Booming in popularity barely begins to describe the '66 and '67 Chevy II, as various builders continue to crank out amazing examples of this classic body style. All the parts are available to create a killer car, and it's up to the owner to put all the right ingredients into one pile. For Mark Turner, rebuilding classic cars (or trucks) from the muscle car era is second nature, and it's simply part of his daily routine. He may be a seed distributor during the day, but his evenings are all about Chevy performance. As of late, nearly every build involves an LS engine of some sort, and this Chevy II is no different.
Mark started on this car in early 2009, and it proved to be a fairly simple build, lasting only eight months. During that time, the car was stripped of its existing suspension, engine, and paint, leaving the bare shell for Mark to transform. His first step was sending the hull to G&S Fabrication and Suspension in Athens, Alabama, where Greg Blades worked his magic on the chassis and suspension under the Nova. The car was a decent driver before Mark got his hands on it, but it wasn't up to the task of handling his kind of abuse. Mark never builds a car that is purely an aesthetic piece-it's always built to drive, and drive hard.
Greg at G&S began by redesigning the front subframe to accept Ride Tech tubular control arms and Shockwaves. This combination of parts gives Mark the ability to adjust his ride height and handling capabilities on the fly, while a rack-and-pinion setup keeps the car pointed in the right direction. Braking comes from a Wilwood aluminum master cylinder, which sends pressure through custom lines and into Wilwood polished aluminum calipers on all four corners. The 12.19-inch rotors are a two-piece design with aluminum hats that offer a strong and lightweight mounting flange for the Budnik Fontana wheels. Sized at 17x8 inches, the front wheels are wrapped in Michelin tires measuring 205/50ZR17, while the rears come in at a massive 18x12 inches and with equally huge 335/30ZR18 Michelin rubber.
Rear suspension consists of a Ride Tech four-bar setup, complete with Shockwave adjustable air springs, which are connected to a Moser M9 rearend housing. The housing is narrowed 5 inches to accommodate the big rear tires and features a Strange centersection, a 3.55 Yukon ring-and-pinion, and a pair of Moser axles. Moving forward from the rearend, you'll find a custom driveshaft from Dave's Drive Shaft, which connects to a mostly stock 4L60E automatic transmission. With the luxury of overdrive, Mark's Nova barely breaks a sweat on the interstate but still has enough low-end acceleration to scorch the enormous rear tires.
Power comes from a simple combination, which starts with a 5.7-liter LS1 short-block. Jeff Wilkerson built the all-aluminum V-8 to perform better than stock but retain the dependability for which these LS engines are known. He went through the bottom end, putting it back to stock, but replaced the original heads with a set of 5.3-liter Vortec truck heads. The cylinder heads have been ported by Total Engine Airflow and work well in combination with the Comp Cams roller camshaft, which features 0.581 inch of lift, 220 degrees of duration at 0.050-inch lift, and a 112-degree lobe separation angle. The new camshaft is just right for street use and gives the LS1 a wicked exhaust note when you consider the Hooker Super Comp headers, Flowmaster mufflers, and 2.5-inch piping. A fresh supply of 93-octane fuel is provided by a Rock Valley stainless steel tank, and Scott Bowen at In-Tune Motorsports worked his magic to give the LS1 the correct amount of air, fuel, and spark to make it run flawlessly.
Mark relocated the coil packs to the rear of the engine to clean up the overall appearance of the engine bay, while the carbon-fiber treatment on the intake manifold and valve covers makes for a modern and stylish look. The cooling system consists of an Afco aluminum radiator fitted with dual electric fans. Accessories are driven by a Billet Specialties Tru-Trac pulley system, which features a black anodized finish to continue the clean and simple theme under the hood. The original inner fenders are long gone in favor of new sheetmetal to provide additional clearance for the engine and complement the car's slick exterior.
Mark will be the first to admit he doesn't mind riding around in a beater, but when it comes to finishing a car nicely, he takes it seriously. He bought the Chevy II as a driver, so it was all together, but stripping the car to bare metal revealed a previous repair on the quarter-panels, which called for replacements. After installing the new quarters, Mark did away with the original fuel cap and opted for a round, flush-fit cap that pops open by simply pushing on it-yet another detail that takes this car to the highest level of cleanliness. And while the grille and headlight bezels are stock, the front and rear bumpers are coated in the same PPG Black paint that covers the rest of the car. Countless hours of sanding, buffing, and polishing resulted in a super slick finish, and the contemporary styling floods into the bright red leather interior.
Stitched by David Lewallen's Street Rod Interiors, the custom upholstery features Pro Car bucket seats and many custom interior panels. The Lipstick Red leather and matching red carpet offers a great contrast to the black exterior as well as the black dash. A Covans carbon-fiber gauge insert holds a set of Classic Instruments gauges, while the modified dash is equipped with controls and vents for the Vintage Air Gen II Compact A/C system. Adding to the interior styling is a custom console, which mounts Ride Tech air suspension controls, a Lokar shifter, and a Clarion remote-mounted head unit for the stereo system. Mark grips a leather-wrapped Budnik steering wheel, which attaches to a Flaming River steering column. With this laundry list of goodies, it's safe to say Mark realizes the importance of high-end interior to complement a slick exterior.
Whether it's Chevy muscle cars or perhaps a classic pickup truck, Mark Turner knows a thing or two about building a high-class vehicle, and he did just that with this '67 Chevy II. It's slammed to the earth over a set of perfectly sized wheels and tires, and it features a slick finish and an equally flawless interior. The best part of all is Mark's willingness to drive it regularly, and his wife Stacy's willingness to strap into the passenger seat... As long as she isn't piloting one of their other killer cars.