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Built With Speedway Motors: Ray's '70 Chevelle

10/7/2022
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Time for another customer car. Ray's Chevelle is as nice as they come, and packs big block power to boot. Here's Ray's story in his own words.

"I purchased this Chevelle on Valentine’s Day of 2015. The car had been with the same owner since he was 15 years old. It became a father son project for his 16th birthday. The car is an original Chevelle Malibu that was factory gold code 55 with a 350 small block and TH350 automatic. Original black bucket interior, console shift & no AC.

Ray grew up on muscle cars, so he jumped at the chance to buy what some say is the pinnacle of GM muscle, a '70 Chevelle.

This was a mild project by the then owner that took place in Nebraska back in the early 1990s and resulted in the purple paint job that is still on the car to this day. In the early 2000s the family & car moved to Arizona where the car was sold to me. Within the timeframe that I bought the car the guy had recently turned 40 years of age. He was relucant to sell the car but wanted it to go to someone who might restore it and enjoy and not just flip it. This was exactly what I was looking for since I am a baby boomer and grew up with these cars.

When I bought the car it was in decent shape and drivable but needed a lot of mechanical upgrades due to the age of the car. The suspension was pretty well shot & needed a brake job. The engine had a ton of miles and leaked oil as well as the transmission & rear end. After the purchase I drove the car for a few months off & on just to enjoy it for a while and size up all of the things that I felt like needed to be done to bring it up to date and make it fun and safe to drive again. As a result, I decided to take on a full frame off restoration performed myself out of a two car garage and photograph to document the entire restoration.

A big block looks right at home in the Chevelle's engine bay.

I disassembled most of the car, took the body off the frame and borrowed a rotisserie from a friend and put the body on the rotisserie then disassembled the frame and put it into storage while I worked on the body. This went on for a few years while working a full time job, devoting weekends and holidays to this project. This resulted in a practically all new nut and bolt restoration front to back with all new suspension in the front and a 12 bolt positrac in the rear. It has a new crate ZZ454 with aluminum heads & a FITech fuel injection and a built turbo 400 trans. I completely rewired the car front to back using an American Autowire kit. I installed a new Vintage Air, serpentine drive belt system, and a Classic Dash with Autometer gauges. New carpet and seat covers to finish it off. The final touch was the Ridler 20" and 18” rims with Nitto tires. I lowered the car about 2 inches in front and lowered the rear about a year later. Lastly, I left intact the only repaint the car has had, which is the purple paint that the previous owner had done back in the 90’s.

Ray redid the interior with new carpet and seat covers.

Throughout this entire build I stayed in touch with the previous owner for the major steps along the way. And at the end of the build, we met up and I let him take the car for a drive. To say the least he had a smile on his face a mile wide!"

Since sending these pictures, Ray has lowered the rear of the car just a bit.

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