Sometimes it's all about being in the right place at the right time. However, while having the right last name might open a few doors for you, you have to have what it takes in the long run. What does any of this have to do with this awesome '66 Chevelle? Well, when the decision was made that we wanted a shot that was going to make an impact on our cover and stress the need for a stout drivetrain, we sent out a scouting party in search of a suitable vehicle. Most of the time it's not a problem, but this time we only had a couple of days to find the car and get the shot. To compound this, the glitch was going to be the owner's desire to shred a set of tires to get the action we wanted.
As you can see, we found just what we wanted in Kevin Rollins and his beautiful Chevelle. We found them both while attending the NHRA museum's monthly cruise. We weren't having much luck until the crisp bark of a well-tuned engine caught our ear and immediately turned our attention towards the source. At first we were only able to catch a few partial glimpses at what appeared to be a worthy car making its way through the crowd, but it wasn't until we finally caught up with it that we knew we had found what we were looking for. And a brief discussion with its owner sealed the deal; Kevin was ready to do what ever it took.
The fact that this Chevelle wasn't just a pretty face certainly helped our decision as well. To date Kevin's best quarter-mile runs have been three back-to-back 10.47s at more than 130 mph; not bad for a small-block in a relatively not light car. Those timeslips are thanks to a careful selection of parts, machine work and assembly by George Koopal Racing Engines (Hesperia, California). The top end consists of Airflow Research aluminum heads, an Edelbrock Super Victor intake, and a Holley 750cfm carb. Hooker 1 3/4-inch headers and a Flowmaster 3-inch mandrel-bent exhaust provide an authoritative exhaust note much more common to a big-block. A NOS 200hp Cheater system was added to ensure that Kevin stays out front.
On the inside stock Chevelle buckets were treated along with the rest of the interior to a new turquoise-tweed covering by Collin's Upholstery (Upland, California). A tilt column was added and topped with a LeCarra wheel, and a trio of Auto Meter Pro Comp gauges was installed under the dash to keep tabs on the powerplant. The roll cage is just good sense in a car this fast.
Fate's a funny thing, but as Kevin and his Chevelle have shown, you'd better be ready when there's a knock at the door.
Taming a 10-second beast to survive on the street isn't always the easiest thing to do, but thanks to an aluminum radiator and an electric fan, the Chevelle keeps its cool.
Don't let the subtle look of the trunk fool you-behind those upholstered panels hide the audio system's amps and subwoofers as well as a bottle of laughing gas.
Kevin Rollins, Ontario, CA
'70 350ci LT1 dyno'd at 525 hp @ 6,800 rpm
TH400 with a Munsinger 10-inch 3,800 rpm stall converter
(F) Fatman Fabrication 2-inch dropped spindles, '72 El Camino disc brakes, Koni adjustable shocks
(R) Performance Motorsports' 12-bolt with a 4.10:1-geared Moroso limited slip, '99 Ford Explorer disc brakes, Hotchkis control arm kit, Koni adjustable shocks
American Racing Torq-Thrust II's (18x8 with 4.5-inch backspacing and 18x10 with 5.5-inch backspacing)
BFG Comp T/A (235/40ZR18 and 295/35ZR18)
Stock with a Glasstek 4-inch cowl induction hood, PPG Artesian Turquoise applied by Covina Paint and Body (Covina, CA)