Jason Schultz’s ’71 Chevelle
By Nick Licata – Photography by John Jackson
Not many of us can say we are still in possession of our very first car, and even fewer can state they got said car when they were just 14 years old. Well, Jason Schultz, a Collinsville, Oklahoma, resident who recently turned 50, checks both boxes when it comes to his ’71 Chevelle. As a young teen he became the recipient of the car that was handed down by his great-grandmother who purchased the car brand new off the showroom floor from Bill White Chevrolet in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She used the car as a grocery getter for years, but according to Jason she also had a heavy right foot. “I remember her leaving our house and she would get in the car, floor it, and yell ‘bye-bye butthole,’” Jason laughingly says. “I can’t help but think about that every time I get in the car.”
The Chevelle also served Jason well throughout his high school years and beyond until it was stolen in 1994 right out front from his place of employment as a diesel mechanic. Although the car was found the very next day, it was totally stripped—wheels, tires, engine, trans, and interior all gone—Jason was left with only a shell of a Chevelle.
“I was having trouble with my daily driver at the time, a turbo ’85 Buick T-top, so the one day I drive my Chevelle to work it gets stolen,” Jason reports. “But even with everything gone I wasn’t about to give up on it for the main reason of how long it was in the family and because it was handed it down to me by my great-grandmother.”
Jason dragged the carcass around for years between his parents’ home and later his own house until he was able to find the time, money, and motivation to replace all the Chevelle’s missing parts. The redo required some heavy lifting, but it wouldn’t be just another restoration. Jason wanted to rebuild the car as a total badass—a killer street machine that would also fare well on the strip. Jason, along with his dad and brother, began picking at the car around 2006, but the serious business began taking place in 2012.
The badassery started with a 496ci big-block built by Kent Cannady at K&S engines. Cannady bored the block 0.060 and went with a rotating assembly consisting of a Scat crank and Scat H-beam rods along with Mahle 10.5:1 compression pistons. Patriot ported square-port aluminum cylinder heads offer outstanding flow while a custom-ground Comp solid roller cam sets off the mayhem.
A Team G Weiand intake was ported for proper mating to the heads and is topped with a Holley Ultra HP 950-cfm carburetor. A K&N air cleaner introduces fresh air while waste exits via 2¼-inch Hooker Super Comp headers, custom 3½ inch stainless exhaust, and Flowmaster Super 40 mufflers. The engine is dressed in custom sheetmetal valve covers done up by Mike Stewart at Car and Fleet in Tulsa, Oklahoma, while a machine-finished March serpentine drive system up front spins the accessories just behind the Northern Radiator aluminum piece. The big-block comes in at over 700 hp and looks absolutely menacing perched in the all-black engine bay.
A bulletproof GM Turbo 400 trans assembled by the late Lanny Maples, along with a Neil Chance 3,500 stall converter, sends power to a 12-bolt rearend outfitted with 4.30 gears, Eaton limited-slip posi unit, and Moser 33-spline axles.
Jason, his dad, and his brother, also known as the crew from Schultzy’s Garage, stiffened up the stock chassis and upgraded the suspension with QA1 double-adjustable coilover shocks all around, lowered the front with QA1 spindles, and commissioned a Jerry Bickel sway bar for an absolute level playing field. Course navigation comes by way of a Flaming River quick-ratio steering box, while the rear was upgraded with Metco upper and lower control arms along with a Jerry Bickel sway bar.
A set of Wilwood disc brakes consisting of 12-inch rotors and black four-piston calipers handle stopping duties and unite the sinister look of the gloss black and milled-spoke JEGS SSR Spikes wheels. The 15×10 rear wheels are wrapped in bulbus Mickeys, and the 17x4s up front wear comparatively skinny 6-inch-wide rubber to comply with the Chevelle’s Pro Street symmetries providing an aggressive attitude.
