Every gearhead has dreams of the ultimate kit they will amass given the financial resources to do so, these dreams go on. In the minds of enthusiasts lives without fog due to a lack of money, time or skill, the perfect pool for excellence in the auto industry. It is selected, disassembled, examined from every angle and reconstructed, like restoration or restoration when it passes under a knife.
In Bill Dickinson’s case, finances are available to indulge his imagination, and the car you see here is the pinnacle of that. The stunning 1969 Chevelle was designed and assembled by Randy Clark, Jeremy Shelton and the team at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff (HRCS), located in the city of hidden treasure known as Escondido, California.
It’s still a great car today, but Bell’s perfect Chevelle takes a sharp right turn in favor of performance and – dare we say – practicality, in the form of a supercharged LT4 engine between the shock towers. Bell arrived at the powerplant selection after careful consideration of his intentions for Chevelle upon completion. “Who can match GM’s billion-dollar research and development for a reliable, operable, and reliable 650-horsepower mini-block?” he shouted. The engine wears a set of 1,750-inch full-length heads custom by RPM Exhaust of Oceanside, California, which It also sets the 3.0-inch exhaust pipes and Flowmaster mufflers in place.
Back in 1969, when this Chevelle was first built, the advanced Muncie four-speed transmission was the hot ticket, but today, that statement couldn’t be far from the truth. In keeping with the modern drivetrain theme, a TREMEC Super Magnum six-speed transmission is installed behind the supercharged engine. Not only does it serve the purpose of giving the Bell the opportunity to line up gears, but it also works perfectly as an anti-theft device.
Over the past several years, we’ve seen extensive use of the Roadster Shop’s chassis packages. Phil Gerber and his guys have done an outstanding job engineering their complete systems to provide the automaker and end user with a complete bolt system that excels on the street and on the track. It was an easy choice for Bell and the HRCS team to choose one of these to support Chevelle’s sheetmetal.
Using the Roadster Shop’s full-roller chassis system, HRCS was able to fit a four-link suspension, coil spring and rear arm in favor of Ford’s high-tech 9-inch independent rear suspension packed with 3.70:1 gearing. The modern handling capabilities — and perhaps most importantly, the ride quality — imbued with this IRS give the Chevelle a very different stance compared to what it left the factory 50 years ago.
In conjunction with the chassis, a full set of Brembo brakes was selected for use, with 14.0-inch front and 13.0-inch rear rotors providing plenty of stopping potential for the high-powered drivetrain. The 1969 Chevelle original 14-inch tire and wheel package is a far cry — in looks and performance — from the existing Budnik Tungsten SKO 19×9 front and 20×12 rear wheels and 245/35R19 and 335/30R20 Michelin Pilot tires Take residence in the boreholes. All of these choices were made with one prevailing idea: “I wanted a car with great horsepower to be safe, handle and stop like many of the new high-performance cars on the road today,” Bell explains.
Jeremy Shelton of HRCS worked closely with Bell to bring together their shared vision of what a second generation Chevelle should have been, and to that end he spent a lot of time on body modifications and other appearance elements, leaving no part of the body and interior untouched. Although they’ve modified nearly every part of this car in their pursuit, the design is still clean and understated, without flashy elements to detract from its overall appearance.
The drip bars have been shaved to clean the roofline. The front and rear diffusers, along with the side skirts, were made in HRCS, and the trunk floor was raised. Although the hood was originally from General Motors, it was modified to incorporate a set of Goolsby Customs vents, and the stock wheel troughs were split to include an additional four inches of steel to house the brutal rear tires.
Power door handles are in place, while hardwood mirrors, metal taillights, and bumper-exit exhaust tips surround the car’s stunning exterior. But it wouldn’t be complete without the sheet metal taming talents of the entire HRCS team, culminating in the application of several coats of Metallic Black PPG pigment by painter Andy Meeh, whose flawless work is displayed everywhere you look.
Much attention has also been paid to the looks, where all sorts of unique pieces were designed to differentiate the car’s appearance from the crowd by celebrity interior designer Ron Mangus of Ron Mangus Hot Road Interiors in Rialto, California. A billet aluminum gauge assembly from EVOD Industries surrounds a set of Dakota digital gauges and meshes well with the trick venting and air conditioning vents that direct air from the Vintage Air SureFit climate control system.
Billet window switches and transmission surround accentuate the black leather-wrapped console and Budnik steering wheel in the center of the pallet. A bunch of – gasp! The 89-seat Mustang has been completely refinished and now looks like anything but the original tweed. The same black leather covering the console complements the front and rear seating areas. Mangos finished the upholstery with a thick black rug, eventually providing Bell with a perfect view from the driver’s seat.
Upon completion of the project, Bill Dickinson Shevelle received his dreams. It was built to his specifications and became the car version of the outstanding achievement.