Two wheels or four? It's a question many automotive aficionados ask themselves. If a form of transportation is gasoline powered, has the ability to seriously injure, and goes so fast that your eyes feel like they are going to hit the back of your skull, it's probably something worth looking into, if not driving. However, on rare occasions, the survival instinct takes over, and secretly whispers to us, "Don't get on that motorcycle, it has the power-to-weight ratio of a Saturn V rocket." If we're lucky, we heed the advice, and either slow the hell down, or just hang up the non-car toys.
David Sherer was quite the motorcycle and ATV lover-up until about two years ago. Sherer and some friends were in a small West Virginia city for a weekend of four-wheeling fun. The town is so remote that ATVs on the street are considered acceptable behavior. David remembers trying to negotiate a severe hairpin turn, and somewhere near corner-entry, he realized he wasn't going to make it. David had two options: turn into oncoming traffic in the opposite lane, or push the four-wheeler off in the other direction and go down what appeared to be a cliff. He chose the latter, and tumbled down what was indeed a cliff. He broke two vertebrae in his back, tore his rotator cuff, and suffered other bangs and bruises. According to Sherer doctors were unsure if he would walk properly again, and there was talk of him possibly having to use a cane. It was shortly after this accident that David decided to get back into cars.
"I figured it was time to hang up the bikes and whatnot," Sherer said. "And I had this Chevelle, so I figured I would start working on it. Sitting around the house for a while after the accident got real boring, real quick."
The Chevelle was originally purchased in Colorado for about $5,000. After some initial plans were laid out, he decided the car would be built as a Pro Touring vehicle and join the 2006 Hot Rod Power Tour. With nonstop support from David's friend Steve Trombetta, the body-off restoration started in August 2005 was completed in an astounding six months, and was on the dyno in January 2006.
The motor comes by way of Scott Shafiroff Racing (Bohemia, New York). The 540ci mill is balanced, blueprinted, and rocks Dart Pro1 aluminum heads, a Crane hydraulic roller cam, ARP studs, and JE 10:1 pistons. A Barry Grant Speed Demon carb resides above the Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake manifold, and Granatelli valve covers give the engine a super-sleek appearance. On the exhaust side, American Racing 2 1/8-inch headers push out to a 3-inch Magnaflow exhaust system with a 3 1/2-inch X-crossover pipe system. The power is put down through a Moser 12-bolt rearend, with 3.73 gears and Posi-traction. At the rear wheels, the dyno rates the mill at 555hp at 5800rpm, and 573lb-ft of torque, at the same rev number. Not quite Saturn V numbers, but pretty damn powerful. A full Global West suspension, complete with QA1 coilovers, also adds to the drivability of the car.
The interior was completely refinished, and David added some personal touches: an Alpine stereo for those long cruises, SS gauges, and a stunning Momo steering wheel. After the build, David figured he spent over $80,000, but it "was worth every single penny."
While traveling through a small town in Georgia (we immediately pictured Hazzard County) the Power Tour train came to a stoplight, with the entire town out to see the cars. David came up to the light with the Chief of Police staring him down (could it have been Rosco?). The Chief, who must have really been enjoying himself, gave David the thumbs up sign, and Sherer saw his opportunity. "I asked him if I could light up the tires, you know, and do a burnout," Sherer recalled.
The Chief agreed, and told him to go all the way to the next stoplight, where another town deputy was sitting (must have been Enos!).
"I smoked them the whole way," Sherer said. "From stoplight to stoplight. It was awesome."
David's friends from the event, Ol' Harry (actually a car), Jersey Joe, Backseat Billy, Joey Jr., and Lamar and dad, all agreed to do the 2007 edition. The entire crew has already booked its hotels along the route. Be on the lookout for Sherer's Chevelle on the Power Tour next year, maybe he will grace your town with a permanent strip down Main Street.