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1969 Chevelle SS 396 - Quest For Perfection

Sometimes Once Isn't Enough

Kevin Lee Jul 1, 2001
Sucp_0107_01_z 1969_chevelle_ss396 Front_view 2/6

As a heavy equipment operator, Larry Frazier spends his days working the controls of some powerful machines, so when it's time to relax, it's only natural that he didn't want to cruise around in some wimpy econo-box. Larry wanted power and torque, so he began a search for some big-block muscle and it wasn't too long before he found this '69 Chevelle SS 396.

The car was in decent condition, but Larry had plans from the start to make it a father/son project and to restore it to better than new. So, with some help from his teenage son, Barry, the original 350hp, 396-cid engine was pulled and sent out for a rebuild while the chassis was torn apart and freshened up with pieces from Performance Suspension Components. The body received its share of attention and was stripped down to bare metal and reworked. A topcoat of DuPont Tangerine Orange and a pair of black SS stripes complemented the new black bucket seat interior.

After a few glitches Larry got the engine running to the tune of approximately 400 hp and put the Chevelle back on the road after the three-year-long restoration. In the following three years the Chevelle managed to collect over 50 trophies at shows across southern California, but not one to rest on looks alone, Larry piloted the Chevelle down the dragstrip with a respectable 13.40-second e.t. at 104 mph with the tires spinning most of the way.

Sucp_0107_08_z 1969_chevelle_ss396 Rear_view 3/6

Now this is where the story would end happily for most of us, but even with all the accolades the Chevelle had collected, Larry wasn't completely satisfied with it. The desire for more power and better looks took over, and the engine was once again pulled and tuned up to 470 hp and over 500 lb-ft of torque. A Turbo 400, prepped by Randy's Transmission in Anaheim, was bolted up to transfer the power.

Larry then turned his attention back to the body. He liked the basic color but wanted it to pop a little more. So he took the Chevelle to Sharp Auto Body in Garden Grove, California, where it was sanded down and blocked to perfection then topped with the same Tangerine Orange but with some pearl added this time. The resulting color was just what Larry wanted, and black stripes were again applied to the hood and decklid. The semi-new interior wouldn't escape Larry's hand either, as he decided to revamp it with pieces from the Muscle Factory.

With the present fit-and-finish of Larry's Chevelle we can't imagine what a third rebuild might accomplish, so maybe he's done or maybe not. Time will tell.

Owner Larry Frazier, Garden Grove, CA
Vehicle '69 Chevelle SS396
Engine 396-cid V-8
Transmission TH400

Front Performance Suspension Components'polyurethane rebuild kit
Rear 12-bolt posi with Strange 3.55:1 gears and axles
Wheels Weld Pro-Stars (15x7 and 15x10)
Tires BFG Radial T/A's (235/60 and 295/50)



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