1965 Chevy Chevelle - Hotchkis 65 Chevelle

An extra set of doors doesn’t keep this Chevelle from ruling the road and autocross

Patrick Hill Jan 1, 2013 0 Comment(s)
Sucp 1301 02 19685 Chevy Chevelle Sport Sedan Rear Three Quarter View In 2/7

On the Street
Out of our five challenge cars, this was the most enjoyable to hit the streets with. That's not a knock on the other cars, as they were right there with the Hotchkis Chevelle, but this one had me ready to steal the car and head for Mexico when no one was looking. The ZZ383/Tremec TKO600 five-speed combo gave the car plenty of motivation (in fact, this was the only manual transmission equipped car in this year's field) and the Centerforce clutch was just right for the street. The only complaint, a minor one for sure, was the shifter handle on the Tremec was a tad short. As I have about six inches more height than the car's owner, so I'm sure it fits him just right.

Driving along with John Hotchkis riding shotgun, I was impressed by the responsiveness of the suspension, but it didn't give the Chevelle that buckboard, rough ride feel like a lot of other suspensions will. Admittedly, this car tied for the longest wheelbase (115 inches) of our five challenge entries, which helps, but it felt so smooth and so good you could see driving this Chevelle every day. Even going over a rough railroad crossing, the '65 remained stable and straight, with no teeth-rattling sensations transmitted through the suspension to the passenger compartment. The Scat ProCar seats were form fitting but comfortable, while the thick, ringed Grant steering wheel allowed for the perfect amount of feel and control.

Even though the car has a roll bar, it didn't affect the comfort of the cabin. The clutch had great feel without being a burden in traffic, and the 17-inch diameter wheels left plenty of room for tire so the ride quality was further enhanced beyond the suspension.

The steering was still the factory GM design, just upgraded with a quicker ratio power box. It wasn't heavy, it wasn't light, but spot-on in the middle of perfect. The manual brakes (Wilwood master cylinder combined with Baer calipers) were surprisingly light, not requiring an enormous amount of effort to actuate, and had plenty of feel and control. You could lightly lay into the brakes for light stopping or hit them hard for a panic stop with no difficulties. They really showed what a correctly set up manual brake system has to offer.

Overall the Hotchkis Chevelle was just flat out awesome. Smooth roads, rough roads, traffic, clear lanes, didn't matter. Everything was so well balanced and had the right amount of feel, doing a cross country trip in this classic would be fun. Even without air conditioning!

Car: 1965 Chevelle Sport Sedan
Color: Artesian Turquoise with low-gloss clearcoat
Owner: Dick Eytchison
Type: ZZ383 Chevy crate motor
Block: Iron
Fuel Delivery: Holley Avenger 650 cfm carb and Edelbrock's RPM Air-Gap manifold
Transmission: Tremec TKO-600 five-speed
Clutch: 10-inch dual friction Centerforce
Rearend: Currie 9-inch (Narrowed 1-inch), 3.70 gears with Truetrac
Chassis: Stock GM with polyurethane body mounts
Front Suspension: Hotchkis Total Vehicle System (TVS) with tubular arms
Steering: AGR 12:1 quick ratio box
Springs: Hotchkis 1 inch drop
Spindles: B-body spindles
Shocks: Hotchkis spec'd Bilstein shocks
Sway Bar: Hotchkis 1-3/8-inch with Billet Mounts
Brakes: Baer four-piston Calipers with 13-inch rotors
Rear Suspension: Hotchkis TVS with adjustable control arms
Springs: Hotchkis 2-inch drop
Shocks: Hotchkis spec'd Bilstein shocks
Sway Bar: Hotchkis 1-1/4-inch
Brakes: Baer Alumasport with 12-inch rotors
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: CCW LM20, Front-17x8, Rear-17x9.5
Tires: Nitto NT01, Front-245/45R17, Rear-275/40R17
Cost of Suspension:
$4,317.95 (less brakes)
Total: 3,407
LF: 910 | LR: 812
RF: 904 | RR: 781
F: 53.2
R: 46.8
Skid Pad: CW 0.91g, CCW 0.99g; Average 0.96g
Slalom: Best 48.5 mph; Average of five runs 46.9 mph
Autocross: Best 51.11; Average of five runs 52.25
Baseline 1
'13 Corvette Grand Sport
Skid Pad: CW 0.98g, CCW 0.99g; Average 0.99g
Slalom: Best 48.5 mph; Average of 5 runs 46.9 mph
Autocross: Best 51.10; Average of 5 runs 51.58
Baseline 2
'72 Chevelle SS396
Skid Pad: CW 0.69g, CCW 0.76g; Average 0.74g
Slalom: Best 38.7 mph; Average of three runs, 38.2 mph
Autocross: Best 1.03.87; Average of three runs 1.08.64


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