Totally Custom Pro Touring-Style 1967 Chevy Chevelle

By Nick Licata   –   Photography by John Jackson

004 Passenger Side 1967 Chevelle

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Growing up on an island completely void of anything muscle car–related makes the story of how this ’67 Chevelle came about somewhat of a longshot and one worth telling. Owner John Spanos grew up on a small Greek island where there was an abundance of motorcycles but no muscle cars to speak of. “Where I grew up, everyone rode motorcycles, so I was naturally drawn to them,” John explains. “With half my childhood being spent there, I suppose that makes me a late bloomer when it comes to the muscle car scene.”

003 Fully Built 1967 Chevelle

John’s first car was a ’91 Pontiac Firebird purchased from a family member mainly as a commuter while he was attending college in the States. It had a V-6 that, of course, lacked a good amount of power, but it did have the T-top. “I loved the car, but I wanted more power, so I found a shop to improve the horsepower and handling capabilities, but there is only so much you can do with a six-cylinder,” John confirms. “But it was that car that started my love for muscle cars and hot rods.”

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005 Driving 1967 Chevelle

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Upgrades ensued on the Firebird and so did reliability issues, therefore putting further upgrades on hold. A few years later a meeting with Troy Gudgel at BBT Fabrications in Mahomet, Illinois, led John to inquire about having Gudgel and his team get the ’91 back on track. Instead of pursuing the Firebird project, Gudgel explained to John that building a ’60s muscle car would be a much better option.

002 Custom 1967 Chevelle

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With the help of Gudgel, John was able to land a ’67 Chevelle found in Cleveland, Ohio. John saw a rusted carcass–Gudgel saw opportunity. “If I remember correctly, the car interior and trunk were in bad shape and the body was full of holes,” John says. “I paid more than I thought it was worth, however, I did love the body lines of the car, so I was eager to get started on it.”

022 Custom Taillights 1967 Chevelle

With the car in the hands of the crew at BBT, the four-year gestation got started with John and Gudgel putting together a cohesive plan that would take the Chevelle in a Pro Touring direction and feature a plethora of one-off custom-fabricated parts. As is the case with all BBT projects, one can expect a high-quality build with countless custom nuances—and John’s build was no exception. The BBT crew hit the exterior with a series of one-offs and hand-fabricated parts, including custom-built aluminum bumpers, extended rocker panels, extended quarter-panels, rear valance to house the custom-machined exhaust tips that coincide with the billet taillights and panel trim. The hood is also custom and includes machined inserts developed by the creative BBT team.

020 Custom Headlights 1967 Chevelle

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We could list every custom piece on the car’s exterior, but we’d run out of magazine real estate, so we’ll focus on the brilliant photography by John Jackson and go with BBT’s motto: “If it’s metal there’s a good chance we’ve hand-formed it to perfectly fit the design of the project.” ’Nuff said, and this car reflects just that.

006 Rear End 1967 Chevelle

Miller Restorations in Forreston, Illinois, meticulously prepped the body prior to laying down a superb coat of PPG Shadow Gray followed by countless layers of PPG clear playing into the Chevelle’s ominous personality while doing what it takes to make a car doused in a devious color become an instant eye-grabber. Done and done.

009 Custom Engine Bay 1967 Chevelle

Under the hood lies a monster: a 427ci Mast Motorsports LS7 featuring Black Label heads, a Wegner accessory drive system, and Holley valve covers, all dressed in black to coincide with the Chevelle’s dark demeanor. But the crown jewel is the Whipple 2.9L supercharger that contributes to the car’s 744 rwhp. The menacing ensemble exhales through a set of stainless Ultimate Headers, custom 3-inch exhaust, topped off with Borla Pro XS mufflers, giving off a hostile exhaust tone.

010 Custom Blower 1967 Chevelle

Read More: Mike Fisher’s 1967 Camaro

With the engine performance satisfied, Gudgel went to a familiar source and bolted in a Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis. That system offers brute strength due to the fully boxed framerails and a lower ride height thanks to the C7 spindles up front. A four-link rear suspension resides out back, and the whole enchilada is dampened by Penske double-adjustable coilover shocks and Hypercoil springs. Splined sway bars front and rear keep the Chevelle on the level while Baer Brakes 6P six-piston calipers grip the 14-inch rotors on all four corners.

019 5 Spoke Forged Wheel 1967 Chevelle

Gray Forgeline CF3C Concave Mono-lug wheels (18.9.5 front, 19×11 rear) comply with the mischievous landscape and are fitted with custom BBT caps and wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport rubber (265/35R18 front, 305/35R19 rear). It’s a wheel and tire combo that takes this ’67 to the next level in modern performance while retaining the car’s vintage style.

