other than this it delivered good feel on the road.
Hotchkis Sport Suspension '65 Chevelle Wagon
Type: Gen I ZZ383 small-block
Fuel Delivery: Barry Grant Speed Demon 750 carb
Transmission: Bowtie Overdrives built 700R-4
Rearend: 9-inch style with 3.25 gears and limited slip
Steering: stock '65 Chevelle with Hotchkis
Performance Steering Rebuild kit.
Front Suspension: Hotchkis
Spindles: Tall B-body Chevrolet
Front Shocks: Bilstein/Hotchkis HPS 1000
Front Springs: Hotchkis Sport Springs with 1-inch drop
Front Control Arms: Hotchkis TIG welded 1.5-inch diameter tubular upper and lower
Front Sway bar: Hotchkis 13/8-inch diameter tubular Extreme Sway Bar with fully articulated mount
Rear Suspension: Hotchkis
Rear Shocks: Bilstein/Hotchkis HPS 1000
Rear Springs: Hotchkis Sport Springs with 1-inch drop
Rear Sway bar: Hotchkis 15/16-inch diameter tubular Extreme Sway Bar with fully articulated mount
Rear Control Arms: Hotchkis adjustable upper and lower trailing arms
Front Brakes: Baer Aluma Sport twin-piston calipers with 12-inch diameter cross-drilled rotors
Rear Brakes: Baer Aluma Sport twin-piston calipers with 12-inch diameter cross-drilled rotors
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Bonspeed Crokus two-piece, 18x8 front, 18x9 rear
Tires: Nitto NT05, 265/35ZR18 front and (TK) rear
|| 0.85 g