The interior carries a performance motif brought on by the Procar by Scat black leather buckets and the 12-point rollcage built by Chuck’s Chassis Works. The stock black loop carpet and door panels pay respect to Chevelle’s ’70s factory philosophy. The stock dash houses a Classic Dash insert populated with AutoMeter gauges, and a Flaming River column and steering wheel offer additional performance flair. Jason confesses the plan was to upgrade the interior with some modern bits while retaining as much Chevelle lineage as possible. “Keeping some stock elements to the car is a way to pay tribute to my great-grandmother, and I’m sure she’d approve,” Jason reveals.
The late Jim Davis prepped the body to perfection prior to laying down the House of Kolor Platinum Pearl—an eye-catching hue that pops off the sheetmetal similar to its original showroom appearance only better. Beyond the Harwood fiberglass cowl hood, the trim, grille, and hardware are all GM, forgoing copious amounts of custom fabrication that could distract from the factory GM ideology. “To me, the Chevelle is pretty much perfect as it is, “Jason says. “I’ve been a fan of these cars from an early age, so my opinion may sound biased, but these cars absolutely come alive with a Pro Street–style build.
“The final 18 months of the build were a grind. We worked hard to get the car finished, but it was worth every minute,” Jason conveys. “I got to spend some quality time with my dad and brother who were instrumental in getting the car to the finish line and looking as good as it does. I also want to thank my wife for being so understanding throughout the whole process. With that said, it feels amazing to drive this car. It has more than enough power to keep me happy, but is it enough to entertain my great-grandmother? That’s something we’ll never know, but when I punch it, I do so in her honor.”
Owner: Jason Schultz, Collinsville, Oklahoma
Vehicle: ’71 Chevelle
Type: Chevrolet big-block
Displacement: 496 ci
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Bored: 0.060 inch
Stroke: 4.250 inches
Cylinder Heads: Patriot square-port, Ported aluminum
Rotating Assembly: Scat forged crankshaft, Scat forged 6.385 inch H-beam connecting rods, Mahle pistons
Valvetrain: Comp Cams valvesprings, Comp Cams Ultra Magnum rockers
Camshaft: Comp Cams custom grind, solid roller
Induction: K&N air cleaner, Holley Ultra HP 950-cfm carburetor, Team G Weiand intake manifold (ported to heads)
Ignition: MSD 6AL-2
Exhaust: Hooker Super Comp headers, stainless 3½-inch exhaust, Flowmaster Super 40 mufflers
Machinework and Assembly: Kent Cannady at K&S Engines (Tulsa, OK)
Ancillaries: March serpentine drive system, CSI water pump, Northern Radiators aluminum radiator, Spal dual electric fans, custom sheetmetal valve covers by Mike Stewart at Car and Fleet (Tulsa, OK)
Output Est: 700-plus hp
Transmission: TH400 by Lanny Maples
Torque Converter: Neil Chance 3,500 stall
Rear Axle: GM 12-bolt, 4.30 gears, Eaton limited-slip posi, Moser 33-spline axles
Front Suspension: QA1 spindles, QA1 tubular upper and lower control arms, QA1 double-adjustable coilover shocks, Jerry Bickel sway bar, Flaming River quick-ratio steering box
Rear Suspension: Metco upper and lower control arms, QA1 double-adjustable coilover shocks, Jerry Bickel sway bar
Brakes: Wilwood 12-inch rotors, black four-piston calipers front and rear, Wilwood master cylinder, Wilwood proportion valve
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: JEGS Spikes (17×4 front, 15×10 rear)
Tires: Mickey Thompson E.T. Street 26×6 R17 front, 275/60R15 rear
Upholstery: Black loop carpet, factory-style door panels
Installation: Schultzy’s Garage (Collinsville, OK)
Seats: Procar by Scat
Harness: RCI camlock
Rollcage: 12-point mild steel by Chuck’s Chassis Works (Owasso, OK)
Steering: Flaming River steering column, Flaming River steering wheel
Dash: Classic Dash insert
Wiring: Rebel wiring harness by Schultzy’s Garage
Entertainment System: Nada
Bodywork and Paint: Jim Davis
Paint: House of Kolor Platinum Pearl
Hood: Harwood fiberglass