012 Custom Seats 1967 Chevelle

As we take a dive inside, the BBT custom arsenal continues, starting with the dash that features machined trim and houses one-off Dakota Digital gauges. The center console is another BBT creation showcasing the electric window switches and InTek Otto shift lever topped with a BBT shifter ball. Black Daytona weave carpet pairs well with the Moore and Giles Onyx leather throughout, installed by Cato’s Custom Upholstery in Atlanta. The interior not only looks cool but is kept cool by a Vintage Air Gen IV HVAC system blowing through custom-machined air vents directed by the InTek Otto A/C control panel. John relies on a Sparc Industries steering wheel for course direction while his favorite playlist blasts though an Alpine sound system armed with Focal speakers.

013 Custom Shifter 1967 Chevelle

Read More: This Jet Black ’66 Chevelle is as Nice as They Come

A peek in the trunk reveals a custom set of aluminum close-out panels housing the battery kill switch and remote charge terminals. There are also custom tool kit mounts consisting of wheel removal tools, you know, just in case.

This build was John’s first venture into the world of vintage muscle, and he put his trust in the BBT crew to build a totally custom Chevelle—one like no other, which is exactly what they did. “The entire build was a smooth and a fantastic experience for me,” John exclaims. “I had an idea of what I wanted and Gudgel pushed the limits and was very helpful in the areas where I was not familiar. I’m now the proud owner of the most remarkable ’67 Chevelle around. In fact, it won the Goodguys 2023 Muscle Machine of the Year. It says so much about Gudgel’s vision and the whole BBT Fabrication team’s high-quality workmanship that went into building such a stunning car.”

008 Custom Silver 1967 Chevelle

TECH CHECK
Owner: John Spanos, Crown Point, Indiana
Vehicle: ’67 Chevelle

Engine
Type: Mast Motorsports LS7
Displacement: 427 ci
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Bore: 4.130 inches
Stroke: 4.00 inches
Cylinder Heads: Mast Black Label
Rotating Assembly: Callies Compstar crank, Callies H-beam rods, Mahle Motorsports 2618 pistons
Camshaft: Mast three-bolt core
Induction: Whipple 2.0L supercharger, custom BBT air intake tube
Assembly: Mast Motorsports
Exhaust: Ultimate Headers stainless headers, 3-inch custom-built stainless exhaust, Borla Pro XS mufflers
Cooling: PRC aluminum radiator, C&R Racing heat exchanger
Ancillaries: BBT custom closeout panels, custom aluminum supercharger coolant tank, Wegner front drive system, Holley valve covers, MSD plug wires, Rick’s stainless fuel tank, Powermaster alternator, Powermaster starter, Mast Motorsports oil pan, Billet Specialties hood hinges
Output: 850 hp, 744 rwhp

Drivetrain
Transmission: TREMEC T56 Magnum by Bowler Transmissions
Clutch: Tilton twin disc|
Bellhousing: Quicktime
Rear Axle: Strange 9-inch, Moser centersection with Eaton trutrac differential, 3.50 gears, Strange 33-spline axles, Inland Empire Driveline 3.5-inch aluminum driveshaft

Chassis
Chassis: Roadster Shop Fast Track
Front Suspension: C7 spindles, Penske double-adjustable coilover shocks, Hypercoil springs, splined sway bar
Rear Suspension: Roadster Shop four-link system, Penske double-adjustable coilover shocks, Hypercoil springs, splined sway bar
Brakes: Baer 6P Extreme calipers, 14-inch rotors, Wilwood master cylinder, Wilwood proportion valve

Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Gray Forgeline CF3C Concave Mono Lug with custom BBT caps (18×9.5 front, 19×11 rear)
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport SS 265/35R18 front, 305/35R19 rear

Interior
Upholstery: Daytona black weave carpet, Moore and Giles Onyx leather
Installation: Catos Custom Upholstery
Door Panels: BBT Custom, Catos Custom Upholstery
Insulation: DEI Boom Mat
Headliner: Alcantara
Lighting: Underdash LED by BBT
Wiring: Coach Controls Coach 1 wiring kit by BBT
Seats: Chrysler 200 modified by BBT and wrapped by Cato’s Custom Upholstery
Steering: Ididit steering column, Sparc Industries steering wheel
Shifter: InTek Otto handle, BBT shifter ball
Dash: Custom with machined trim by BBT
Instrumentation: Dakota Digital
Center Console: Custom by BBT
A/C Vents and Control Panel: InTek Otto
Column Levers: InTek Otto
HVAC: Vintage Air
Entertainment System: Alpine head unit, Focal speakers

Exterior
Bodywork and Paint: J. Miller Restorations
Paint: PPG Dark Shadow Gray, PPG VC5700 clear
Grille: Custom grille by BBT
Hood: Custom with machine inserts by BBT
Wiper Cowl: Custom by BBT
Front Bumper and Valance: Custom by BBT
Rear Bumper: Custom by BBT
Rear Valance: Custom by BBT
Exhaust Tips: Custom by BBT
Taillights: Custom machine with custom LED taillight board
Headlights: Truck-Lite LED
Side Mirror: InTek Otto Billet Aero
Door Handles: InTek Otto Pro Edge
Glass: Flush-mount

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of Totally Custom Pro Touring-Style 1967 Chevy Chevelle.

acp january 2024

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